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Dragons Galore at Sotheby’s New York

In New York tomorrow, 22 October, Sotheby’s sale of ‘Important English and European [sic] Decorative Arts’, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are ‘deacquisitioning’ four late classical oriental carpet fragments – two Caucasian and two Chinese.


Lot 159, Kangxi carpet fragment, China, approximately 5’3″ x 3’10” (1.6 x 1.17m), 18th century, estimate $2,000 – 3,000

The Caucasians, Lots 157 and 160, are both large sections of historic Dragon carpets in very worn and damaged condition with substantial repiling and badly faded reweaving. The first, the finer and more fragile of the two, with a dragon lattice design, is provenanced to the Crocker family of railroad and banking fame. It is arguably attributable to the 17th century, and estimated at $20-30,000. The second, an 18th century weaving once the property of Robert Gill, which was exhibited in the exhibition ‘A Weaver’s Art’ at the FAMSF in 1979, is expected to make $30-50,000. Both were published and discussed in 1985 by Murray Eiland (Pinner & Denny, Oriental Carpet & Textile Studies I, pp.104-106).

The FAMSF Chinese fragments are both 18th century. Lot 158, made in Ningxia in western China, is estimated at $1000-1500, while lot 159, a border fragment specifically attributed to the Kangxi period, is expected to make $2000-3000.


Lot 157, Caucasian Dragon Carpet, 14′ x 6’4″ (4.27 x 1.93m), 18th century, estimate $20,000 – 30,000


Lot 160, Caucasian Dragon Carpet, 18′ x 7’8″ (5.49 x 2.34m), 18th century, estimate $30,000 – 50,000


Ninghsia carpet fragment, West China, 5’9″ x 2’10” (1.75 x 8.6m), circa 1800, estimate $1,000 – 1,500

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