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  • Posts Tagged ‘Mughal Pashmina Carpet’

    MUGHAL PASHMINA CARPET FROM THE COURT OF EMPEROR SHAH JAHAN

    Monday, September 12th, 2022
    Royal Mughal pashmina carpet c1650

    An extraordinarily rare survivor from the golden age of Imperial Mughal carpet production comes up at Christie’s in London on October 27.  This Royal Mughal pashmina carpet woven for the court of the Emperor Shah Jahan is of ‘Lattice and Flower’ design, exemplary for its brilliant colour and pattern, woven with the most luxurious and costly materials with prized pashmina goat hair woven onto a fine silk foundation. One of only four 17th century pashmina carpets remaining in private hands. This one is estimated at £2,500,000 – 3,500,000.

    The carpet is an example of the Flower Style in Mughal India which became popular in architectural decoration and the decorative arts under the emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58). A variety of flowers represented  in profile and organised in rows is a hallmark of the style. In most rug-weaving cultures, silk is the most valuable and sumptuous fibre. In Mughal culture, in northern India, this was not the case. The most highly prized fibre for the pile was goat hair, pashmina, the undercoat of the Himalayan mountain goat. Each pashmina fibre measures almost one sixth the width of a human hair, which meant that these Mughal carpets were among the finest carpets ever woven. The highest knot count exceeds 2,000 knots per inch, which goes beyond what the eye can “read.” The majority of examples fall between 400 and 1,000 knots and the carpet discussed has an average of 672 knots per sq. inch. It will be a leading lot in the Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction.