The ivory field woven with a Mughal-inspired design of individual flowering plants framed by an ivory border with interlacing flowering vines, with green guard borders woven with scrolling flowerheads and vines.
Approximately 17 ft. 5 in. x 14 ft. 9 in. (530 x 450cm)
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Lot Essay

Under the Mughal maharajas in seventeenth-century India, and most particularly during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), heightened attention was placed on the naturalistic rendering of the surrounding flora. Distinctive designs comprising rows or formal arrangements of naturalistic flowers were woven upon rich ruby-red grounds, accurately displaying recognizable specimens of lily, poppy, carnation, tulip, violet and narcissus. Such designs remained popular with Indian weavers, both in carpets and textiles, for the next few hundred years although greater artistic liberties were taken over time, often making identification problematic. The decorative design of the present carpet recalls these early Mughal patterns but is now set upon an ivory field and the flowers have been miniaturized and are perhaps less recognizable. Many such Mughal-inspired revival carpets in the nineteenth century were woven in the jails of Agra and Lahore, which employed similar repetitive floral designs albeit with slight variations in their color palette, see I. Bennett, Jail Birds, Exhibition Catalogue, London, 1987, pl. 26. A very similar carpet was recently sold Christie's, London, 25 June 2020, lot 187 (£43,750).
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