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Antique Azerbaijan garden carpet, NW Iran. 18th century

Carpets from the Estate of Vojtech Blau
New York | 14 Dec 2006, 10:00 AM | N08291

LOT 27
approximately 6ft. 11in. by 4ft. 4in. (2.11 by 1.32m.)
18th century
ESTIMATE 12,000-18,000 USD
Lot Sold: 27,600 USD

In Safavid gardens of the 17th century, like those near Ashraf commissioned by Shah Abbas I in 1612, the individual
flowerbeds were framed rigidly and symmetrically by straight water channels. Such gardens served as models for the
so-called garden carpets, which depict rectangular pools and, in later pieces such as the lot offered here, islands with
groups of trees or bushes. Fish, birds, and other animals were sometimes also included in the design, see Spuhler,
Friedrich, Oriental Carpets in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin, Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press,
1987, p.98.
The weaving offered here is a good example of later garden carpets that exhibit an intriguing radical stylization of the
earlier, more naturalistic Safavid concept. Here, the major horizontal and vertical watercourses have been omitted and
the field is divided into rows of simple flowerbeds. Each horizontal row contains a different kind of shrub, with some
shrubs repeating again a few rows below. A very similar garden carpet dating from the same period is in the collection
of the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, inv. no.82.706, see Spuhler, op. cit. plate 107, and Hali, issue 70, 1993
cover, and another related example is in the collection of James Burns, see Burns, James D., Antique Rugs of
Kurdistan, United Kingdom, 2002, p.155, plate 46.