AN AGRA CARPET
Specifed lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fill… Read more
AN AGRA CARPET

NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1870

Details
AN AGRA CARPET
NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1870
Finely woven, localised light wear, overall good condition
11ft.1in. x 8ft.8in. (340cm. x 266cm.)
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.
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Barney Bartlett
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Lot Essay


The Indian carpet industry in the beginning of the 19th century was less widely recorded but the inclusion of several Indian pile carpets in London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 sparked renewed interest. Private workshops sprang up across the country and by 1862 the British Imperial government had set up a number of jail workshops in the Punjab. There is a clear and continuous progression evident in the design and construction of the 19th century Indian carpets; an early example that anticipates the later ‘jail’ production sold in these Rooms, 17 October 1996, lot 401.
What unites this group is their predilection for the 16th and 17th century cloudband and palmette designs of the Safavid and Mughal traditions. Many early Indian carpets had taken their inspiration from Safavid weavings. In an effort to bolster the carpet industry in India, Mughal rulers employed the finest Persian craftsmen, who in turn incorporated Persian motifs into an Indian palette. The renaissance in Indian production in the 19th century was buoyed by the weavers' exposure to these designs through the carpets of the Maharaja of Jaipur and the collection in Bijapur, and later, the publication of lavish carpet reference books with hand-coloured plates (Ian Bennet, Jail Birds, London, 1987, no.5).
The dynamic cloudbands and large palmettes displayed here are reminiscent of a magnificent Indo-Isfahan carpet woven for Maharaja Raya Singh I (E. Gans Rudin, Indian Carpets, 1984, p.87). The beauty of this design, coupled with the rich palette of the wine-red field and the elegant sea-green border, present Indian 19th century weaving at its most opulent. An Agra carpet of comparable design was recently sold in these Rooms, 1 April 2021, lot 130.

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