Arabesque carpet with medallion
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection
Cotton warp; wool and cotton weft; wool pile
H: 3479mm, W: 2845mm
A 17th century Safavid Persian pile carpet with an Arabesque design dominating its large yellow centre-field, which is adorned with a pink medallion. The centre-field is framed with quarter medallions in its four corners, and surrounded by a narrow dark blue border.
The Arabesque design consists of two intertwined networks of meandering vegetal stems and tendrils with foliates and rosettes. One stem network is in dark blue and pink leaf scrolls, and the other is a lighter blue network of large leaf scrolls and coloured flowers. Multi-coloured palmettes are positioned at the junctions where the two networks overlap or criss-cross. The superimposed pink medallion in the centre of the field is decorated with an arabesque motif too. Dark blue foliates on lighter blue vegetal stems form the medallion’s pattern. The four quarter medallions in the four corners of the filed are formed of arabesque motifs of salmon-pink coloured stems and foliates adorned with dark blue palmettes on an ivory background. The carpet’s border pattern consists of two networks of foliate scrolls that intertwine, one in blue and one in light brown / ochre colour.
The best of its type, this early carpet’s quintessentially Islamic Arabesque design shows how effectively such patterns can be employed to create a visually pleasing floor covering.
Manufacturing techniques and stylistic analysis
Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944
Beattie, May H., Carpets of Central Persia, London: World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd., 1976: 60.
Noorah Al-Gailani "Arabesque carpet with medallion" [db_in_citation_dca] 2019. http://carpets.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?itemId=object;DCA;uk;Mus31;3;en
Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani
MWNF Working Number: UK1_003