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North East Iran, mid-17th Century

The burgundy field with brightly coloured scrolling split palmette and arabesque vine overlaying thin white tendrils issuing floral motifs and itself overlaid by paired sea-green serrated leaves linked by a rosette probably originally forming a lattice, slight wear and minimal repair, backed
1ft.5in. x 3ft. (43cm. x 92cm.)


Provenance: Dikran Kelekian Collection, sold Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, 21-23 October 1953, lot 618.
Literature: Migeon, Gaston: La Collection Kelekian, Étoffes et tapis, Paris, 1909, pl.9.
Exhibited: L'Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 1989-1994.


Sale Information
Christie's Sale 6435
3 May 2001
London, King Street


Price Realized £7,638 ($10,960)


Lot Notes
Were it not for the jufti knotting and the soft wool this fragment might be taken for an Isfahan rug. Certainly the colour scheme is directly taken from there. But the design, despite its similar constituent parts comprising spiralling tendrils issuing arabesques and palmettes, is certainly different. While it is difficult to be certain of the whole design from this fragment, it is clear that it involves three overlaid structures, but not in the same mathematical way that the three structures work in the classic 'vase' carpets from Kirman. The system here of bold serrated blue leaves, probably originally forming an ogival lattice, is designed over two separate systems of interlaced scrolling blue and white tendrils. Another unusual feature is that the split palmettes, instead of forming terminals, at times are just elements along the path of a scrolling line which continues from the top of the larger of the two parts.

The pile in this fragment is in very good condition, retaining the lustre and depth of colour from its time of manufacture. This is particularly remarkable in that the red ground has not substiantially corroded.