There are two Ardabil carpets. The larger one is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the smaller one is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Both carpets were originally made for the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in Ardabil, Iran, in the 16th century. The London carpet is the largest and best-known Persian carpet in the world. It measures 34 feet 3 inches by 17 feet 6 7/8 inches (1,044 cm by 535.5 cm). The Los Angeles carpet is smaller, measuring 23 feet 7 inches by 13 feet 11 1/2 inches (718.82 cm by 400.05 cm). Both carpets are made of wool and silk, and are woven in a complex knotted technique. The designs of the carpets are based on Islamic geometric patterns. The Ardabil carpets are considered to be masterpieces of Persian carpet weaving.
The Ardabil Carpets were acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in the late 19th century, and are now considered to be one of the most prized possessions in the museum’s collection. They have been on display to the public since 2006, and are regarded as a masterpiece of Persian art and culture.
In 2006, the Museum created the vast display case in the centre of the Jameel Gallery, so that the carpet can be seen as intended, on the floor. It is lit for ten minutes on the hour and half hour, in order to preserve its rich colours.
Images of the two carpets are below. Differences are more than just size…