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Photograph: Georg Niedermeiser,  © MIK, Georg Niedermeiser

Name of Object:

Animal carpet


Berlin, Germany

Holding Museum:

Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum


AD around 1500 or earlier

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool, knotted pile carpet; symmetrical knot


L: 140, W: 94

Period / Dynasty:





The field design of this carpet is exceptional. Four double-headed creatures dominate the vertical centre of the field. They are embedded in cream-coloured star forms. The free spaces between the stars are filled with multicoloured octagons. The star points directed outwards and the animal heads each also pointing outwards lend a special dynamic to the carpet. This piece displays two technical peculiarities. On the one hand, the knots are partly offset, presumably in order to achieve the desired incline of the diagonals. A further animal carpet (KGM 1888,112) in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin displays this technique. A special feature are the yellow wefts which are additionally inserted at regular intervals. It is assumed that they mark the day’s work of the weaver. These marks are also found in the so-called Dragon-Phoenix carpet (I.4) in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin.

How date and origin were established:

The carpet has been dated on stylistic analysis of its pattern, due to its colours and knot-technique

How Object was obtained:

Purchased by Wilhelm von Bode for the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin; transferred through the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin

How provenance was established:

The carpet has been located on stylistic analysis of its pattern, due to its colours and knot-technique

Selected bibliography:

Beselin, Anna, Geknüpfte Kunst. Teppiche des Museums für Islamische Kunst, Berlin: Minerva, 2011. Spuhler, Friedrich, Oriental Carpets in the Museum of Islamic Art, Munich: Smithsonian, 1987.

Citation of this web page:

Anna Beselin "Animal carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;de;Mus31;1;en

Prepared by: Anna Beselin

MWNF Working Number: DE1_001

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