We have no examples of Timurid carpets but these
two fragments, Plates One and Two that were originally from
the same carpet, show us what they might have looked like. Both
of them were once in the possession of F.R. Martin, whose lavish
publication on early carpets, “A History of Oriental Carpets
before 1800”, remains the seminal published work in this area.
Since publication in 1908 this large, oversized book has been
a rare collector's item and the wonderful reproductions still
to this day remain unsurpassed. The text accompanying these
illustrations, while somewhat dated in parts, nevertheless remains
valuable for anyone wishing to study the early Imperial Court
Carpets of Persia, as well as those from Turkey.
At the turn of the 16th century, Safavid designers
discarded the idea of the earlier Timurid design layout described
in the introduction to our exhibition in favor of a more sophisticated
style. From then on what can be called the Safavid style dominated
the art of carpet making in Persia.