The Ardabil Carpet

Unknownca. 1539-1540 (made) - 1543

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Medallion carpet (the 'Ardabil Carpet'), Iran, early 16th century

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  • Title: The Ardabil Carpet
  • Date Created: ca. 1539-1540 (made) - 1543
  • Location Created: Iran, The Islamic Republic of Iran Asia
  • Type: Carpet
  • External Link: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O54307
  • production: Unknown
  • Subjects Depicted: stylized flowers; medallions
  • Place Part Of: The Islamic Republic of Iran Asia
  • More Information: The Ardabil carpet is one of the largest and finest Islamic carpets in existence. It is also of great historical importance. It was commissioned as one of a pair by the ruler of Iran, Shah Tahmasp, for the shrine of his ancestor, Shaykh Safi al-Din, in the town of Ardabil in north-west Iran. In a small panel at one end, the date of completion is given as the year 946 in the Muslim calendar, equivalent to 1539-40. The text includes the name of the man in charge of its production, Maqsud Kashani. The carpet is remarkable for the beauty of its design and execution. It has a white silk warp and weft and the pile is knotted in wool in ten colours. The single huge composition that covers most of its surface is clearly defined against the dark-blue ground, and the details of the ornament - the complex blossoms and delicate tendrils - are rendered with great precision. This was due above all to the density of the knotting - there are an average of 5300 knots in every 10 square centimetres (340 knots per square inch).
  • Materials and Techniques: Hand knotted woollen pile, on silk warp and weft; asymmetrical knot, open to the left; average of 340 knots per sq. in (average of 5300 per sq. dm)
  • Dimensions: Width: 530 cm non-inscription end, Width: 529.5 cm middle, Width: 535.5 cm inscription end, Length: 1032.5 cm left side looking from inscription end, Length: 1044 cm middle, Length: 1031 cm right side looking from inscription end

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