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CARPET WITH PICTORIAL DESIGN: LANDSCAPE AND PAIRS OF BIRDS


cat. no. 116
North India, Lahore, ca. 1600
233 x 158 cm
Warp, weft cotton
Knots wool, asymmetric
Knot count 7600
Inv. no. Or 292/1889/1907 HM


Two Indian pictorial carpets are known, the Vienna carpet and the piece in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston named after its previous owner Frederick L. Ames. They are usually regarded as contemporary, although differences in the design, above all of the border, lead some experts to think the Boston carpet was already made under Akbar (1556–1605), the Vienna carpet then originating under Jahangir (1605–27). Predecessors of the pictorial carpets must have been the enormous carpets with grotesque fauna – only surviving in fragments. Their contemporaries or successors being the huge carpets with landscape scenes and animals in repeat. Although less densely knotted, they are thought to be comparable on account of the motifs and method of expression. Not only the composition but also the technique used in the group points to North India as regional origin: only here do we find warps of 7–9 ply cotton.

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