A Material World

Too many times we overlook the obvious and assume that what lies on the surface is all there is. But there may be stories lurking in plain sight right below your feet.

Enter the humble carpet, a common object which humanity has been trampling over for hundreds, arguably thousands, of years. Though it acts as a barrier to cold floors, even hangs on the walls of many homes, the carpet is often a repository of ancient and arcane iconology. Thus, without knowing it, we often tread over centuries of stories told and retold in a kind of woven visual book.

Our ancestors were far more visual than we were. They learned to read in pictures first since literacy wouldn’t spread widely until much later. That meant that the rug weavers of old worked in symbols and pictures, often using carpets as a means to tell a story or hint at at secrets and beliefs.

One such carpet features in my new Phoebe McCabe thriller, The Carpet Cipher, and thought it profiles a carpet painted into a commemorative wedding scene, the Renaissance master was tasked with a mission not uncommon in Renaissance art: to hide something of great value in plain sight. Welcome to The Agency of the Ancient Lost and Found, a new thriller series featuring an art historian with a penchant for textiles. And trouble.

 

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