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Salon du Tapis d'Orient

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A Turkotek Digital Field Trip: The Victoria and Albert Museum (Part 2)

by Chuck Wagner

Finally, at the right rear of the gallery, a Turkish child’s kaftan dated about 1590 and described as “probably from the area of Bursa”. It is made of silk and metal thread, and made with a lampas weave:

Now, on to some Persian court carpets in the left rear area of the gallery, starting with a couple close-ups of a carpet described as “probably Kerman” and dated 1600-1700. It has cotton warps and silk & cotton wefts. While interesting in terms of content, the execution of the design on this piece is not as crisp as I would have expected given the obvious resource required to construct it.

A Safavid piece from Esfahan is next, dated 1550-1650. It is interesting to see what appears (to me) to be Chinese influence in the design, primarily in the rendering of the animals. The first two images are from the V&A website and show this piece undergoing conservation prior to hanging:

These are the images from the gallery exhibit; note the nice deep green in the borders and floral elements:

One of the most striking pieces on display is the well-know Chelsea carpet, dated 1500-1550 and written up on the ORR site: http://www.rugreview.com/orr/chel.htm  Here is an image of the entire piece from the V&A website:

and the images from the gallery (to my eyes, this carpet also seems to have significant Chinese influence on the animals in the design):

The last of the old Persian pieces pictured here is cautiously attributed to Iran, and dated 1500-1700. The V&A website offers this information: "Hand knotted woollen pile, on silk warp and weft, with brocade metal thread; asymmetrical knot, open to the left; 484 knots per sq. in (7,744 per sq. dm) The carpet from which this fragment came belongs to a disputed group. Many doubt its attribution to Safavid Iran, even though the design is composed mainly of characteristically Safavid elements. The wolves at the top, however, are unusual."

 It was so dark in this corner that the camera had to be focused elsewhere in the gallery and brought back to this piece for the final shot. That technique actually worked very well and shows the details, and use of silk, clearly:

Return to Part 1 Discussion Proceed to Part 3