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A NORTH WEST PERSIAN RUNNER
A NORTH WEST PERSIAN RUNNER

LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Details
A NORTH WEST PERSIAN RUNNER
LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Full pile throughout, corroded dark brown, minor repairs, selvages rebound
19ft. x 3ft.6in. (578cm. x 107cm.)

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Jason French
Jason French

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Lot Essay

This very attractive yellow ground runner is dominated by an ascending column of repeating stepped palmettes that are enclosed within an angular vine within a classic mock-kufic border. This design appears to stem from earlier Caucasian 'Dragon and Phoenix' carpets and is closely related to an example in the Musée du Louvre, Paris which combines a serrated flaming palmette with a 'Dragon' rug palmette (Charles Grant Ellis, Early Caucasian Rugs, Washington D.C, 1976, fig.19, pp.21-22). The vertically rising columns of serrated palmettes also resemble the earlier linked serrated cypress motifs as seen on an 18th century Karabagh carpet formerly in the John D. McIlhenny Collection, now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (C.G. Ellis, Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Great Britain, 1988, pl.45, p.144). The present runner can also be related to a very small group of 18th century Caucasian runners which have an endless repeat design on either an ivory or dark brown field which are discussed by Michael Franses (Orient Stars: A Carpet Collection, Stuttgart and London, 1993, p.92). Connected to each ascending central hooked flower head on those rugs, are a large pair of flanking serrated hooked leaves around which there are scattered small ornaments and flower heads. Those flanking elements have since been re-scaled in our runner and have become small downward facing split-palmettes, but the strong vertical rising movement of the palmettes, connected by a rigid thick vertical stem that runs throughout each runner, remains the same. A long rug of very similar design and colouring is described as the 'Bakshaish Dragon and Phoenix Rug' by James D. Burns, Visions of Nature, New York, pl.13, pp.60-61.

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