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Property from the Flint Institute of Arts Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund


Central Persia, 17th Century
Approximately 24 ft. 2 in. x 9 ft. 6 in. (736 x 290 cm.)
Mrs. Marie Tabbagh, Paris, April 1947
With French and Co., New York, until sold in 1958 to
Mrs. Bray and later bequeathed in 1961

Lot Essay

The present lot is a distinctive example of a classic Isfahan "in and out palmette" design, the most familiar group of 17th century Persian carpets that have survived to the present day. Evidence from European inventories and depictions in paintings indicates that they were first woven in the late 16th century, becoming very prevalent in the course of the 17th century when they were extremely popular with the nobility and upper class in Europe.
There are many variants of the design and differences in the structure throughout this group. Our example is noted by the delicacy and intricacy of the swirling vines, intensity and variety of dyes used, together with excellent soft wool. The guard borders are unusual with the triad of small blossoms on the same vine of a single, larger palmette. This same guard border can be seen on an very similar example formerly in a Canadian collection sold at Christie's London, 17 October 1996, lot 404. The present lot is in exceptional condition for this type and is a magnificent testament to the extraordinary accomplishments of the Safavid court weavers.

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