Featured Object: A Causasian Dragon Carpet

Among the exhibits at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum’s, “Highlights of the Bruschettini Collection” in 2017 was this 16th century Caucasian dragon carpet from the Nagorno-Karabakh region in southwest Caucasus.

Caucasus ‘dragon’ carpet, Nagorno-Karabakh, southwest Caucasus. Circa 1500-1550. Wool pile on a wool foundation. 2.10 x 5.16 m. The Bruschettini Collection, Genoa.

Dubbed as the Simonetti-Bardini carpet (after its former owners), it is one of the oldest and finest of its kind. The image of the dragon, once believed to have originated from 15th century Iran, actually dates to decades, if not centuries earlier. The oldest and best examples, of which this carpet stands at the pinnacle, have enormous vigour that retains their original ‘magic’.

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