Silk: velvet, brocaded, pile-warp substitution; gilt-metal thread
Overall: 79.4 x 66.7 cm (31 1/4 x 26 1/4 in.); Mounted: 89.5 x 74.9 cm (35 1/4 x 29 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.239
This velvet of Iran’s Safavid period (1501–1722) displaying a falconry scene is celebrated for its refined beauty and meticulous draftsmanship. A falconer and attendant flank a blossoming plant on a golden ground of lobed medallions. Animated vines display leaves bearing lion’s masks and dragons coiled around larger leaves on the crimson ground. Instead of two or three colors of velvet, Iranian weavers wove with as many as 14 colors, the most colorful velvets ever woven.
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