A general craving for smaller Safavid
carpets is nowhere better satisfied than in a group of noble
all-silk rugs usually attributed to Keshan, of which sixteen
examples are known. Here no expense has been spared to produce
a superbly executed commodity.
This Plate is a typical example
of this group that interestingly enough shares some design features
with the Branicki carpet, including the use of fantastic animals
and the same serpent palmettes found in the border of the larger
Carpets of this type were first
grouped together by R.M Riefstahl, one of the earliest carpet
scholars, in an article focusing on the silk carpets in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York published in 1916.
Plate Twenty Seven, now known as
the Gulbenkian carpet, is one of the nicest of the "silk-Keshan"
carpets with the added features of both animal combat scenes
and a central medallion.