VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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“Animal fighting carpet”
Inv. No. T. 100
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

These silk carpets were considered among the most precious items of their kind in regards the production of carpets in Persia. They were certainly greatly praised by monarchs and were regarded also as prestigious gifts. It is the only piece of its kind in the collection belonging to a small group of only 16 small carpets of the kind known today.

History of the Object
This carpet, woven probably during the reign of the great patron of the arts, Shah Tahmasp I (r.1524-1576), with extremely dense and very delicate knots, combines a central medallion pattern with animals in combat distributed over the field. The design includes a central lobed quatrefoil medallion with phoenix and dragons in combat, alternating with two palmettes. The field with a red ground, is filled with floral motifs and animals fighting (lions, tigers, panthers and antelopes). The main border shows pheasants alternating with palmettes and flowers. The carpet belonged to the Berlin Museum until 1936 having been acquired first by its Director Wilhelm von Bode in Milan around 189O.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Silk warps, wefts and pile 
Measurements
Width 178 cm Height 233cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Iran; Kashan (?) 
Geography
Iran 
Time period
AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
16th Century; mid-16th Century, Safavid period 
Function
Luxury decorative object 
Acquisition
Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian in Amsterdam in March 1936 through Hans Stiebel from N. V. Internationale Antiquiteitenhandel. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 
Museum
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum 
Credit line
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation/Calouste Gulbenkian Museum 

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