• Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction at Christies

    Sale 7845

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    15 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 99

    A LENKORAN RUNNER

    SOUTH CAUCASUS, FIRST HALF 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LENKORAN RUNNER
    SOUTH CAUCASUS, FIRST HALF 19TH CENTURY
    Very small areas of slight wear, corroded brown, minimal repiling, overall very good condition
    11ft.9in. x 3ft. (357cm. x 92cm.)


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    The big boldly drawn flowerheads flanked by smaller stylised flowering trees found in this runner are probably a reduced form of earlier "large floral carpets" such as the Cypress-patternend rug in the A. Beshar & Company, Inc collection, New York, illustrated in Charles Grant Ellis, Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, London 1988, p.145. The transformation of the main design elements of an originally much richer ornamented carpet can be seen by a comparison of both pieces: our flowerheads are a simplified variant of the Beshar astral flowerheads filled with little palmettes; the cypresses have disappeared and instead the originally delicately drawn flowering tendrils alternate with the flower heads; single little blossoms, rather stylised into lozenges, are scattered around the main motifs. It seems as if details have been separated from former motifs for example the small yellow windmill-like forms. Even the border of reciprocal trefoil design in each rug is identical.
    This exact type of border can be found in a group of early Lenkoran rugs (M. Volkmann, Alte Orientteppiche, Munich 1985, pp.168-69; Eberhart Herrmann, Seltene Orientteppiche X, Munich 1988, pp. 74-75; Ulrich Schürmann, Caucasian Rugs, Cologne 1964, pp. 174-75; James D. Burns, The Caucasus, Traditions in Weaving, Seattle 1987, p.13). These have the more common geometric Lenkoran field design. They are all dated to around 1800 or even earlier and were made of the same very fine, soft and lustrous, almost velvety wool as our rug. Our runner also shares exactly the same palette, and has a finely woven structure using light red-brown wefts that are also found on some of the better known Lenkoran rugs. This makes a date of the first half of the nineteenth century most probable for our beautifully present rug.

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