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Early Azerbaijan rug with a stylized Dragon design, NW Iran.


A NORTH WEST PERSIAN CARPET
LATE 18TH CENTURY

Price Realized 19,700 ($40,326)

Sale Information
Christie's SALE 7429
ORIENTAL RUGS AND CARPETS
25 October 2007
London, King Street

Lot Description
A NORTH WEST PERSIAN CARPET
LATE 18TH CENTURY
Areas of wear, large reweaves and scattered repairs throughout, corroded brown and black, sides mostly rewoven, ends rewoven with added fringes
16ft.9in. x 8ft.2in. (510cm. x 248cm.)

Lot Notes
At first glance this carpet would appear to be a Caucasian variant of a Dragon carpet however on closer inspection there are several key differences. If it were of Caucasian origin the blue ground would be most unusual as only two examples of Dragon carpets were woven on blue grounds and not the classic red. A list of published Caucasian carpets of the Dragon design are given by Michael Franses and Robert Pinner when discussing the Cambalios carpet.

The irregular and loose geometry in the design of the present carpet would also be an unusual characteristic as Caucasian drawing is generally much more precise in its execution, as seen in an early 18th century Karabagh example, (Dennis Dodds and Murray L. Eiland Jr., Oriental Rugs From Atlantic Collections, Philadelphia, 1996, pl.90). The white cotton wefted structure of the present carpet most commonly associated with North West Persian weaving is much more flexible than the stiffer handling of a contemporary Caucasian carpet.

Another noticeable variation of the design from that of the Caucasian Dragon carpets is the inclusion of the Persian Safavid leopard with his prey rather than the lion and the kylin. The present lot incorporates a number of small animal motifs scattered in the field which one would not expect to find on Caucasian carpets until the much later, almost invariably much smaller examples. Despite these differences, this carpet is an important bridge in terms of historical design migration between the Caucasus and the Azerbaijan and Kurdish weavers of North West Persia.