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 © MIK, J.P. Anders

Name of Object:

Animal carpet


Berlin, Germany

Holding Museum:

Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum


AD end of the 14th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool; knotted pile carpet, symmetrical knot


L: 142, W: 86

Period / Dynasty:





The appeal of this small-format carpet is due to its unusual proportions. The borders take up far more space than the narrow, vertical central field, which is unassertively filled with geometrical hooked lozenges. The charm of this border is in its strong contrasts of colour. Stylised birds are arranged all around the inside of the delimited rectangles. They are enclosed and flanked by cream-coloured stylised vines. It is striking that the birds vary in colour and face alternately left and right, but are always shown vertically. This gives the carpet a distinct sense of direction. The vines are reminiscent of the stylised, vegetal border designs of early Spanish carpets. They are linked with the depiction of trees, which makes sense in combination with that of birds. A technical peculiarity is found in the symmetrical knots of the border. They are partly offset, presumably in order to achieve the desired incline of the diagonals. A further animal carpet (KGM 1885,984) in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin displays this technique.

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 in Venice; 1956 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.

Citation of this web page:

Anna Beselin "Animal carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;de;Mus31;4;en

Prepared by: Anna Beselin

MWNF Working Number: DE1_004

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