Asian & Islamic
Prior to the 19th century, textiles were of an importance that is difficult for us to fully appreciate today, particularly since these precious textiles are now relatively rare and difficult to obtain. For rulers and their courts in the Far and Middle East, Central Asia and Europe, they were crucial to ceremonial and court life and their splendour and beauty were a visible display of wealth and power. Their impact was not limited to the court, however, as many were also an important means of trade and diplomacy and were made for export for specific markets: textiles were a major industry and significant commodity.
Our Asian and Islamic textile collection has included pieces from the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal courts of the 16th and 17th century, as well as a range of textiles from Central, South and South-East Asia and North Africa, dating from the 7th to the 19th century. Regardless of their origin, we have always sought to handle museum-quality textiles that best illustrate the aesthetic and craftsmanship of their time.
Listed below are links to Museums with collections of Asian and Islamic textiles.