• Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction at Christies

    Sale 7845

    Oriental Rugs and Carpets

    15 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 102



    Price Realised  


    Embroidered in long stitch on chequered cotton ground, partly corroded black, light stains, silk edging fraying
    6ft.2in. x 4ft.5in. (188cm. x 135cm.)

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    Two different embroidery techniques were employed in Caucasian and Azerbaijan embroideries, the cross-stitching and a diagonal long stitch. In the present rug the latter has been used (Jennifer Wearden, "A Synthesis of Contrasts", Hali, vol.59, pp.102-111). The long stitch allows to weavers to create softer and more fluid, almost naturalistic forms as can be seen here in the flowers, tendrils and the birds. These features are almost identical with those in two silk embroidered rugs sold in these Rooms, 6 April 2006, lot 107 and 27 October 2007, lot 56.
    They also share the black and white checked ground on which the pattern is stitched. It would seem likely that the reasoning behind this was a sort of guidance. The weaver frequently worked from a squared chart with the sketch of the design, against which they would have been able to match their work. It can be found only in a small number of published pieces.
    The design is one of those with the most curvilinear designs of very clear Safavid inspiration if not actual instruction. Wearden publishes three examples whose designs very clearly derive from Safavid textiles. (op.cit., pls. 8, 9, 10). In terms of drawing and iconography the present rug is one stage further removed from the high period of Safavid textile designs than those. Even if it - as well as the two sold ones in these Rooms - have features that they share with all the others, in style they certainly differ. This and the fact that the present example has a classic medallion make it possible that the origin is either South Caucasus (Karabagh?) or even in the Persian heartlands.

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