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Persian silk carpet, called also “tapis polonaise”
SZT 1194 MNW
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

On account of their refined ornamentation and skill weaving, the Safavid silk carpets, brocaded with gold thread, belong to the most valuable exhibits in museums throughout the world. This is a rectangular carpet with fringes that were sewn later, presenting a decoration composed around a central medallion of lengthened, polymorphic shape. The medallion embraces various multi-coloured floral and stylized vegetal ornaments in a symmetrical arrangement. Different forms of palmettes and swirling leaves constitute the predominant motifs. Similar ornaments are seen in the angle compartments of the central field and also on the borders. Among the colours, green, red and various tints of brown predominate. Some ornaments are brocaded with gold and silver threads.

History of the Object
Although the popular French name 'tapis polonaise' is rather a misnomer for this artifact, it indicates long lasting trade connections between Poland and Persia and a taste of Polish aristocracy for Persian handicrafts (mainly carpets and textiles), arms and horse accessories. Many Persian motifs and patterns were imitated by Polish artisans. This name was first used at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1878, when several silk carpets were shown. In fact they have been woven in Safavid court factories.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Cotton warp (1Z), cotton weft (3S), nap of silk, brocade of gold and silver thread (foil over a silk core) 
Measurements
Width 143 cm, Length 206 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Iran; Isphahan 
Geography
Iran 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
1st half of 17th century, the Safavid dynasty reigns 
Function
Interior decoration and protection against a cold in winter. 
Acquisition
Purchased by the National Museum in Warsaw 
Copyright
Copyright Ⓒ National Museum in Warsaw 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum in Warsaw, state property 
Museum
National Museum in Warsaw 
Credit line
Courtesy of the National Museum in Warsaw 

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