Deccani Embroidered Floor Cover
This Deccani embroidered floor cover was made in south-central India in the late 18th century out of silk, metal-wrapped thread, and cotton. It is a large rectangular spread, decorated with three borders of flowers around a rectangular ground filled with flowers. The floral and foliate motifs are embroidered in pinks, yellows, and greens on a ground of metallic-wrapped thread.
Floor coverings in this style were made by embroiderers in Deccan for the local sultanates as well as for export to Europe. One of the most common trade routes to Europe was through the Portuguese port in Goa, and so these textiles are sometimes mislabeled as being “Goan” or “Indo-Portuguese.” Deccani embroiderers tended to compose slightly different designs for the local market as opposed to the European market. If a floor cover was meant for a regional court, the embroiderers would take inspiration from Islamic book covers and include central and corner quarter medallions into the central rectangular ground. If a floor cover was meant for the European market, the embroiderer would usually just fill the central ground with floral motifs. This floor cover does not have central or corner medallions, and was therefore likely meant for the European market.
Circa: late 18th century
Origin: Deccan, India
Material: silk and metallic thread embroidery on cotton, silk backing
Condition: minor embroidery thread loss at narrow inner borders, loose fringe in some places, very good
Dimensions: 122" x 96"
Inventory number: TX4663