Carpet Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Any organisation which had supplied work such as the Carpet of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque would wish to sign the work. The company which created the mosque’s principal carpet managed to do just that and wove into the carpet their details.

Carpet of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Carpet – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

The high density of thread in the Grand Mosque Carpet , over 250 knots per sq inch, and extraordinary craftswomanship together with the size (at its creation the carpet was several times larger than any other Persian carpet) and cohesive design make this carpet probably the most important Persian Carpet created in modern times.

Dome Sheikh Lutfallah - Isfahan - Iran
Dome Sheikh Lutfallah – Isfahan – Iran

Update – I include this carpet in more detail along with other areas of the mosque in my book Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque available as an eBook on Amazon either within Kindle or as a Paperback.

Part of the carpet’s central design is a reference to the interior design of the dome of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan. This reference encloses and is surrounded by floral designs of Acanthus, Carnation and Vine that are comparable to those used on the Ardabil Carpet at the V&A. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque’s carpet covers a finished area of 4343 sqmeters and was created with a number of individual pieces in Iran and invisibly joined inside the mosque with some extra work to adjust the carpet around the columns.

The Ardabil Carpet - V&A - London
The Ardabil Carpet – V&A – London

It’s not unusual for the creator of an important carpet to ‘sign’ their work, most famously the Ardabil Carpet.

The V&A Ardabil carpet was one of a pair made for the enlarged shrine of Safi al-Din Ardabili around 1540AD. It has a silk backing and wool pile at 330knots per inch, the twin is even higher at up to 420 knots per inch . Both carpets were damaged and then sold by the shrine after it suffered an earthquake after 1873, in order to pay for its restoration. The buyer was Ziegler & Co of Manchester who used one carpet to repair the other. This repaired carpet was then purchased by the V&A while the other, eventually, was acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and repaired with modern work.

The Ardabil Carpet - V&A - Signature
The Ardabil Carpet – V&A – Signature

The Persian signature gives the creator as Maqsud Kashani and the date 946 in the Islamic calendar, which is equivalent to AD 1539 – 1540.

Carpet signature - Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Carpet signature – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

In the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the script is Arabic giving the date of creation both in Islamic date 1417-1420 and Gregorian 1997-2000, the location as Mashad and the creator the Iran Carpet Company.

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman – edition 4