Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Polonaise Persian Carpets of Iran

Polonaise Carpets are made with silk and metal threads of gold and silver coating in Isfahan, Iran in the early Safavid era.They were often presented as precious gifts of the royal court of Persia to the European rulers and religious dignitaries. Since some of these carpets have the Polish coat of arms and were ordered by the Polish king of the time, they are referred to as the "Polonaise Carpets". This carpet was given as a gift by Shah Abbas of Iran to the dodge of Venice in 1603. This treasure is being kept in Calouste Gulbankian in Lisbon, Portugal. I had the pleasure of seeing it when it was on display in Los Angeles County Museum of Art  LACMA on loan from the Gulbankian Museum along with the Ardabil carpet few months ago.

This magnificent silk carpet also from the Polonaise collection is in Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The size of this great and big carpet is 13' 10" x 5' 6". In 1878 when a similar carpet was displayed in a Paris exhibition, it was thought to be woven in Poland and that was because of the Polish coats of arms. It was later realized that this group of carpets made with silk pile and metalic brocading of silver and gold were made in Isfahan, Iran during and after the reign of Shah Abbas I, in late 16th and early 17th century.

Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Tel. 310-770-9085

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