Sorry for the History Channel-style Hitler-hook for this entry, but in exploring the floral motifs of Persian carpets I discovered…
“The earliest surviving of the Persian carpets from this period, prior to the Mongol invasion, is of a Safavid (1501–1736) carpet known as the Ardabil Carpet, currently in V&A Museum in London. (There is another in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well.) This most famous of Persian carpets has been the subject of endless copies ranging in size from small carpets to full scale carpets. There is an ‘Ardabil’ at 10 Downing Street and even Hitler had an ‘Ardabil’ in his office in Berlin.”
The carpet was likely a royal commission and, measuring 34′ 6″ x 17′ 6″, would likely have taken four years to complete!
“The large central medallion is characteristic of carpets woven in Tabriz (North West Persia) and the fantastic design of the ground of the carpet consisting of two layers of swirling leaves, stems and flowers is typical of the art of the early Safavid dynasty.”
“The completion of the carpets was marked by a four-line inscription placed at one end. The first two lines are a poetic quotation that refers to the shrine as a place of refuge:
‘Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world.
Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.’
If you’re interested in more about “Style in Islamic Art”, the V&A has a nice website.