A Collection of Oriental and European Carpets and Textiles

agra carpet
northwest india
circa 1870
485 x 300 cm (1511 x 910)

Notes: asymmetrically knotted wool pile on a cotton foundation
The intricate pattern that decorates this fine and early Agra carpet derives from 16th century Safavid carpets, which in turn were influenced by Chinese textile art. Here the design is composed of an infinite repeat pattern of poly-lobed cartouches arranged in offset and parallel lines. Each vertical row alternately contains either pairs of confronting dragons or a complex interlace of stylised arabesques. The oblong cartouches which frame the field are further decorated with arabesques and cloudbands, this too a motif of Chinese origin. The design interpretation is quite characteristic of 19th century Agras. Yet the exquisite quality of the wool, together with a refined use of colour - a simple but effective palette of ivory, sea green and burgundy red - and a large-scale pattern of great stature and presence, distinguishes this particular Agra as a great example, and certainly one of the best of its type.



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