The design of this embroidered and appliqué hanging draws on the layout of a traditional Persian carpet, with a central medallion set within a series of borders which are decorated with rosettes, floral sprays, vines and other motifs.

The hanging is of a type attributed to the textile centre of Resht, in north-west Iran. It is made from woven wool cloth augmented by finely applied appliqué work and silk embroidery. The hanging may have been made as an individual piece or as part of an ensemble which was used as the decorative lining of a tent.

Embroideries from Resht are rare in western museums. This example now joins the Ashmolean’s extensive collection of Islamic textiles.


The textile was brought to England in 1845 from Persia, by George Joseph Bell, B.M. Balliol, K.C.L.S. (c.1812–46); by descent to his nephew, Lieutenant- General Sir Treffry Thompson, (1888–1979); thence by descent.

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