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The Simonetti-Mamluk carpet, Metropolitan Museum of Art (inv. no: 1970.105), New York, The Fletcher Fund 1970. 224 x 878cm.


The 'Simonetti' Carpet
Date: ca. 1500
Geography: Egypt, probably Cairo
Culture: Islamic
Medium: Wool (warp, weft, and pile); asymmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions: Rug: L. 353 in. (896.6 cm) W. 94 in. (238.8 cm) Tube: L. 106 in. (269.2 cm) Diam. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1970 Accession Number: 1970.105
This artwork is not on display

Named the "Simonetti" carpet after a former owner, this majestic weaving is among the most famous of all Mamluk carpets. One of the larger examples of its type, the carpet has five medallions instead of the more customary one or three and displays a slightly brighter and more varied color palette. Likely produced in Egypt under the Mamluk dynasty, such carpets are surprisingly rich in appearance considering their relatively coarse weave and limited color range. The overall effect is that of a shimmering mosaic.

Guidi da Faenza, Italy (until 1902); [ Attilio Simonetti, Rome, from at least 1910; cat., 1912, no. 167]; [ Giorgio Sangiorgi, Rome]; Pisa Collection, Italy (in 1937); [ P. W. French and Company, New York , until 1970; sold to MMA]