“Polonaise” carpet, 17th c.
When, in 1878, a carpet similar to this one was exhibited in Paris, it was assumed that the coats of arms woven into the rug were Polish and that the rug was made in Poland. It was later recognized that this group, distinguished by a silk pile and metallic brocading, was Persian, made during and after the reign of Shah cAbbas I, beginning around the end of the sixteenth or early seventeenth century. The name, however, persisted, and more than 200 examples still bear the name. Many pairs of the type, as here, also survive.