The present lot was formerly housed in the 18th century Norris Castle, East Cowes, Isle of Wight designed by the English architect James Wyatt (1746 – 1813) for Lord Henry Seymour, it was visited by a young Queen Victoria who later purchased the nearby Osborne House.
Although their weavings were not recognised as such until 1973, the products of the Arabachi are now reasonably well documented. With Jürg Rageth citing only thirteen known examples of main carpets with comparable designs to the present lot, these are clearly extremely rare weavings (J. Rageth, Turkmen Carpets: A New Perspective, Vol 2, Basel, 2016, p.736). These carpets possess a number of shared features including, but not limited to; the use of a brindled weft, a preference for a very dark blue, a tauk nuska field design with a secondary chemche gül and typically a primary border of stylised flowers. The earlier examples of Arabachi main carpets tend to exhibit a more open design as seen in the present lot with just three columns of guls, and the unusual variety of colour, and greater proportion of green, would support this. One particular example published by Rageth has a remarkably similar field and border design and is carbon dated to the early 18th century (Rageth, op.cit, Vol.1, no.128, p.270) although it does not contain the deep sea-green of our example which appears on another main carpet published by Rageth which is carbon dated to the 17th century (Rageth, op.cit., no.127,p.268). There are seven examples of Arabachi weavings in the Neville Kingston collection of which only one is a main carpet which has a more densely populated field of 4 x 14 tauk nuska güls (Elena Tsareva, Turkman Carpets, The Neville Kingston Collection, London, 2016,fig.93, pp.123-4). For two 18th century examples with three columns of guls see Peter Alford Andrews et al., Wie Blumen In Der Wüste, Hamburg, 1993, no.88, p.133, later published in Michael Rothberg, ‘Arabachi’, Hali 96, January 1998, no.2, p.96. A further example but with four columns sold in these Rooms, 17 October 2002, lot 31.