Pictorial carpet


Northern Indian (Lahore)
Mughal dynasty
about 1590–1600

Object Place: Lahore, Northern India


243 x 155 cm (95 11/16 x 61 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton warp and weft with wool knotted pile

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Warp, white cotton; weft pinkish brown cotton(?) apparently two threads between each row of knots. One hundred Persian (Sehna) knots to a square centimeter; pile, wool. The ground of the main field is of dark red. The design main field is dark red. The design of houses, men, real and imaginary, birds, and animals is of light tan, dark blue, greens, yellow, white and red. The ground of the main border is light neutral tan, on this is a design of palmettes filled with masks and separated filled with masks and separated by flowers and Chinese looking birds. The inner guard band has a floral design; the outer one has a reciprocal design.


July, 1882, Durlacher and Marks, London [see note 1]. About 1882, with Torrey, Bright and Capen, Boston [see note 2]; sold by Torrey, Bright, and Capen to Frederick Lothrop Ames (b. 1835 - d. 1893), Boston; by inheritance to his widow, Rebecca Blair (Mrs. Frederick Lothrop) Ames (b. 1838 - d. 1905), Boston; 1893, gift of Mrs. Frederick L. Ames to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 19, 1893)

[1] In July, 1882, William Morris and the architect H. H. Richardson examined the carpet at Durlacher and Marks, London. It has been suggested that Richardson was puchasing objects of decorative arts for his clients in the United States; members of the Ames family, including Frederick Lothrop Ames, were clients of Richardson's. See James F. O'Gorman, ed., "On vacation with H. H. Richardson," Archives of American Art Journal 19, no. 1 (1979), pp. 2-14. Whether Richardson in fact played a direct role in bringing the carpet to this country is not known.

[2] According to information provided by Mr. Torrey (Torrey, Bright and Capen) to the MFA, his firm sold the carpet to Mr. Ames, possibly in 1882.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Frederick L. Ames, in the name of Frederick L. Ames