The reputation of the Persian carpet
is founded on carpets of the "Herat" School with additional
fortification from the Ardabils (recently dealt with elsewhere)
and the Hunting Carpets, which as a group comprise the Vienna,
Boston and Stockholm examples, (all silk) plus the addition
of the Poldi Pezzoli woolen Hunting Carpet.
Another example often cited is
the silk Branicki Carpet, Plate Twenty Six, whose present whereabouts
are unknown. In fact it's not a Hunting carpet at all, as there
are no hunters to be seen, however for convenience it is usually
grouped with the others.
The white corner pieces resemble
curtains which have been drawn back to reveal a green playground
with animal combat depictions and lotus palmettes on a relatively
simple scrolling vine layout. In the central medallion, four
little bears crouch in terror at the onslaught of four pairs
of hyper-aggressive dragons.
The theme of petrified prey is
not an unusual one, but its prominence here seems strange. What
may its patron have been thinking?
The green field with its constantly
changing abrash is unsurpassed in any carpet. The choice of
color for the minor borders seems haphazard but the wide strap-work
border carries the day well enough with fish and snake-like
dragons in lotus palmettes.
The black and white photograph, fig.25, shows
at least the first third of the carpet is missing.