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The Legacy of Timur: A Small Rug at The Textile Museum
Ghereh (1996)
  • Carol Bier
The Textile Museum acquired a small shaped rug at auction in 1996 (Bernheimer Family Collection of Rugs), which curator Carol Bier deems not a 19th-century saddle rug as identified by Christie's, but a small ceremonial rug or maenad, that would have served a Timurid ruler in court. The rug is small (73x76 cm), and has a wool pile on cotton foundation. The layout of the rug, comprising an extended semicircle, is unusual, with an open ivory field, surrounded by an intriguing border, parallels for which are found in architectural ornament rather than in woven rugs. The border comprises an arabesque scroll of trefoils alternating with trefoil shields, and two split-leaf arabesque scrolls. The colors are unusually clear and bright: blue, white, yellow, and red, each outlined in black. The design exhibits an underlying geometry that suggests an origin in the design atelier of the Timurid court in the 15th century, possibly Herat.
  • masnad,
  • Persian rug,
  • Timur,
  • Herat,
  • arabesque,
  • Textile Museum
Publication Date
August, 1996
Citation Information
Bier, Carol. "The Legacy of Timur: A Small Rug at The Textile Museum," Ghereh (Turin), issue 9, pp. 98-100.