Weight for a Floor Covering (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

18th century
Decorative Arts
calcite alabaster, glass, carnelian, agate, lapis lazuli, resinous bedding material
probably Agra, Uttar Pradesh, North India, India
Overall: 3 3/4 × 3 3/8 × 3 3/8 in. (9.53 × 8.57 × 8.57 cm)
During the hotter months, Indians used lightweight fabric floor coverings known as summer carpets. Heavy weights at their corners kept these carpets from blowing away or moving when someone stepped or sat on them. Such weights were also used to hold down thin, green textiles traditionally draped over the cenotaphs of Muslim saints. This alabaster example is inlaid with thin slivers of precisely carved hard stones. Similar pietra dura (hard stone) inlays are found on the Taj Mahal.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Stanley Abercrombie & Sherrill Whiton, Interior Design and Decoration (Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008) p. 206, color ill. no. 10-18.

Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 183, pp. 411, 520)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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