Carpet thumbnail 1
Carpet thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A


1814 (made)
Place of origin

Object details
Object type
Brief description
Rug or 'ryijy', Finnish, dated 1814
  • Weight: 15kg
  • Top edge width: 1545mm
  • Bottom edge width: 1550mm
  • Proper left length: 2015mm
  • Proper right length: 2045mm
Weight including roller
Credit line
Given by Roger Fry
Object history
Disclaimer: while the term 'oriental' has been used in this record, it has since fallen from usage and is now considered offensive. The term is repeated in this record in its original historical context.

Came to the Museum through the efforts of Roger Fry (MA/1/F1493). Initial letter dated Aug 22, 1924: 'I wonder whether an old Finnish rug would interest the Museum. It's one of those oriental designs that went on so late in Finland - dated 1814 and looking rather like an old Anatolian rug only rougher. It's a fine design and colour but alas there's a moth eaten patch wh wld have to be restored...' A response of 29 august from A.F. Kendrick to Eric Maclagan: 'I feel sure we should be glad to have the rug. We have one - got a few years ago with the help of an architect at Helsevgfors at a modest price. Recently efforts have been made to find a market at extravagant prices. Dr Sirelius of Helsingfors University is writing a book on the subject which will be illustrated in colours, so I don't suppose there is much need to extend our collection to any great degrees. Ours is dated 1799 and no doubt Fry's, of 1814, shows a different pattern. Why don't you go and see it? We will accept your verdict. Ours is shown getween the windows on the landing next to the Salting galleries.' (1924/5646)

When accepted, it was noted by Kendrick on 5 September 1924 that 'I may safely assume that the donor will not expect us to give it a permanent place in the Galleries, since it is in holes and considerably injured by moth, but it will be useful for reference by students and designers.'

The main purpose of a ryijy was to be a warm cover either in bed or while traveling in a sled. More decorative ones often commemorated weddings and were on the floor only during the ceremony.
initials A F B D
Accession number

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Record createdAugust 2, 2004
Record URL
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