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Early Azerbaijan Tree rug, NW Iran, 18th century.


Overall wear, corroded brown, areas of restoration with scattered repiling and reweaves, selvages replaced, ends frayed
12ft. x 5ft.9in. (366cm. x 175cm.)

Sotheby's 10 October 2008, lot 41
US$40,000-59,000
25,000-37,000

This kelleh belongs to a group of carpets which are often attributed to either North West Persia or the Azerbaijan region of the Caucasus. An extremely similar example is discussed by Ulrich Schurmann, (Schurmann, Caucasian Rugs, Munich, 1961, pp.58-59, pl.2). Although the colouring is very similar in both rugs, the drawing of the flowering trees in the field of that rug is evidently more slender and elegant than the thick-set nature of those in the present lot. At first glance both rugs appear to have been woven in the same border region of North West Persia if it were not for the inclusion of the lyre motif in the border of the Schurmann example, which is characteristically of Caucasian origin (see Schurmann, op cit., p.67, pl.6).

Another related example attributed to Azerbaijan is discussed by Eberhart Herrmann, (Asiatische Teppich- Und Textilkunst, 3, Munich 1991, pp.50-51, pl-21). The same carpet was previously sold by Sotheby's New York, 9 June 1990, lot 79, as 'Caucasian/Northwest Persian1. The drawing has become increasingly angular, however the design still features two vertically oriented palmettes flanking two horizontal palmettes surrounded by dense leafy, flowering trees.