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Historical Confronted Animal Rug, 13-14th Century. Late Seljuk (Anatolian Seljuks: 1077-1308), Ilkhanid (1256-1335) or Eldiguzids (Atabegs of Azerbaijan 1135-1225)
Turkey or Caucasus. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Medium: Wool (warp, weft, and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions: L. 65 in. (165.1 cm) W. 54 1/2in. (138.4 cm)
Tube: L. 62 in. (157.5 cm) Diam. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, Louis V. Bell Fund and Fletcher, Pfeiffer and Rogers Funds, 1990 Accession Number: 1990.61
Provenance: Fred Cagan, Nepal ; [ Lisbet Holmes Textiles, London , until 1990; sold to MMA]

The rug has been carbon 14 dated to 1040-1290 AD

With its highly geometricized design, this wool rug differs markedly from the refined courtly carpets, and represents an earlier tradition of weaving that was popular in Europe, where rugs like this are found in fourteenth- and fifteenth century churches and paintings. In fact, the depiction of a rug with the same design as this in an early fifteenth-century Sienese painting allowed for the dating of this example. This is one of only three complete rugs of such an early date and its design of large confronted animals, each with a smaller animal inside, probably derives from contemporary textiles.