Vienna Hunting Carpet

1st half 16th c.

MAK – Museum of Applied Arts

MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
Vienna, Austria

Due to its fineness, motifs and size, the famous silk Vienna hunting carpet ranks among the world’s most exceptional carpets. Originating from the court of Shah Tahmasp I (r. 1524–1576), the carpet’s design supposedly lay in the hands of the court painters working for the art-minded ruler. The middle of the balanced pattern forms a medallion with dragons and phoenixes. The corners are marked by quarters of the main medallion. Safavid horsemen and prey in the surrounding fields form into one of the famous imperial hunts. Peris (angel-like beings) are depicted in front of dainty tendrils in the surrounding borders.


  • Title: Vienna Hunting Carpet
  • Date Created: 1st half 16th c.
  • Location: Safavid Empire, Central Iran, probably prob. Kashan
  • Subject Keywords: Carpet
  • Type: Carpet
  • Rights: Photo: © Gerald Zugmann/MAK
  • External Link: MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
  • Medium: Textiles
  • Material and Technology: Warp / weft / knots: silk, asymmetrical; Brocading: silver lamella, partly gilded, around silk core; Knot density: 14, 300/dm2
  • Inventory Number: T 8336 /1922, formerly Imperial House of Habsburg
  • Dimensions: 687 x 331 cm

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