Burrell Collection’s Wagner garden carpet exhibited at Bonhams in London
The Burrell Collection’s Wagner garden carpet is one of 50 highlights from the esteemed Glasgow collection on show over the Christmas and New year period at Bonhams New Bond Street showrooms, London, 15 December 2014 – 9 January 2015.
It is expected that this show is a prelude to an international tour following the relaxation of shipping magnate Sir William Burrell’s bequest that the collection should never leave Britain. Bonhams Chairman, Robert Brooks, said: ‘We are privileged to have been selected to host this showing of the Collection’s highlights which have not been seen outside its home city of Glasgow for more than 40 years.’
The Wagner carpet has not been on show for several years, largely owing to its ample size. The last time was in the 1983 London exhibition, The Eastern Carpet in the Western World from the 15th – 19th century at the Hayward Gallery, which coincided with the Fourth International Conference on Oriental Carpets.
It is described thus by Charles Grant Ellis in his article Garden Carpets and their Relation to Safavid Gardens (HALI 5/1, 1982, p.11): “The planting of trees, shrubs and flowers is remarkably lush, with two little vases facing each other inconspicuously at the ends of the cross-channel. A very, very charming carpet, expressing the natural luxuriance of the Persian garden – a quite different concept from the mathematical horticulture of the other (garden carpet) designs.”
Other works of art in the Bonhams exhibition include The Thinker by Rodin, and paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Bellini, Eugene Boudin, Degas and Cezanne. Other notable textiles are also on show such as a leather falconry glove embroidered in gold and silver silk, an English embroidered panel, and a waistcoat of pink and red quilted silk.