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Carpet fragment

Carpet fragment

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1500-1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand knotted woollen pile, on woollen warp and weft; asymmetrical knot, open to the left; 210 knots per sq. in (3,360 per sq. dm)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In this carpet fragment there is precise detail of things like the hairs of the lion's mane and in the tiny coloured spots on other animals, but no one element is dominant - everything is balanced against the strongly coloured ground.

Physical description

Carpet, hand knotted woollen pile on woollen warp and weft, Persian, 16th/17th century
WARP: white wool; Z2S; 30 threads per inch (120 per dm)
WEFT: white wool; Z-spun, unplied; 3 shoots after each row of knots (the middle shoot is barely visible and may not be wool); 14 knots per inch (56 per dm)
PILE: wool; 12 colours: red, light red, orange, yellow, light yellow, green, light green, dark blue, blue, light blue, brown, white; asymmetrical knot open to the left and tied around 2 threads; 210 knots per sq. inch (3360 per sq. dm)
SIDE FINISH: missing; subsequently bound with cotton tape.
END FINISH: missing; subsequently bound with cotton tape.
DESIGN: Field: red ground with the left hand side of the design being a mirror image of the right. There are scrolling stems in green bearing small floral motifs, buds and leaves in most colours and this is overlaid by a second system of scrolling stems in yellow outlined in brown bearing large serrated palmettes lying over white and red cloud bands. There are tigers, cheetahs (leopards?), chi-lins, dragons, lions, water buffalo and gazelles and long-tailed birds.
Borders; There is no border along the lower and upper edges. Only one inner border remains (on both sides). It has a dark green field with a double meander, one is light red and bears palmettes in light red and light blue and the other is in light green and bears three flowerheads also in light green.
Catalogue Date: 26/01/2000

© Trustees of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


1500-1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Hand knotted woollen pile, on woollen warp and weft; asymmetrical knot, open to the left; 210 knots per sq. in (3,360 per sq. dm)


Weight: 13 kg, Width: 1230 mm Top edge, Width: 1220 mm Bottom edge, Length: 1900 mm Proper right edge, Length: 1900 mm Proper left edge

Object history note

Purchased from Stanislas Baron of Paris.

Descriptive line

Middle East, Carpet, fragment. Carpet fragment, wool knotted pile on wool foundation, 'Hunting Carpet' design of animal combat on red ground, Safavid Iran, 1500-1600

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

K. Erdmann, " 'The Art of Carpet Making' in A Survey of Persian Art: Rezension", Ars Islamica 8 (1941): 170, 172, ill. 17.
Christine Klose, "Imperial Puzzle. Sixteenth-Century Persian Spiral Vine Carpets with Animals", HALI 170 (2011) pp.76-85: fig.22.


Wool yarn


Weaving; Knotting

Subjects depicted

Stylized flowers; Birds; Chilin; Deer; Tiger; Gazelle; Lions; Dragons; Cheetah; Water buffalo


Textiles; Floor coverings


Middle East Section

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