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    Sale 11939

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    18 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 120

    AN AGRA CARPET

    NORTH INDIA, MID 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN AGRA CARPET
    NORTH INDIA, MID 19TH CENTURY
    Finely woven, a couple of small splits, localised spots of repiling and repair, overall good condition
    13ft.10in. x 11ft.10in. (420cm. x 360cm.)


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    By the beginning of the 19th century much of the Indian carpet industry had become almost obsolete but the inclusion of several Indian pile carpets in London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 sparked its revival. Private workshops sprung up across the country and by 1962 the British Imperial government had set up a number of jail workshops in the Punjab. There is a clear and continuous progression evident in the design and construction of the 19th century Indian carpets; an early example that anticipates the later ‘jail’ production sold in these Rooms, 17 October 1996, lot 401. What unites this substantial group is their predilection to the 16th and 17th century cloudband and palmette designs of the Safavid and Mughal traditions. The renaissance in Indian production was buoyed by the weaver’s exposure to these designs through the carpets of the Maharaja of Jaipur and the collection in Bijapur and later, the publication of lavish carpet reference books with hand-coloured plates (Ian Bennet, Jail Birds, London, 1987, no.5). The present lot is grouped within the midpoint of 19th century Agra production, distinguished by the bold scale of drawing in both the field and border, the fine weave and, in particular, the vibrant colouring. Two larger examples of the group with linked arabesque borders sold in Sotheby’s London, The Toms Collection: Oriental and European Rugs and Carpets Volume II, 7 June 1995, lot 48 and in these Rooms, 25 April 2002, lot 100. A further feature these examples share with the present lot is a mirrored design, which creates an attractive balance, but also allowed the workshops to create carpets on almost any dimension. Two slightly smaller examples that have manipulated this field design to produce a square format sold in these Rooms, 13 October 2005, lot 65 and 7 October 2014, lot 47. Our carpet seems unique in its use of burnt orange for the main ground colour, the previously referenced examples do exhibit it in their detailing but prefer crimson or plum shades of red for the field. When this orange is contrasted against shades of yellow, ice-blue, pink, red and green, our carpet is able to offer a vibrancy that is hitherto unrivalled.

    Special Notice

    These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. This VAT is not shown separately on the invoice. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.
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