Jaipur Safavid Garden Carpet

THE CARPET COLLECTION of Albert Hall Jaipur Museum includes this 'Persian Garden Carpet' (pictured here is the first photo of the entire carpet assembled by our RUGDEALER, Shervin Ghorbany), and it is the best and earliest of all such Persian Garden Carpets existing in the world. It was purchased in the time of Mirza Raja Jai Singh I in 1632 A.D. The theme is 'Char- Bagh' / four gardens, showing a tank at the center with animals catching fish from all sides and garden plots in five colours. It's place of origin is believed to be Karman (?) in Persia, a great carpet making center in the early part of the 17th century.

The carpet depicts a formal Persian garden, divided by streams into four main garden sections. These are further subdivided into two or more sections with smaller garden plots. There is a pavilion that has a blue dome and richly decorated interior with a throne, from which the Emperor could enjoy a view of the splendid garden. The garden and orchards within are supplied with water from the central tank, with two big ponds on either side of it by the main channel. The channel motif appears to have been inspired by the system introduced by Shah Abbas the Great (1526-1628) in and around his capital. It was known as the 'Isfahan Channel System'.

The central tank as picturised, shows fish, duck, turtles and some fabulous Chinese animals. Ferocious beasts appear to break the serenity and peace of the garden when a stag-kylon is cought in the jaw of a lion-kylon. Other ferocious animals include a Chinese monster and a fabulous dragon devouring a fish. As every animal is preying upon another the fish too turn aggressive biting stags and birds. Avenues and orchards of flowering and fruit laden trees adorn the channels and plots, full of birds on the ground, in the air and in nests. 

While the ground colour of the avenues and much of the carpet is red, the groups of square garden plots around the central tank are in five colours. The group of four garden plots at the top and bottom are in four colours. The chequework of varied coloured plots is a unique feature of the carpet and contribute to its incomparable magnificence. The warps are of cotton knotted fourfold, while the weft threads are brown wool and silk knotted twofold. The carpet is 28'4”x12'4” in size. Text is cited from the museum site itself.