• Gordon Watson: The Collector  auction at Christies

    Sale 12941

    Gordon Watson: The Collector

    13 October 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 133

    AN ISFAHAN RUG

    CENTRAL PERSIA, SECOND HALF 17TH CENTURY

    Estimate

    AN ISFAHAN RUG
    CENTRAL PERSIA, SECOND HALF 17TH CENTURY
    Uneven areas of wear, scattered restoration, some loss to all four sides
    7 ft. 4 in. x 4 ft. 5 in. (224 cm. x 135 cm.)


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    The export of Safavid spiraling vine carpets became so profitable by the mid-17th century, that they were deemed amongst the most sought-after luxury commodity in Europe and held the same status when collected by the wealthy entrepreneurs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are many variants of the design and differences in the weave of existing examples however most are based on a system of tendrils arranged symmetrically on either side of the central vertical axis, incorporating large palmettes with shaped outlines across a field which is usually a burgundy shade of red. The borders are either dark green or blue and include vines of a variety of intricacy and exuberance of design. The field of the present example is relatively common but the border design of paired scrolled arabesques is much less so, but can be found on an example offered in these Rooms, 10 October 2008, lot 37.

    For a fuller discussion on this group of carpets see Friedrich Spühler, Oriental Carpets in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin, London & Boston, 1988, pp. 68-87, Spiral-tendril (Vine Scroll) Carpets (Cat nos. 79-83), pp. 74, 81-82, and particularly Cat. No. 79, pg. 81, fig. 79, pg. 221, for a Spiral-Tendril carpet, 17th century (254 x 142 cm.) (Inv. No. 75, 196, transferred to the Kunstgewerbemuseum in 1875).

    Special Notice

    Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s by 5.00 pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Cadogan Tate. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table. These will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. If the lot is transferred to Cadogan Tate, it will be available for collection from 12 noon on the second business day following the sale. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00am to 5.00pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's London, 9 April 2014, lot 221.