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17th-Century Indian carpet discovered in Dutch shipwreck

The carpet, made from silk and wool, is decorated with flowers and animals, including lions.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2016 19:05 IST
PTI, London
A shipwreck MV Plassy on Baltray beach in Louth, Ireland.(REUTERS/ Representative image)

Fragments of a carpet - likely made in the 17th century India - along with a silk gown and other royal artefacts have been discovered from a 400-year-old shipwreck near the Netherlands.

The carpet, made from silk and wool, is decorated with flowers and animals, including lions.

Based on the patterns, colours and weaving techniques, art historians concluded that the fabric was likely manufactured in Lahore, in present-day Pakistan, during the second quarter of the 17th century, researchers said.

Local divers found the Lahore carpet among other textiles in a shipwreck around Texel Island in the Wadden Sea, which was a heavily trafficked area during the Dutch Golden Age.

The shipwreck was covered in sand, resulting in unusually good preservation, researchers said.

“It’s almost like having the fragments of an original Rembrandt in front of you,” researchers were quoted as saying by the ‘Live Science’.

Earlier this year, the Kaap Skil museum in the Netherlands started displaying a complete silk gown that was also recovered from the wreck.

The dress had been preserved in a clothing box that was packed with many other items, including a cloak, stockings and bodices adorned with gold and silver thread.

Leather covers of books (the pages had disintegrated) were salvaged from the wreck. They bear the coat of arms of the English King Charles I, suggesting that perhaps the cargo onboard the ship belonged to the royal Stuart family.

The carpet fragments will be on display in an exhibition called “Diving into Details” until mid-February next year.

First Published: Dec 27, 2016 19:04 IST