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    Sale 11939

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    18 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 74



    Price Realised  


    RECTO inscribed and erroneously dated AH 1027/1617-18 AD, a couple of small cobbled repairs, one end slightly frayed, original metal-thread bound selvages, overall excellent condition
    5ft.8in. x 4ft.3in. (172cm. x 128cm.)

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    The inscription is somewhat indecipherable but what can be read is as follows;

    … sahib-qiran shah ‘abbas (?) …. bandeh-ye dargah … 1027
    “… Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction Shah ‘Abbas (?) … slave of the court … 1027(1617-18).”

    The inscription must have been copied from an imperial inscription by an illiterate artisan in the 19th century.

    Double-sided rugs are highly unusual with very little documented material published on them and with few examples ever appearing at auction. On one side the design of the present rug shows a large scalloped, lobed medallion with a fan-shaped cresting above, resting on what appears to be an urn-like base below. The reverse bears a somewhat angular interpretation of a Safavid ‘Vase’ design with a two-plane lattice of linked palmettes and flowering vines framed by flowering prunus trees. Both sides use the same palette of rich golden-yellow, rust-orange and corn-flower blue but within two different designs. The two sides of a smaller double-sided silk Heriz rug, sold in Sotheby’s London, The Toms Collection: Oriental and European Rugs and Carpets Volume II, 7 June 1995, lot 46, each have the same overall design but differ in colour. A third example, a double-sided silk rug, this time from Kashan, sold with Sotheby’s New York, 1 June 2006, lot 26. It shows two prayer niches in the field which are loosely related to each other in terms of the basic architecture but differ in design and have very different border designs and colour palettes. Later examples of double-sided rugs were more often woven in wool. There is no published example which is made in both wool and silk.

    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.


    Robert J. Stokes Collection
    Sotheby's New York, 30 & 31 October 1981, lot 339
    Anon. sale in these Rooms, 18 April 1985, lot 137

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the Gulf Cooperation Council has imposed a ban on the importation of Iranian goods to or via its member states.  Some of the member states are enforcing the ban strictly such as Saudi Arabia.  Please check with your shippers on whether you will be able to ship Iranian artworks to the GCC member states.