A look into a 17th-century Persian Carpet from the Imperial Collection



(Formerly in the Imperial Collection)

Length, 200 cm. ; width 155cm.

Warp: cotton, white, 5-fold, to 1 dm. 116 warp threads (=29 to the inch). The warp ends are left to form a fringe.

Weft: after every row of knots three shoots. The first and third light brown cotton, straight, five-fold, the middle shoot silk, mostly bright red, party also red, wavy.

Knotting: silk. To 1 dm. 46 knots in the length and 58 knots in the width (=11 and 15 to the inch). Knotted on two warp threads. Scheme III. To 1 square dm. about 2700 knots 170  to the square inch. Pile Strongly to the left and lying flat.

Brocading: silver round white silk, silver-gilt round yellow silk. Corresponding to every row of knots, bordered by the wavy shoots, are 5 brocading-shoots, carried over 3 (upper) wrap threads.

Colours: twelve. General tone light. Ground colours: green (inner field); salmon-pink, gold and silver (compartments of the pattern), red (border, middle stripe); light blue (inner edging). colours of the pattern, dark blue, light blue, green, yellow, red, light brown, black, white, dark grey, gold, silver.

State of preservation: very much worn. The brocading remaining in places only. Restored at one edge of the border.

In the inner field, a flat hexagonal middle panel pointed towards the ends of the carpet and enclosed by arabesques. The panel has two palmettes enclosed by blue scrolls on a gold ground. A larger palmette springs from each of the panel. Cloud-bands issuing from this middle panel form part of the border of the salmon-pink half compartments which converge towards the centre from the long sides, and are enclosed by arabesques. Over these compartments and the green ground of the inner field trail stems in elliptical form with blossoms and arabesques showing curled tschi-formed additions; the stems, which spring from the middle ornament, are partly dark and partly light-coloured. At the ends one central and two corner-panels connected with one another by half-palmettes, partly cover the inner field.

Border: in the middle stripe broad arabesque S-stems, joined together by five-petalled blossoms. Beside the blossoms are small scattered rosettes on the bright red ground. The stems have alternately a black and light-blue outline. Inner edging: continuous floral stem on a light-blue ground. Outer edging: counterchange cresting in yellow and dark grey, in places blue. The different parts of the border are edged by narrow strips. At each end of the carpet is a strip of weaving and the warp ends from a fringe.

Source: Old Oriental Carpets, Vol 1. 1926, Antonon Schroll & Co, Karl W. Hiersmann, Vienna, Leipzig Publishers.

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