The knot count is approximately 8V x 7H per cm. sq.
Since its purchase, the present lot has been resident in Cranlana, an historic house in the suburb of Toorak, Melbourne, Australia. The first building was erected on this site at the beginning of the twentieth century and was later bought and developed by the Myer family, well-known for founding Australia’s largest chain of department stores and for their subsequent philanthropic work. The youngest child of Sidney and Dame Merlyn Myer, Lady Southey, was a director of the Myer Family Companies from the mid 1950’s until she retired in December 1999. In 1999, Lady Southey was made a Companion of the order of Australia (AC) for her service to the community in the support of health care, medical research and the arts and assumed office as the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Victoria on 1 January 2001 until 2006.
For a carpet of such impressive proportions the present lot has been very finely woven, allowing for an unusually intricate and well-drawn design which draws heavily from Safavid weavings. The 17th century Tabriz medallion carpets with their cartouches linked to a central medallion surrounded by flowering vines, palmettes and hunting scenes are a clear inspiration, and even the figures are clad in Safavid costume. Where the elegantly-drawn scrolling vines of the Safavid examples classically terminate in split palmettes, such as one published by Arthur Upham Pope (A Survey of Persian Art: From Prehistoric Times to the Present, vol.VI, pl.1137, pp.1138-1139), in the present lot they are exchanged with a host of creatures reminiscent of those found on a Waq Waq tree, a theme more commonly encountered in the silk weavings of North West Persia.