Mamluk carpet, Egypt, (1510–1520)
wool; diameter 270 cm, Olomouc Archbishopric – Archdiocesan Museum in Kroměříž, without inv. no.
This exceptionally well preserved Mamluk carpet, unusual in the Czech lands, with an edge missing from the bordure, is double-warped, with two layers, one over the other. It was intended for use in a tent. The warp is made of undyed wool and the weft is a cinnamon colour. The pile is made of shiny wool and the weave is rather dense, containing 1978 asymmetric senneh knots per square decimeter. The centripetal geometric composition, characteristic of Mamluk production, consists of a round centre with an inner rosette and radial arabesques, framed by a triple octagon filled with stylized plant ornaments. Overlapping squares with arrows at the corners protrude from them, positioned at a 45 degree angle to each other. Around them are round targets with rosettes inside. The whole carpet is framed with a wide purfle, polygonal on the inside, and filled with a stylized necklace of rounded rectangles and circles with rosettes, joined by pearls. The whole composition is permeated with fine floral ornaments. In the radiant colours typical of Mamluk carpets, basic light green and azure are complemented by the red of the infill and the brown, yellow and beige contours. The Kroměříž carpet has analogies in its motifs and composition similar to other significant preserved works of art in world-renowned museums in the USA and Austria.