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 © MIK, Georg Niedermeiser

Name of Object:

Spiral vine carpet


Berlin, Germany

Holding Museum:

Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum


AD 1st half of the 16th century

Type of object:

Carpet fragment

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool, cotton; knotted pile carpet, asymmetrical knot


L: 185, W: 101

Period / Dynasty:



Northwest Persia


This fragment, at first glance unimpressive, must have been part of a very large carpet. Measuring almost two metres, it shows a short section of the right border, a small area of the white-ground field and a part of a brown medallion, presumably a corner medallion, truncated by the border. The preserved motifs suffice to assign the carpet to the early Safavid period. Thus, for example, the brown medallion lies on top of the red vines of the field, meaning that both pattern levels are perceived separately from each other – a perception that is later lost. The apricot-coloured forked leaves in the field are arranged in parallel with their vertical edges. They lie on the red vines and give rhythm to the field design. This ornamentation is frequently found in the 15th and early 16th century in Timurid book art (1370–1507). The geometric-looking design of the large forked leaf in the brown medallion speaks in favour of an early dating. The filigree design of the border is also traditional in the carpet depictions of the Timurids. But since no Timurid carpets have been preserved, it would be only with caution that this can be ascribed to the artistic work of the Timurids.

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 1889 by the Kunstgewerbemusem, Berlin from Franz Bock; 1969 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 "Spiral vine carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;de;Mus31;6;en

Prepared by: Anna Beselin

MWNF Working Number: DE1_006

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