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    Sale 7616

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    10 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 168

    A SILK AND METAL-THREAD KASHGAR CARPET

    EAST TURKESTAN, LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SILK AND METAL-THREAD KASHGAR CARPET
    EAST TURKESTAN, LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Localised wear, corroded brown, reduced in length at one end, some repair in metal-work, small hole at one end of field, selvages slightly frayed
    8ft.9in. x 6ft.2in. (266cm. x 188cm.)


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    A silk piled carpet using the same silver and gold metal-thread ground as the present lot appeared in an auction held by the American Art Association in New York of the V. & L. Benguiat Collection of, "Rare Old Rugs, Tapestries and Textiles", 4-5 December 1925, lot 54. Although slightly larger in size and with a more formal and structured lattice design than the present lot, there are many similarities between the two. A second example but of a much larger size appeared in the same sale (lot 70) and was catalogued as a "Unique Mongolian Palace Rug".

    A further example appeared at auction in the same rooms, 19-22 November, 1930, lot 740. It was catalogued as an "Imperial Khotan carpet", circa 1700. The border on the present carpet is much better balanced with the field than that of the other carpet however. Despite the early confusion as to the exact attribution of provenance, all four carpets, including the present lot, have the same subtle blues, greens and yellows in their palette with a large proportion of costly gold and silver metal-thread.

    Michael Franses discusses this particular group of floral carpets in his article 'Silk Pile Covers from Western China' First Under Heaven: The Art of Asia, Hali Annual Four, 1997, pp. 103-104. Although their designs are very different, he notes the similarities between the soft colouring found in the carpets of this group, which is particularly predominant in the present lot, to that of a group of early 17th century Isfahan carpets known as 'Polonaise'. Franses also notes, that unlike the present example, many of the early Kashgar pieces were woven in wool.

    An excerpt written by an 18th century contemporary, published by Hans Bidder, (Carpets from Eastern Turkestan, Tübingen, 1964, p.24) records that,
    "..In the Turki city of Kashgar there live in great luxury many courtesans,.....there are also other more respectable people who excel in the weaving of silk carpets embroidered in gold and silver, and of five-coloured pile carpets".

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