Very Large Antique Portuguese Needlepoint Carpet
6.60 x 4.55 m
Portugal is home to one of Europe’s most longstanding and prestigious weaving traditions, serving as a center for the production of high-value, intricately designed carpets since at least the 15th century, supposedly originally introduced to the country by the Moors, during the period of Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula. Among Portugal’s textiles, perhaps none are as widely sought after as its needlepoint rugs – termed Arraiolos carpets – such as this antique example, dated to c. 1920s.
It features a wonderfully soft ivory ground, overlaid with delicate floral motifs, in tones of olive green and with pastel yellow accents – a restrained, understated composition, which lends this piece a real sense of balance and grace. The central field is framed by a wide, scrolling border of good proportion.
Retained in good practical condition for everyday use – rare of a carpet of its type and age – this is an especially fine example of its type, and of an impressively large format, well complemented by its spacious, open design; a beautiful piece, to suit a tasteful interior.