The Ardabil carpet

This can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Hand knotted in silk and wool, the length is 1044cm and the width 535.5cm. Woven into the carpet is Arabic writing, which translates to-

‘Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world.
Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.
The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.’

There is also a date woven in, which is 946 in the Muslim calendar. This is AD 1539 – 1540 in the Western calendar. There were two Ardabil carpets, in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din when it suffered damage from an earthquake in 1873. One rug was damaged and the other used to patch it up. thus there was a full carpet and one with no border. They were then sold off, to raise funds to fix the shrine. It was eventually purchased by the V&A in 1893 for £2000, on the word of William Morris. The other rug eventually ended up in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The design of the Ardabil carpet.
How the Ardabil carpet was made.
The Ardabil carpet and the V&A.

2 comments on “The Ardabil carpet

  1. Judith says:

    Wow hand knotted….now that looks like a project….way down the line…;)

  2. The V&A have a page on how the carpet was made. I also have some stuff on weaving on the Misc page.

    It would have taken a team of ten professional weavers a couple of years to do this! I can only imagine how long it would take the amateurs!

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