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

Name of Object:

Vase design carpet


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection


c. 1600

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cotton warp; wool and cotton weft; wool pile


H: 3582mm, W: 1753mm

Period / Dynasty:


Workshop / Movement:

Kirman workshop


Iran, Kirman


An early 17th century Safavid Kirman pile carpet with a large wine-red centre-field and a narrow dark blue border. The centre-field is decorated with a symmetrically laid out arabesque lattice consisting of four layers of stem networks, three main baring a variety of multi-coloured palmettes, and one minor baring small rosettes and leaves. A dark blue pear-shaped vase is positioned in the centre at one end of the carpet. Out of this vase spreads one of the three main stem networks and the minor one. The dark blue narrow border contains a row of alternating multi-coloured palmettes, rosettes and multi-bud stems.

A very busy carpet, that may seem confused to many a viewer. However, an analysis of the design structure shows a deliberate plan to overlay, almost too many, networks of stems and floral compositions. The designers / weavers then decided to keep the a symmetrical layout of the shapes that form the design but not their colours, so that the left and right sides of the carpet mirror each other in design but not in the colour combinations of the many large and small palmettes, rosettes, buds and leaves. Nevertheless, the non-symmetrical distribution of the colours is still balanced enough to give the carpet great visual charm. By contrast the carpet’s narrow border is simple and uniform in its repeat design with good symmetry between the left and right sides of the carpet, both in shapes and colours, and in the well planned and executed floral configurations of its four corners.

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 "Vase design carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;uk;Mus31;4;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani

MWNF Working Number: UK1_004

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