• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12454

    The Dani & Anna Ghigo Collection: Part II: Oriental Carpets, European Furniture, Works of Art & Tapestries, Chinese, Japanese & South East Asian Works of Art

    12 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 401

    A PART-COTTON ISFAHAN RUG

    CENTRAL PERSIA, LATE 16TH/EARLY 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PART-COTTON ISFAHAN RUG
    CENTRAL PERSIA, LATE 16TH/EARLY 17TH CENTURY
    With white cotton highlights, uneven overall wear, heavily corroded black and brown with associated repiling, missing selvages and knots missing at either end
    7 ft. 5 in. x 4 ft. 11 in. (226 x 150 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The red ground Isfahan carpets, such as the present lot, with scrolling arabesques terminating in palmettes set within an indigo or deep green border of similar palmettes, are the most commonly encountered group of 17th century Persian carpets to have survived to the present day. Their dating and popularity is attested by the number that can be see in paintings, particularly by the Dutch and Flemish artists of the period. Yet despite this there has been considerable discussion about their place of manufacture, reflected in the meaningless term 'Indo-Isfahan' by which they are sometimes recognised. This last term is a compromise between those who maintain they were made in Isfahan and those who support an Indian origin. Another common attribution for the group is to Herat, a city on the borders of Persia and Afghanistan. This, the great city of the Timurids which was suppressed by Shah Isma'il at the beginning of the sixteenth century, is also suggested in much of the early carpet literature, having originally been proposed by F. R Martin in A History of Oriental Carpets before 1800, Vienna, 1908, but its failure to recover from its sacking until far later than the sixteenth century is a strong argument against this.

    The rich palette of well saturated colours in the present lot typifies the earliest and best of this popular group. The use of white cotton within its design is also particularly effective in delineating individual motifs such as the stylised cloud bands and the two central palmettes. A closely related but fragmentary example with similarly crisp drawing, which was once part of the Bernheimer Collection of carpets, sold Christie's, London, 14 February 1996, lot 34. Another example, formerly in the William A. Clark collection and gifted to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., sold Sotheby's New York, 5 June 2013, lot 18. Neither of those examples however have quite the variety of colours as ours.