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Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets

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A Nasrid silk lampas fragment, Spain, circa 1500
woven in red, yellow, black threads with confronting lions on either side of a stylised tree with pomegranate at its base, encircled by palmettes, framed
22.5 by 17.5cm.
framed: 28 by 21.7cm.
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Catalogue Note

This popular Nasrid design is documented in at least thirty-four extant fragments with some variation in the detail and coloured grounds (J. Thompson, Silk. 13th to 18th centuries. Treasures from the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, Doha, 2004, p.24). For further examples see La Seta Islamica. Temi ed Influenze Culturali, Florence, 1999, no.22, p.77, and Ecker 2004, no.55, pp.61-63 and 146-147.

The distinctive extravagant curled leaves appears to be a conscious reference to a style of decoration that was brought to Spain from the East after the massacre of the Umayyad family in Damascus in 750 AD, an event which led to the foundation of the first Islamic dynasty in Spain. It is possible that textiles such as this lampas were produced by Muslim weavers for the Christian market and that the heraldic lions are a reference to the emblem of the kingdom of Leon-Castile (Ibid, p.24).

Arts of the Islamic World including Fine Rugs and Carpets

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London