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Sanguszko Carpet
Sanguszko Carpet

This sixteenth-century Persian Safavid dynasty carpet from the Kerman region was formerly in the collection of the Sanguszko family. Royall Tyler’s description of the carpet states that it has wool knots on a silk warp and weft and that it measures 5.90 x 3.10 meters with forty-nine knots to the square centimeter. According to Roman Władysław Sanguszko (1901–1984), a Polish landowner, horse breeder, industrialist, and philanthropist who owned the carpet in 1928, his relative, Prince Paweł Sanguszko-Lubartowicz (1682–1752), a count and grand marshal of Lithuania, obtained the carpet at the Battle of Khotyn (Chocim), which was fought between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army and an army of the Turkish Ottoman Empire between September 2 and October 9, 1621. Prince Sanguszko’s chief residence at Slavuta (now in the Ukraine) housed his famous collection of Persian carpets. The Sanguszko family subsequently lent the carpet to various institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1954–1995); it is now in the Miho Museum, Japan.

On the back of the photograph [AR.PH.Misc.304] of this carpet that Royall Tyler sent to the Blisses, he wrote:

Carpet belonging to Prince Sanguszko.

[Not cut at corners as appears  on the photo]

Dim. 5.90 m x 3.10 m.

warp & weft silk, knots wool, 49 knots to 1 square cm.

colours, ground of central square dark blue

ground of middle medallion and of the four spandrels at corners goldenrod yellow ground & border red.

Great variety of colours, several different reds, greens, blues, pinks, tête-de-nègre etc. etc.

No repairs except a few coarse darnings.

Said to have been taken from Turks at Battle of Chocim, 1610.

Ronald W. Ferrier, The Arts of Persia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 124–25, fig. 12.