Carpets from Islamic lands have been treasured for centuries on nearly every continent on earth. Prized by European monarchs and traded as far afield as Tibet and the Americas, these woven and knotted masterpieces are both distinguished works of art and revealing utilitarian objects that offer a rare glimpse of life in the Islamic world. Carpets from Islamic Lands features more than forty fine classical carpets held in the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, along with several important pre-Islamic carpet fragments. Friedrich Spuhler describes this spectacular collection in the context of the history of Islamic art, recounting the carpets' fascinating stories and celebrating their intricate designs and masterful craftsmanship. Including pictures of many carpets never before reproduced in print, and a few that may have been lost forever following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, this richly illustrated volume is essential reading for modern admirers of oriental carpets, and a treasure in its own right.
Preface by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah * Acknowledgments * Introduction: The 2,500-Year History of Oriental Carpets * PART I PRE- CLASSICAL CARPETS Chapter 1: Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Carpets * Carpets from the Sasanian period * The early Islamic pre-classical period * PART II CLASSICAL CARPETS Chapter 2: Egypt * Mamluk carpets * Chessboard carpets * Chapter 3: Turkey * Seljuq carpets * Anatolian animal carpets * Ottoman carpets * "Holbein" and "Lotto" carpets * Star Ushak and Medallion Ushak carpets * Multiple-niche carpets (saff) and prayer carpets * Early village rugs from Anatolia * "Transylvanian" carpets * Late prayer rugs and their reception in Western collections * Chapter 4: Persia: Safavid carpets: the workshops * Safavid carpets: dating * Safavid carpets: pattern types * Compartment carpets * Medallion carpets Vine-scroll carpets * Vase carpets * Garden carpets * Safavid velvets * Chapter 5: Caucasus * Dragon and flower carpets * Chapter 6: India * Mughal carpets: pattern groups * Vine- scroll carpets * Floral garden carpets * Animal carpets