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AN IMPORTANT SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD 'POLONAISE' CARPET
AN IMPORTANT SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD 'POLONAISE' CARPET
AN IMPORTANT SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD 'POLONAISE' CARPET
14 More
AN IMPORTANT SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD 'POLONAISE' CARPET
17 More
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTIONTHE POMMERSFELDEN 'POLONAISE' CARPET
AN IMPORTANT SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD 'POLONAISE' CARPET

ISFAHAN, CENTRAL PERSIA, FIRST QUARTER 17TH CENTURY

Details
AN IMPORTANT SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD 'POLONAISE' CARPET
ISFAHAN, CENTRAL PERSIA, FIRST QUARTER 17TH CENTURY
Considerable silk pile, corroded and oxidised silver and gold metal-thread, original selvages, each end with complete braided and metal embroidered kilims, overall very good condition
6ft.5in. x 4ft.7in. (201cm. x 145cm.)
Provenance
With the Saxon Elector and later King of Poland Augustus the Strong
Reputedly gifted in 1695 to Lothar Franz von Schonborn, Prince-Elector and Archbishop of Mainz, Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Collection of the princely Counts of Schönborn-Wiesentheid in Schloss Weißenstein, Pommersfelden, Bavaria
On loan to the Royal Ontario Museum Toronto, Canada, from the 1970's
Private Swiss Collection
Literature
Wilhelm Schonath (Hg.), 250 Jahre Schloß Pommersfelden (1718 - 1968). Mit einem Lebensbild des Kurfürsten Lothar Franz von Schönborn von Max H. von Freeden, Würzburg 1968 (AK Schloß Pommersfelden, 14.6.-15.9.1968).
Alois Riegl, 'Beschreibung der abgebildeten Teppiche», in: Orientalische Teppiche. Mit Unterstützung des k.k. Handelsministeriums und des k.k. Ministeriums für Cultus und Unterricht [bearbeitet von Alois Riegl], K.K. Handels-Museum (Hg.), Wien-London-Paris 1892 [1894], 1-22.
Friedrich Spuhler, Seidene Repräsentationsteppiche der mittleren bis späten Safawidenzeit. Die sog. Polenteppiche, Berlin 1968 (Diss.: Freie Universität).
Exhibited
O¨sterreichisches Handelsmuseum, Katalog der Ausstellung orientalischer Teppiche K.K. O¨sterr. Handels-Museum, 1891
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.
Specifed lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square ( ¦ ) not collected from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London SW1Y 6QT by 5.00 pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Crown Fine Art (details below). Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent ofsite. If the lot is transferred to Crown Fine Art, it will be available for collection from 12.00 pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crown Fine Art. All collections from Crown Fine Art will be by prebooked appointment only.

Brought to you by

Louise Broadhurst
Louise Broadhurst International Head of Department Oriental Rugs and Carpets

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Lot Essay

There is a major development of carpet design in 'Polonaise' carpets. Until this point Persian carpets would have one colour for the ground of the field, maybe another for the medallion, and maybe another, or, rarely, a reciprocal design of two colours, for the border. The earliest Kashan silk and metal thread carpets follow the same concept, usually with monochrome metal-thread fields (Arthur Upham Pope, A Survey of Persian Art, Oxford, 1938, pls.1242 and 1243 for example). Very shortly after this the designers began using the irregularly shaped panels formed by the scrolling arabesques to create different fields, each of which would have a different ground colour, a technique already long established in manuscript illumination. The field design of this carpet demonstrates this feature very well. The bisected cartouche panels around the edges are filled with a mushroom-brown silk while the remaining field is a complex arrangement of silver and gold interlocking segments that are overlaid with a fine lattice of leafy vine and delicate arabesques. These differently coloured metal brocaded segments were probably more marked when the rug was first made but is more clearly visible in the hand coloured illustration in Riegl, 1982, pl. XXIII; Nr. 32 (Beschreibung in vol. I, Tafel in vol. II).

The reciprocal trefoil pattern border seen here is relatively common amongst the group however the striking appearance of the contrasting red silk, which remains in remarkably high pile is most unusual. In many instances, the red dye used at the time has proved fugitive and in many cases has faded to a pale tan colour. A carpet with a very similar field design and the same coloured reciprocal border can be seen in the Museo Nazionale del Palazzo de Venezia, Rome, gifted by a Mrs Henrietta Tower Wurts in 1933, (I. Sabatini, ‘Polonaise Carpets in Baroque Rome’, Oriental Carpet & Textile Studies, VII, ICOC, 2011, pp.100, fig.1). Other examples that display the same border are in; the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna (F. Sarre and H. Trenkwald, Altorientalische Teppiche, Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna/Leipzig, 1926/28, vol.1, pl.71, pp.204-5; the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin (F. Sphuler, Oriental Carpets in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin, London and Boston, 1988, no.85, p.84, ill.p.226) and in the Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, (F.R.Martin, A History of Oriental Carpets before 1800, Stockholm, 1908, pl.12).
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