MWNF Thematic Galleries

MWNF Portal

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

Name of Object:

The Ardabil Carpet Fragment


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection


Hegira 946 / AD 1539-40

Type of object:



Maqsud Kashani (Kashan workshop)

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silk warp; wool weft and pile


H: 324mm, W: 203mm

Period / Dynasty:



Iran, Ardabil


A small border fragment from the famous pair of Persian Ardabil Carpets, one being at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and one at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the USA. This pile carpet border fragment shows a two thirds section of a lobed roundel that would have sat in the main border field between oblong cartouches. The lobed roundel’s design consists of a radiating vegetal Arabesque pattern with a maroon coloured network of stems on a light green background. Intertwined with this maroon network of stems is a fine ivory-coloured network of stems holding multi-coloured palmettes and maroon rosettes.

The Burrell fragment’s missing part – a third of the lobed roundel – has been inserted into the V&A Ardabil Carpet’s lower left corner of the border to complete a similar lobed roundel with a green-background.

This pair of Ardabil carpets have the maker's signature, Maqsud of Kashan, and the date A.H. 946 (1539-40 AD). The pair were made for the great prayer hall of Shrine of Safi al-Din Ardabili, an early 14th century Sufi saint and the ancestor of the Safavid Dynasty that ruled Iran between 1501 and 1736. Both originally measured 5.35m x 10.44m, but the Los Angeles carpet was cut down to repair and complete the V&A carpet. Some twenty surplus fragments resulted from this alteration exercise, one of which is this Burrell Collection fragment.

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:

Part of a large carpet with other known fragments in public collections

Selected bibliography:

Beattie, May H., Carpets of Central Persia, London: World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd., 1976: 60.

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "The Ardabil Carpet Fragment"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;uk;Mus31;23;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani

MWNF Working Number: UK1_023

On display in

MWNF Galleries



As PDF (including images) As Word (text only)