A SILK KASHGAR CARPET
A SILK KASHGAR CARPET
A SILK KASHGAR CARPET
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Specifed lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fill… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE HANS KÖNIG
A SILK KASHGAR CARPET

TARIM BASIN, EAST TURKESTAN, LATE 18TH CENTURY

Details
A SILK KASHGAR CARPET
TARIM BASIN, EAST TURKESTAN, LATE 18TH CENTURY
Of 'Mughal lattice' design, woven on polychrome banded silk warps, minor spots of localised wear, localised corrosion, a few old repairs
13ft.10in. x 7ft.3in. (422cm. x 221cm.)
Literature
Ulrich Schürmann, Central Asian Rugs, Frankfurt, 1969, pl.72, p.148
Special notice

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.
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Sale room notice
Please note that Import VAT on this lot will become payable on 31st July 2020. If exported outside the E.U. prior to that date, this will not be payable.

Brought to you by

Louise Broadhurst
Louise Broadhurst

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Lot Essay

At the time when this silk carpet was woven, the Silk Road settlement town of Kashgar was the capital and seat of the rulers of the Tarim Basin (now in Xinjiang province, North China). It was an important trading post and centre of textile manufacture for centuries, and carpet fragments have been discovered there as far back as the 3rd century A.D. It is little wonder that with China to the west, Persia to the east and India to the south, Kasghar became a cultural melting pot of ideas where artistic production reflected influences from all three.

This carpet belongs to the most elegant group of East Turkestan weavings known to exist. Its design is directly influenced by the silk foundation Mughal Indian lattice carpets of the seventeenth century, such as one which sold in these Rooms, 2 May 2019, lot 227 and the fragmentary example in the Textile Museum, Washington (Daniel Walker, "Classical Indian Rugs," Hali,, Vol. 4, no.3, 1982, p.256, fig. 7). In its earliest form, the ogival lattice on silk East Turkestan carpets closely followed the elegant curvature of the Mughal lattice, filled with distinct petalled flowers and leafy tendrils, and unlike later examples, was woven on a silk foundation with a higher knot density, (M. Volkmann, Alte Orientteppiche, Munich, pp.254-5, pl.112) Gradually this design transitioned into a more simplified, angular quatre-lobed lattice, as seen in the present carpet, where the treatment of the border also became less naturalistic and more geometric. The three silk Kashgar fragments that were sold in these Rooms as part of The Bernheimer Family Collection of Carpets, 14 February 1996, lot 95, 96 and 183, show this transition quite clearly, with the border treatment of lot 183, being the closest in appearance to ours.

The Mughal lobed lattice design was also used on wool carpets of the same period and continued to be used in East Turkestan up until the early 20th century. Sadly very few silk carpets woven in the 17th and 18th centuries from this part of the world survive, or if they do, are often fragmentary or heavily worn. The faded blush ground colour of the present carpet, once a deeper red tone, remains in remarkably full silk pile and where so many others have been reduced in size, the present lot retains its full court-scale proportions.

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