Antique Isphahan Safavid woven circa 1650


Woven for the Persian Imperial Court Ca. 1650

Isfahan, Central Persia
5’11” x 8’10”

This richly colored carpet with its complex, layered design of spiraling tendrils terminating in palmettes belongs to the red ground, so-called “spiral-vine” or in and out palmette, group of carpets believed to have been woven in Isphahan
during the Safavid dynasty (1502-1732.) This particular design appeared first in the sixteenth century and continued
to find favor throughout the seventeenth century. In the present lot, the flowering, swirling vines are supported by sinuous cloudbands and pairs of birds of varying plumage woven. The earliest examples of the spiral-vine carpets are
characterized by the use of silk in the foundation, an unusually wide variety of colors and superbly delineated drawing,
as in the present lot. The most well- known carpets that belong to this early group are the pair of Emperors Carpets with one now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the other in the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna;
The crisply drawn, intricate and symmetrically balanced design of the present carpet suggests that it was almost certainly executed from such a very detailed cartoon.