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mid 18th century Azerbaijan rug fragment with human figures, NW Iran.


A NORTH WEST PERSIAN RUG
18TH CENTURY

Price Realized 17,625 ($25,292)

Sale Information
Christie's SALE 6435
ORIENTAL RUGS AND CARPETS
3 May 2001
London, King Street

LOT NOTES
Lot Description
A NORTH WEST PERSIAN RUG
18th Century
The blue field scattered with minor motifs, animals and birds around angular flowering and leafy vine together with seated and standing human figures, a trace of an ivory border at each end, otherwise lacking borders, small repairs and some repiling
6ft.11in. x 3ft.4in. (211cm. x 102cm.)

Lot Notes
This very unusual fragment relates to a small group of late and post-Safavid carpets which were woven in North West Persia. They derive their designs from those of carpets of the classic early Safavid period; they are woven however with a variety of structures and therefore do not fit easily into a single homogenous group. They were published and discussed at some length by Ian Bennett ("Animal and Tree Carpets, an Amorphous Group", Hali 73, February/March 1994, pp.91-99).

Even within this amorphous group, the present rug stands out. Very few of the other rugs have human figures, and when they do, their angular figures are hunting stylised animals in the forest. Here there is a completely different feeling: the figures are stationary, either standing or seated, even if some of them look frankly angry at where they have been placed! The structure also places it apart from most of the others identified by Bennett. It has an ivory 3ZS warp and two shoots of maroon lightly plied wool as weft, occasionally using four shoots. This accords with the "proto-Kurdish" group identified by Alberto Levi, also from North West Persia ("Renewal and Innovation", Hali 70, pp.84-93, esp.p.87). It also relates it to two of the examples in group B identified by Bennett; the Oakland carpet and the Bechirian rug, now in the Thysen Bornemisza Collection (Spuhler, Friedrich: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Carpets and Textiles, London, 1998, no.35, pp.144-5).