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

Name of Object:

Armorial carpet


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Glasgow Museums - The Burrell Collection


17th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cotton warp and weft; wool pile


H: 2616mm, W: 1295mm

Period / Dynasty:

Habsburg Spain

Workshop / Movement:

Possibly a Cuenca town workshop


Spain; possibly the city of Cuenca


Inspired by Ottoman Anatolian carpets, this 17th century Spanish armorial pile carpet has a typical Oriental carpet’s layout with a large centre field and a wide arabesque border, both symmetrically laid out. The centre is dominated by a Spanish coat of arms (quarterly, first and fourth: Gules, fleur-d-lys Or; second and third: Or lion rampant Argent impaled with Gules three castles Or) crowned by a feathered helmet. Two pairs of blue lizard-like creatures with large eyes and yellow spots are positioned on the yellow field, a pair above and a pair below the coat of arms. In the four corners of the centre-field are quarter arabesque medallions. A large red carnation is positioned at each end of the centre-field and between the quarter medallions. These carnations are rendered in the Ottoman fashion for illustrating carnations on textiles. The boarder is filled with a series of yellow and red Chinese clouds alternating with white rosettes.

At least two carpet-history sources name the place of manufacture for this type of Spanish carpet as being the city of Cuenca in east-central Spain. This city was well known for its Moorish carpet weavers. The ones holding coats of arms were usually made to mark the marriages of the nobility. Further research is needed to determine the identity of the coat of arms on this armorial carpet. Some have suggested that it is the coat of arms of Castile and Leon, but this has not been proven.

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, coupled with the presence of the Spanish coat of arms

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Armorial carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;uk;Mus31;9;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-Gailani

MWNF Working Number: UK1_009

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