• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7572

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    10 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 119



    Price Realised  


    Holed, corroded brown, extremities missing, backed
    5ft.9in. x 5ft.4in. (175cm. x 163cm.)

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    This is a most unusual rug. In design it appears to have no close parallel. It uses long soft fleecy pile, and yet has a tight structure with ivory warps and two shoots of Z1 red or red-brown wefts. The colouring is completely different from the export carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries, its love of closely juxtaposed different red tones is typical of village rugs. The main border however is of a design not otherwise known, at least as clearly drawn as here, outside the 16th century classical export carpets. A good example of the border can be found for example on a well-known sixteenth century "keyhole" prayer rug sold in these Rooms by Davide Halevim (14 February 2001, lot 116). Various elements indicate that the drawing here is entirely purposeful. Why then are the medallions staggered, so that each row has two and a half, and yet the weaver has made sure that the rows do not line up at all with the one below? And why is the tonality of almost all the rug relatively muted, but the three blue and white panels in the field really stand out? Each is at the end of its line, giving a rhythm to the field.

    In some ways the field design could be a precursor of the similarly proportioned Konya rugs with three rows of three square medallions. The motifs within each octagon have many of the same elements. If this is the case, then we today, like the weaver of the later Konya rugs, have lost the significance of the subtleties woven into the present rug

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the date in the catalogue is incorrect and should read 16TH/17TH CENTURY.


    Christopher Alexander; A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art, New York and Oxford, 1993, pp.306-307