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The Liambei Karabagh Sunburst Medallion rug, early 19th century, Azerbaijan


Price Realized 21,250 ($33,809)

Christie's Sale Information
Sale 7872
Oriental Rugs & Carpets
7 October 2010
London, King Street

Lot Notes
The present example rug belongs to an exceptionally rare group of Chelaberd rugs which form the intermediate stage between the sunburst carpets of 18th century Karabagh and the Chelaberd rugs of the second half of the 19th century. Four known examples which comprise this group and which spawned thousands of copies in the second half of the 19th century (as lot 90 and lot 237 of this sale) are

1. In the Victoria and Albert Museum (HALI, vol.,3, no.2, p.99, fig.7)

2. The red Herrmann/Bortz/Fernandes (H/B/F) rug (Herrmann, Seltene Orientteppiche IV, Munich, 1982, no.44, pp.146-7; HALI vol.5, no.2, p.208, pl.7; The Bortz Collection, Sotheby's London, 29 May 1998, lot 13; HALI 112, September/October 2000, p.141)

3. The blue ground starburst rug (Antichi Tappeti dell'Anatolia e del Caucaso, exhibition, Turin, reviewed Hali 33, January/March 1987, p.58; HALI 35, July/September 1987, gallery advertisement p.XV (Clive Rogers and Arky Robbins); Herrmann, Eberhart: Seltene Orientteppiche IX, Munich, 1987, no.25, pp.66-7; Sotheby's New York, 14 December 1995, lot 58; HALI 85, March/April 1996 auction price guide p.135; HALI 112, September/October 2000, p.141).

4. The red starburst medallion rug formerly in the James D. Burns Collection sold in these Rooms 18th October 2001, lot 277.

The H/B/F and the Burns example are the closest to our rug in design whereas the colour is closer to the 19th century Chelaberd and Kazak rugs. It is therefore most probable that our rug dates from the late 18th/early 19th Century.