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 © Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection © Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection © Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection © Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection © Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection © Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection

Name of Object:

Medallion carpet fragments


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection


16th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:

9.27 & 9.28

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cotton warp and weft; wool pile


For 9.27: H: 3429mm, W: 1524mm. For 9.28: H: 1066mm, W: 965 mm

Period / Dynasty:


Workshop / Movement:

Possibly Tabriz town workshop


Iran; possibly the city of Tabriz


Two 16th century Safavid pile carpet fragments from a very large classic Persian medallion carpet, showing parts of the centre-field and part of one of the long borders of the carpet. The background colour of the field is a wine red. Imposed on it is a vegetal network of floral arabesque stem patterns baring rosettes and palmettes. Over this vegetal stem network are placed multi-coloured medallions, with a large yellow one dominating the centre, and smaller ivory coloured and dark-blue coloured pendent-like cartouches at either end of it. The large yellow medallion holds a red star-shape cartouche in the centre and turquoise blue and dark blue cartouches radiating out. All the cartouches are filled with multi-coloured vegetal-stem-and-palmette arabesque compositions. The border has a dark blue background and is decorated with two intertwined leaf-stem scrolls, one turquoise and one yellow.

The smaller of the two fragments, no. 9.28, consists of two large lobed cartouches, one with a dark blue background and one with a turquoise background, on a the yellow field of the central medallion. Each of the dark and light blue and the yellow areas is filled with a vegetal network of multi-coloured floral arabesque patterns baring rosettes and palmettes.

The large yellow medallion and its pendant cartouches is reminiscent of the “shamsa” medallions painted in illuminated manuscripts and on book covers. The term shamsa, from the Arabic shams, which means sun, here used to name this type of radiating arabesque medallion.

How date and origin were established:

Manufacturing techniques and stylistic analysis

How Object was obtained:

Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944

How provenance was established:

Stylistic analysis

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Medallion carpet fragments"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;uk;Mus31;10;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani

MWNF Working Number: UK1_010

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