Needlework with Polylobed Medallion and Confronting Leopards

Circa 1600
Arraiolos, Portugal
294 cm x 152 cm
9'7" x 4'11"

This magnificent blue ground early Arraiolos needlepoint displays a polylobed central medallion clearly inspired by the so called ‘Star Variant’ 15th/16th Century Ushak rugs, being protected at the top and bottom by a pair of confronting leopards, as sometimes seen on early Safavid weavings. The field is embellished by a plethora of motifs, including vases of flowering carnations rendered in the Ottoman style. The corner spandrels are instead decorated by a blossom palmette characteristic of the Arraiolos tradition, as is the elaborate cartouche-type border.

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