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"Admiral" Heraldic Carpet

Artist/maker unknown, Spanish, possibly woven by Muslim craftsmen

Made in Spain, Europe

c. 1429-1473


19 feet 3 inches × 15 feet 7 inches (586.7 × 475 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 306, European Art 1100-1500, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Joseph Lees Williams Memorial Collection, 1955

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Shortly after the Muslims of North Africa introduced the art of making twisted-pile carpets into Spain, the weaving of this armorial carpet was undertaken. It was probably made for the founder of the royal house of Castile, Fadrique Enríquez, who held the titles of Lord of Medina and Admiral of Castile and was the grandfather of King Ferdinand of Spain. His coat of arms—an upright lion beneath two triple-towered castles bordered by anchors and ropes—is repeated three times in the center field. A decorative pattern in the main border at each end, formed by designs that resemble Arabic script, indicates its Mudéjar workmanship.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.