Medallion and Animal carpet with Banquet scene

  • Allegedly Kashan or Yazd
  • Iran Safavid period
  • 16c-17c
  • silk, metal thread, silver thread
  • H-228.5 W-155
Catalogue Entry

Medallion and Animal Carpet with Banquet Scene
Iran, 16th-17th centuries
Silk, silver thread
Miho Museum, Shiga
This carpet was woven from a bright array of threads, including blue, pale green, bluish green, yellowish green, yellow, white, beige, pale light green, red, dark green, and dark red. Only the faces of the angels and humans are painted with black pigment. The design of the entire carpet is bordered by a red ground floral band, with the central rectangle set off from the surrounding area, and the motifs working symmetrically top and bottom, right and left. The central medallion shows four winged angels arranged radiating from the center with auspicious cloud designs woven around them. The cartouches above and below this central medallion show two humans or angels in a garden setting with food in their hands. The four corners of the central rectangle are set off, with fish in a pond under the tree, and two humans in each scene enjoying food and drink. The framing band area shows figures seated on cushions and other figures holding rods and ball. The ground of the central rectangle shows animal hunting scenes, dragons attacking gilin, beasts attacking even-toed ungulate, running rabbits, foxes and other animals seen amidst trees and plants. The outer edging border has a number of cartouche areas depicting hunters chasing mountain goats, foxes turning to look backwards, and fawns. The winged angel designs indicate that this carpet shows a scene from heaven. Indeed, surely the ponds and tree-shaded plants and flowers, the rich abundance of animals and other elements all indicate an ideal world. The fringe attached to the outer edge, and the brown tape edging both sides of the red design band, are thought to be later additions. The verso surface has been backed with a red cloth, and there are some traces of repair threads seen.