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back to Important Antique Heriz Rugs



Antique Heriz rug, Azerbaijan, NW Iran

Sotheby's Important English and European Furniture, Silver, Porcelain
and Carpets, Including Clocks from the Teets Collection
New York | 18 Nov 2011, 10:00 AM | N08803
LOT 328
approximately 11ft. 6in. by 9ft. (3.51 by 2.74m.)
circa 1880
ESTIMATE 40,000-60,000 USD
Lot Sold: 40,625 USD

Almost all wool Heriz weavings can be characterized by a rectilinear medallion design that has changed little over
time, relatively low knot density and the dominance of madder and indigo colors punctuated with yellows, browns and
sometimes occasional greens. Pieces from the mid and late nineteenth century tend to have particularly attractive
colors that, while often saturated or vibrant, are never harsh. However, brilliant coloring is one of the few
characteristics wool and silk weavings from Heriz share. As exemplified in the piece offered here, silk weavings
attributed to Heriz have soft yet saturated hues that make up a fine and harmonious color palette. In this regard, Heriz
silk rugs resemble silks produced in nearby Tabriz. Some have suggested that, because of their shared design
characteristics with Tabriz silks, these finely-woven pieces cannot be attributed to Heriz with any certainty, see Murray
L. Eiland Jr. and Murray Eiland III, Oriental Carpets, London, 1998, p. 93. In fact, the curvilinear drawing of this
carpet's border's design is more comparable to those found in contemporaneous Tabriz works, rather than to
elements decorating weavings from Heriz. However, the fine, blanket-like handle of this piece suggests that it is the
product of Heriz silk weavers, who are known to have executed extremely pliable works that most often surpass the
quality of their Tabriz counterparts. Silk Heriz carpets from the second half of the nineteenth century are almost
always symmetrically knotted and, as mentioned above, have particularly attractive coloring. Just like the color palette,
the juxtaposition created by the difference between the naturalistically executed flowers and palmettes of the border
and the more angularly drawn trellis design of the field is subtle. Other small and mid-scale Heriz silk weavings with
fields decorated in a similar fashion include one sold Sotheby's New York, 14 December 2006, lot 22 and another sold
in the same rooms 16 December 2005, lot 40. In addition to a comparable field, the former also shares a more
curvilinear border design with the lot offered here. The very high quality of craftsmanship along with the precious
material preserved in its near original condition make the carpet offered here a testament to the excellence of Qajarera
carpet weaving.