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‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’, Christie’s London, 25 October

At Christie’s in London on 25 October, over and above the featured group of 17 Tarim Basin rugs from the König collection (previewed in HALI 197, pp.98-99), the all-encompassing ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’ sale includes more than eighty other rugs and carpets, from most time periods and weaving cultures. The following is an extract of the sale preview by Daniel Shaffer in HALI 197.

Lot 301, A Bijar carpet, west Persia, circa 1880

Lot 301, A Bijar carpet, west Persia, circa 1880

A grand late 19th-century carpet from the Bijar region with the Garrus arabesque design is estimated at £25-35,000 (lot 301). It is immediately followed by one of the highlights of the sale, the Cambalios 18th-century blue ground animal and blossom carpet (lot 302), latterly from a Connecticut collection, of which Robert Pinner and Michael Franses wrote in the second issue of HALI in Summer 1978, ‘The structure…and the handle, soft and floppy compared with the harder and denser Karabagh texture, indicate that this rug belongs to the family of carpets made in northwest Iran and usually attributed to Kurdish weavers.’ Now estimated at £16-20,000, the last time it appeared at auction, also at Christie’s, London in October 2007, it made $40,365, although Sterling was very much stronger then (HALI 154, p.151).

Lot 302, The Cambalios animal and blossom carpet, Azerbaijan, late 18th century

Lot 302, The Cambalios animal and blossom carpet, Azerbaijan, late 18th century

From the same source comes a large 16th-century Star Ushak carpet (lot 306), missing both end borders, formerly in the Chris Alexander collection, which sold at Christie’s, New York in April 1999 for $34,500, having previously been bought-in against higher expectations (HALI 105, p.139). This time it is in at £20-30,000. The same collector also has two small 17th-century ‘kilim’ style west Anatolian Lotto rugs, lots 353 and 354, estimated at £35-45,000 and £25-35,000 respectively. Both were acquired at Christie’s, London from a ‘European Noble Collection’ in October 1996 (HALI 90, p.120). Another Lotto, lot 307, £50-70,000, is a rapid return to the market for the carpet from the Mary Griggs Burke collection at the Minnesota Historical Society, sold at Hindman in Chicago in July 2017 for $50,000 (HALI 193, p.128).

Lot 306, A 'Star' Ushak carpet, west Anatolia, Late 16th century

Lot 306, A ‘Star’ Ushak carpet, west Anatolia, Late 16th century

Christies’ also has a notable group of ‘Petag’ Tabriz carpets from the inter-war years, with designs taken from the published classics, something of a house speciality, as well as parcel of Persian silk rugs from a private collection. To this add some thirty textiles, with Greek embroideries from the Hélène Stathatos collection, high-quality Ottoman çatma yastıks, and Ottoman embroideries, as well as Central Asian velvet and embroidered robes and suzanis.

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