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

Name of Object:

The Dietrichstein Carpet


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection


18th century (possibly 19th century)

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cotton warp and weft; wool pile


H: 4877mm, W: 2236mm

Period / Dynasty:

Safavid period (possibly Qajar)

Workshop / Movement:

Iran, Tabriz (possibly)


Iran, Tabriz (possibly)


An 18th century, or possibly 19th century, Iranian pile carpet with a large lobbed pink medallion dominating the centre of a dark blue field, framed by a yellow ground border. The central medallion is decorated with an ivory arabesque scroll amongst which are multi-coloured flowers joined by a network of blue stems. The centre-field is crammed with rows of large palmettes, some of which have sharply cerates edges so much so that they look like flames. Between the palmettes are pairs of elongated and wavy Chinese cloud bands in various colours. The border is decorated with three different sizes of multi-coloured palmettes spread in a repeat pattern on a scrolling network of vegetal stems.

The Dietrichstein carpet came from a princely castle that belonged to the Bohemian and Austrian Dietrichstein family, whose seat was in the city of Nikolsburg in southern Moravia and near the Austrian border (known today as Mikulov in the Czech Republic). A descendent of the Dietrichsteins, and the man who sold it in 1929, claimed that the carpet had lain in the throne room of Nikolsburg Castle up to then. The Dietrichsteins were an important noble family during the 17th and 18th centuries, with connections and positions in the Austrian court. When the carpet was sold in 1929 by the then incumbent Prince Alexander Dietrichstein (1899 – 1964), he claimed that the carpet had been a gift to one of his ancestors by the Empress Maria Theresa (r. 1748 – 1780), who had in turn received it as a gift from the Shah of Persia. This story is now thought to be most probably fanciful family lore.

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 and structural analysis

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "The Dietrichstein Carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;uk;Mus31;13;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani

MWNF Working Number: UK1_013

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