A SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD BROCADE PANEL
A SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD BROCADE PANEL
A SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD BROCADE PANEL
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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ENGLISH COLLECTION
A SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD BROCADE PANEL

IRAN, 17TH CENTURY

Details
A SAFAVID SILK AND METAL-THREAD BROCADE PANEL
IRAN, 17TH CENTURY
The silver ground woven with offset rows of rose-bushes rising from a rocky ground, each with a perching bird and a butterfly above, formed of two panels, minor repairs, mounted, framed and glazed
45 ¼ x 17 ¼in. (114.8 x 43.9cm.)
Provenance
With Spink & Son, London, 1983
Literature
Spink & Son, Islamic Textile Design: Islamic Textiles & Their Influence in Europe, London, 1-30 June 1983, cat.38, p.17
Further details
Some countries prohibit or restrict the purchase and/or import of Iranian-origin property. Bidders must familiarise themselves with any laws or shipping restrictions that apply to them before bidding on these lots. For example, the USA prohibits dealings in and import of Iranian-origin “works of conventional craftsmanship” (such as carpets, textiles, decorative objects, and scientific instruments) without an appropriate licence. Christie’s has a general OFAC licence which, subject to compliance with certain conditions, would enable a buyer to import this type of lot into the USA. If you intend to use Christie’s licence, please contact us for further information before you bid.

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Lot Essay


This is a fine example of the lavish brocade technique where silver, gold or metal-wrapped threads float on the face of the cloth. The designs frequently incorporate flowering plants, birds and animals. The motif became popular in the second half of the seventeenth century, largely due to the artistic output of court painter Shafi ‘Abbasi (1633-74), son of the celebrated master Reza ‘Abbasi. Shafi ‘Abbasi’s sensitive portrayal of birds and flowers were translated into silk inspiring many variations of the theme.

The present motif of the perching bird in a rosebush, which is termed gul-u-bulbul (rose and nightingale), was popular in Safavid silks and continued into the nineteenth century. Artists used variations on the motifs, sometimes adding further animals such as on a comparable silver-ground panel in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that also includes a deer (acc.no.49.32.99). As noted in the entry for that textile, the artists favoured an unnatural scale of drawing among the birds, animals and flowers adding to the playful nature of these charming motifs.

A group of further sections of the same textile are published in Jules Guiffrey & Gaston Migeon, La Collection Kelekian: Étoffes & Tapis d’Orient & de Venise, Paris, Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1908, pl.69. They are held in the State Historical Museum in Moscow (inv.no.242) and were exhibited in the Burlington House, International Exhibition of Persian Art, London, 1931 cat. nos. 230 and 849.

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