Famous Carpets and Carpet Collections
(Posted on 02/08/13)
Apart from the Pazyryk carpet (in the Hermitage, Leningrad), probably the most important, and certainly the best known specimen in existence is the Ardebil carpet which is now housing in London's Victoria and Albert Museum. This masterpiece of oriental textile art, which measures 34'6" x 17'6" (10.52 x 5.33 m) and contains approximately 33 million hand-tied knots of a ratio of 340 knots per sq inch, was purchased in about 1880 from a mosque in the north-east Persian town of Ardebil by an English merchant, for approximately £2.400. Today, in the extremely unlikely event of its ever being put up for sale, it would certainly fetch several million us dollars on the open market. Its design is based around a huge central medallion, encircled by 16 smaller lobe medallions, set against a field of the most intricately articulated palmettes, floral sprays and spirals. It also carries the famous inscription; ' I have no refuge in the world but thy threshold. I have nowhere to hide my head but under this roof. The work is by the slave to the sanctuary. Maksud of Kashan.'Hanging near the Ardebil in the Victoria and Albert Museum is another magnificent 16th-century Persian carpet, known as the Chelsea carpet because it was found in an antique shop in Chelsea, and regarded by many scholars as the most beautiful carpet ever made. Public collections of oriental carpets can be found in a number of galleries and museums throughout the Western world; in addition to those already mentioned, the Metropolitan Museum of art, New York, the Philadelphia Museum of art and Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan, have carpets that are not to be missed.