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Antique Heriz rug, Azerbaijan, NW Iran.


A SILK AND METAL-THREAD HERIZ RUG
SIGNED RAJAB, NORTH WEST PERSIA, EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Price Realized $206,271

Sale Information
SALE 7845
ORIENTAL RUGS AND CARPETS
15 April 2010
London, King Street

Lot Description
A SILK AND METAL-THREAD HERIZ RUG
SIGNED RAJAB, NORTH WEST PERSIA, EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Slight wear, a few minor repairs, otherwise very good condition
6ft.9in. x 5ft.5in. (206cm. x 165cm.)

Lot Notes
The approx. knot count is 8H x 9V per sq. cm.

The inscriptions are specially composed verses that contain a eulogy to the patron of the rug, explaining how the rug will only thrive when sufficiently close to him that it is in his shadow, and similar sentiments. There is a reference to Husayn, but that may not be any indicator of the owner's name. The two small part-cartouches give the signature 'amal (the work of) Rajab.

There is a silk Heriz rug with exactly the same field design on a light blue field, although the medallion is differently coloured, sold in these Rooms 30 April 1992, lot 410, and again on 16 October 1997, lot 90. That example did not have any metal thread, was in very worn condition, but bore a date in the inscription cartouche at the top, of AH 1231/1815-16 AD. The drawing on that one was also not as precise as on ours, a probable indicator that, if anything, ours is the earlier of the two. This design gave rise to a massive number of larger wool carpets later in the 19th century, proving to be Heriz's most popular motif. Right at the end of the same century the same basic design, a central ogival medallion from whose centre four tendrils spring and issue serrated split palmettes, was still being woven in silk as well as wool. A particuarly spectacular example was a rug reputedly commissioned for Muzaffar al-Din Shah, signed by Humi and dated 1897, that was sold in these Rooms 13 April 2000, lot 150. Clearly dateable silk rugs of the Fath 'Ali Shah period are very rare indeed. To find one in this outstanding condition is really remarkable.