Mughal emperors of India are a sign of architecture and art. They had made monuments that are still a sign of beauty and unforgettable architecture. From Taj Mahal of Agra to the Badshahi mosque of Lahore and then Fort of Jahagir, there is a series of historical buildings and monuments spread in south Asia, presently known as two separate countries of India and Pakistan. Almost all of the people know about architectural creativities of Mughal kings and prince, a few of them knows that like all other forms of art, Mughal has laid a very striking impact on rug making.
There are rugs made by Mughal emperor shah Jahan still present in the world.
Shah Jahan and rug making:
Shah Jahan was a Mughal emperor who ruled subcontinent in 17th century B.C. at that time subcontinent was a very big state that contain today’s India, Pakistan, Bangladesh a few parts of Iran and Baluchistan. Shah Jahan was great fond of carpet industry of that time now spread in India as well as Pakistan simultaneously. There are rugs made in the era of Shah Jahan still preserved at Frick collection. The rugs are made in finest quality and are a true sign of Mughal interest in promoting art and Muslim culture.
These rugs were made in 1650 in Lahore, now part of Pakistan. Rugs are made mostly with silk threads and are finely knotted with very skilled hands no doubt. Along with silk there are also threads of pashmina knotted on weft and warp. Pashmina is a kind of wool taken from underbelly of Himalayan mountain goats. According to the experts there are 100 knots per square inch, this indicates that each carpet would have taken almost 10-30 years in completion.
According to the professionals working at Frick both of the rugs seems to come from personnel collections of Shah Jahan. Both of the rugs are probably produced at royal factory Lahore. One of the rug is larger whereas other one is smaller.
Color and designs of the rugs:
According to the New York Times, larger rug contain pattern of tree with tall pointed cypresses and blossoming fruit trees surrounded by realistically rendered prim roses, lilies, tulips and carnations. The smaller one is decorated with roses, lilies and narcissuses. Whereas the colors used in both of the rugs include intense cranberry, red, pale pink, moss green, pale yellow and white. Even after times and years both of the rugs still retain their vibrant colors.
Travel of the rugs:
Travel of the rugs from sub continent to Frick collection is a very interesting story. Shah Jahan made these rugs for his own palace; later on after the larger rug was completed Shah Jahan donated it to a mosque. The mosque is an ancient tomb mosque situated in Ardabil, Persia. It was present there almost for a century till the westerners started hunt for Persian rugs. Between 1800-1892 this carpet was then sold to Robinson and company by the mosque authorities. It is said that although the rug was made in subcontinent, mosque authorities sold it as a Persian rug.