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AN ISFAHAN CARPET
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AN ISFAHAN CARPET
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Descrizione dell'oggetto

AN ISFAHAN CARPET\nCENTRAL PERSIA, LATE 16TH CENTURY\nLocalised light wear, scattered small restorations and repiling, selvages rebound, backed\n24ft. x 9ft.11in. (731cm. x 300cm.)
GB
GB
GB

notes

Evidence from European inventories and depictions in paintings indicates that red ground carpets with the "in and out palmette" design were first woven in the late 16th century, becoming more prevalent during the course of the 17th century, but being almost completely out of fashion by the end of that century. For a brief overview of the group please see The Bernheimer Family Collection of Carpets, Christie's , London, 14 February, 1996, introductory section, pp.15-16. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries they were very much back in popularity when their jewel-like qualities were prized by European families such as the Rothschild family. Further afield their appreciation was even stronger in the States by such powerful figures as the Fricks, Pierpont Morgan, and shortly thereafter the Fords and Rockefellers, all assiduously encouraged by the great Duveen who in turn is recorded as the purchaser of most of those that came up for sale at Christie's at the time. The strength of their market was such that in the December 1925 sale of The V. and L. Benguiat Private Collection of Rare old Rugs two Isfahan carpets sold for the astonishing prices of $75,000 and $78,000, achieving more than for any Mamluk, Damascus, Sanguszko, Polonaise or Cairene rug in the same sale.

It is the earliest of the carpets of this design, of which this is certainly one, that are the most impressive. Woven on silk warps, they use a very wide range of very rich colours which, due to its exceptional condition, still retain their original brilliance. The drawing shown in the present carpet is as strong as the colours. The field has wonderfully bodl palmettes including the unusual feature of green palmettes at each end which are drawn slightly on the curve, giving a greater sense of movement to the design than is normally encountered. The minor borders are also very impressively executed and link the carpet to two very well known classical carpets. The inner guard stripe of linked cartouches on this lot is similar, but with more complex detailing allowed by the greater scale to that on the sixteenth century Enzenberg spiral-vine carpet (Friedrich Spuhler, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Carpets and Textiles, London, 1998, No. 20, pp.100-101). The outer guard stripe of linked miniature cloud-bands is most unusual to find in Isfahan carpets. It is found in other media of the period, particularly, usually without the subsidiary palmettes, as a frequent border on sixteenth century lacquer bookbindings (Jon Thompson and Sheila R, Canby, Hunt for Paradise, Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-1576, exhbition catalogue, New York and Milan, 2003, pp.184-201). It does however bear a very close resemblance to that on two of the most famous of all classical carpets, the Animal Carpets of Leopold I, generally known as the 'Emperor's Carpets'. One of thesee is still in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna (Angela Völker, Die orientalischen Knüpfteppiche im MAK, Vienna, 2001, no.80, pp.224-229); the pair sold in these Rooms 5 July 1928 for £23,100 (at that time even more than the dollar prices noted above) and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (M.S. Dimand and Jean Mailey, Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973, no.12, p.100, fig.76, p.140).

title

AN ISFAHAN CARPET

exhibited

Brooklyn Museum, New York, 1996-1998

department

Rugs & Carpets

dimensions

24ft. x 9ft.11in. (731cm. x 300cm.)

literature

Hali, September 1996, Issue 88, pp.106-7

provenance

The Wildenstein Family Collection

Sotheby's Monaco, Collection of Monsieur Akram Ojjeh, 26 June 1979, lot 96 to the present vendor


*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.

*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.


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