Agra carpet

Agra carpet

from northern India

circa 1800

Size: 333 x 180 cm


The Mughal presence in India was established by Babur a descendant of both Timur and Genghis Khan. His successor Humayun was not such an effective warrior and after successive defeats sought refuge in the Persian court of Shah Tahmasp where he enlisted help to return to power. His son Akbar became the greatest Mughal emperor. Although carpet weaving probably began earlier in India, under the Mughals it certainly flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries. The 18th century saw the decline of the Mughal Empire with the Afghan invasions and eventually, from the early 19th century, a considerable part of the former Mughal Empire came under the control the British East India Company.

This carpet is fragmented but dates from the early 1800s and features an interesting lattice design surrounded by unusual borders which may have been reduced. The palette is typically old Indian with deep Indigo dyed blue and sea green contrasted against a rich scarlet red field certainly dyed with the Indian insect dye Lac. A most interesting and beautiful carpet which was probably made in Agra.

Provenance: Egyptian private Estate, Alexandria.