Floral and Cloudband Rug
Artist/maker unknown, Persian
Here large palmettes are paired with tan-and-blue curving cloudbands, a Chinese motif that traveled to Iran following the Mongol conquests of the thirteenth century. A large vine-scroll swirls and sweeps about each corner of the central field, tying together the palmettes, cloudbands, and flowers. This scheme is echoed—with some variation—in the dark blue borders, lending to the overall composition a sense of endless repetition, as if the carpet were but a fragment of a much larger, symmetrical wool-pile garden. Long thought to have been made in northern India, recent technical examination revealed that this carpet was almost certainly produced in Iran. Such confusion over the origins of this textile and others of its type speaks to the ease with which motifs and designs passed throughout these regions.