This velvet panel closely relates to a fine and large velvet hanging in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, dated to the reign of Shah Jahan (1628-1658), which is decorated with almost identical borders (inv. 41.190.256). The present piece is part of the border of a velvet panel now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In the later sixteenth and early seventeenth century there was a strong flow of artists and craftsmen from Iran to the Mughal Court, leading to a well documented strong Persian influence in the arts of early Mughal India. In the same way as the Safavids, the Mughal courts produced velvet carpets woven in coloured silks on a metal-thread ground. By the end of the seventeenth century however, much of the influence was travelling in the other direction, a process only speeded up by the plunder of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1748. Two superb quality Mughal pashmina carpets which are now in the Shrine of the Imam Reza at Mashhad were probably donated at this time. The most impressive of all is probably that in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Stuart Cary Welch, India, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1985, no.136, p.207). A number of fragments from a long velvet panel sold at Christie's, London25 April 2013, lot 180; 13 April 2013, lot 302 and 6 October 2009, lot 247.
magnificent Mughal velvet which now only survives in fragments was exhibited in Munich in 1910 and does not appear to have been published since (Meisterwerke Muhammedanischer Kunst, exhibition catalogue, Munich, 1910, pl.205). A border fragment from the same textile sold in Christie's, London, 8 April 2008, lot 300. Loaned by Mr Schutz in Paris it was attributed to 18th century Persia (Yezd). Another large panel of the same textile is in the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (L'Art Islamique dans la collection Calouste Gulbenkian, exhibition catalogue, Argel, Algeria, 2007, cover ilustration; also Arte do Oriente Islamico, Colecçao da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, 1963, no.82). Smaller panels from the field were sold by Bernheimer Fine Arts Ltd (advertisement in Hali 46, August 1989, p.4; and at Christie's, London, 22 April 1982, lot 118).