Carpet thumbnail 1
Carpet thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Carpet

1603 (dated)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Carpets were usually used as coverings for tables, not on the floor. This protected the valuable hand-knotted textiles from excessive wear. In the great houses of England the fashion probably began in the early 16th century and continued until the 1630s.

Materials & Making
Most of the reds in this carpets were dyed with madder, which had probably been imported from Holland. However, the crimson shade was produced by combining madder with cochineal, a dye obtained from an insect living on the Opuntia cactus that grew in the Spanish territories in Central America. The use of this expensive dye suggests that this was a very costly carpet.

The wool used for the pile came from breeds of longwool sheep. At the beginning of the 17th century these were found mainly in Hampshire, Kent or Norfolk. Norfolk seems the most likely place of manufacture because it is known from inventories that carpet weaving had been established in that county during the second half of the 16th century.

In this carpet there are 1,800 knots per square decimetre.

Design & Designing
A marked colour change can be seen along the right hand edge. This is the edge at which weaving began. After repeating the pattern, someone - perhaps the designer, the weavers or possibly the client, Sir Edward Apsley - decided that an additional colour should be included to enliven the design.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand-knotted woollen pile on hemp warp and weft
Brief Description
Carpet displaying the arms of Sir Edward Apsley and his wife Elizabeth Elmes of Lilford, East Anglia probably, 1603
Physical Description
In the borders are the Arms of Sir Edward Apsley impaling those of his wife Elizabeth Elmes of Lilford, Northamptonshire.
Dimensions
  • Height: 506cm
  • Width: 252cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 15/09/1998 by nh This allows for a minimum border of 75mm but where the dimensions of the carpet fluctuate the border will be larger
Marks and Inscriptions
'FEARE GOD AND KEEPE HIS COMMANDEMENTS. MADE IN THE YEARE 1603'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: This carpet was probably made to celebrate the knighthood of Sir Edward Apsley. It was used as a table cover in the Great Hall of his house in Thakeham, Sussex. The octagonal motif was taken from a Spanish carpet design which was in turn inspired by Turkish examples.(27/03/2003)
Subject depicted
Association
Summary
Object Type
Carpets were usually used as coverings for tables, not on the floor. This protected the valuable hand-knotted textiles from excessive wear. In the great houses of England the fashion probably began in the early 16th century and continued until the 1630s.

Materials & Making
Most of the reds in this carpets were dyed with madder, which had probably been imported from Holland. However, the crimson shade was produced by combining madder with cochineal, a dye obtained from an insect living on the Opuntia cactus that grew in the Spanish territories in Central America. The use of this expensive dye suggests that this was a very costly carpet.

The wool used for the pile came from breeds of longwool sheep. At the beginning of the 17th century these were found mainly in Hampshire, Kent or Norfolk. Norfolk seems the most likely place of manufacture because it is known from inventories that carpet weaving had been established in that county during the second half of the 16th century.

In this carpet there are 1,800 knots per square decimetre.

Design & Designing
A marked colour change can be seen along the right hand edge. This is the edge at which weaving began. After repeating the pattern, someone - perhaps the designer, the weavers or possibly the client, Sir Edward Apsley - decided that an additional colour should be included to enliven the design.
Collection
Accession Number
710-1904

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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