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Carpet Fragment

1600-1700 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a fragment of the right-hand side and border of a Persian carpet. It is seldom that attention is given to the borders which frame the more dramatic part of a carpet, but care also goes into their design and colouring. Notice how the power of three broad, interlacing meanders has been softened by the addition of narrow floral stems and that the light ground inner border has been woven on a slightly smaller scale than the darker outer border. Put these three elements together and they create a subtle and harmonious barrier around the field.
There was a blue and white vase in the lower part of this fragment, but most of it is now missing.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand knotted woollen pile, on cotton warp and weft; asymmetrical knot, open to the left; average of 201 knots per sq. in (average of 2,990 per sq. dm)
Brief Description
Middle East, Carpet, Fragment. Carpet fragment, wool knotted pile on cotton foundation, 'Vase Carpet' design on red ground with border, possibly Kirman, Iran, 1600-1700
Physical Description
Carpet fragment from the right-hand side and border; Vase Carpet; Persian; 17th century

WARP: white cotton; Z4S; 30-34 threads to the inch (122 per dm); depressed.

WEFT: white cotton; Z3S; unable to ascertain exact number of shoots after each row of knots but probably 3; 11-14 knots per inch (42-56 per dm).

PILE: wool; 14 colours: red, orange, light orange, yellow, dark green, green, light green, dark blue, blue, light blue, purple (faded to grey), brown (in the border with shade variations including orange), black, white; asymmetrical knot open to the left and tied around 2 warp threads; average 201 knots per sq. inch (average 2990 per sq. dm).

SIDE FINISH: cut

END FINISH: cut

Design: Field: red ground with a 3-plane lattice in (1) pink and blue (2) blue (3) white. The is a large chequered vase (partly missing) from which there rises a spray of flowers. There are 3 complete and 2 partial large, composite blossoms with 2 half blossoms along the border edge. The stems and tendrils bear rosettes and buds and curve around the large blossoms and end in a sprig of flowers. The serrated leaves are usually in three colours.

Main border: dark blue ground with strap work design in 3 parts (1) white (2) light orange (3) variegated brown. Along and around each meander is a flower-bearing stem and there are half palmettes along the edges of the border.

Inner border: white ground with floral meander with dark green stem

Outer border: yellow ground with rosettes and leaves.

Catalogue Date: 12.11.97
Dimensions
  • Weight: 13kg
  • Top edge width: 1060mm
  • Bottom edge width: 1050mm
  • Proper right edge length: 1990mm
  • Proper left edge length: 1955mm
Weight including roller
Style
Object history
Purchased on the recommendation of William Morris (Report of 9 April 1884) from the executors of William Wentworth Buller, "removed from Rome and Florence". In the late nineteenth century, art dealers in Italy (such as Stefano Bardini in Florence) were an important source of historic Middle Eastern carpets, which had served as furnishings in palaces and churches since their export to Italy centuries beforehand.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a fragment of the right-hand side and border of a Persian carpet. It is seldom that attention is given to the borders which frame the more dramatic part of a carpet, but care also goes into their design and colouring. Notice how the power of three broad, interlacing meanders has been softened by the addition of narrow floral stems and that the light ground inner border has been woven on a slightly smaller scale than the darker outer border. Put these three elements together and they create a subtle and harmonious barrier around the field.

There was a blue and white vase in the lower part of this fragment, but most of it is now missing.
Collection
Accession Number
453-1884

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record createdFebruary 26, 2003
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