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‘In the top left-hand corner it also connects to a fragment that’s in the Louvre, and in the lower part we have a partial ivory palmette, which connects to a fragment in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin,’ Broadhurst explains.
It is also the mirror portion of a fragment in the Musée Historique des Tissus in Lyon, while other pieces of the original carpet can be found in the V&A in London; the Design Museum in Copenhagen; Glasgow’s Burrell Collection; the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg; Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.
Broadhurst, the head of Christie’s Oriental Rugs & Carpets department, explains that the design of this carpet would have been complex to create, with multiple, intertwined flowering vines woven in 17 different colors and an average of 36 knots per square centimeter.
It is one of a dozen known pieces of the original carpet, which was most likely divided up during the 19th century. ‘Many Vase carpets were salvaged and preserved as fragments,’ she says. In fact, no complete examples on a comparable scale have survived.