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Konya rug fragment, Late 18th century
Bakhtiari rug, ca. 1910
Mughal Carpet, ca. 1630 - 1650
Akstafa prayer rug, ca. 1880
Sotheby's, Carpets, 20. september 2006
RUG NAME: Mughal Carpet
AGE: ca. 1630 - 1650
ESTIMATE: 40,000 — 60,000 GBP
DESCRIPTION: LOT 40
PROPERTY OF THE LEEDS CASTLE FOUNDATION, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE CHATTELS FUND
A MUGHAL CARPET, LAHORE,
approximately 340 by 172cm; 11ft. 2in. by 5ft. 8in.
Colours: Ivory, very light green, dark saffron, camel, light jade green, forest green, midnight blue, rose pink, carmine red, aubergine, walnut (oxidised) (11)
Pile: Wool, Z2Sw, asymmetric open to the left
Warps: Natural off-white cotton, Z6S
Wefts: Silk, crimson, 1 shoot, alternating light madder cotton, Z3Sw, 1 shoot
Knot Density: Vertical 5-6/cm
Lady Olive Baillie - Leeds Castle, Kent
Leeds Castle Foundation, Kent
LITERATURE AND REFERENCES
"Historic Houses: Eleven Centuries of Change", Hali Issue 31, pp. 34 - 41, illn. p. 34
This magnificent Mughal carpet is from the collection of Leeds Castle in Kent, one of the most beautiful and significant of English castles, built before the Norman Conquest of the eleventh century. The long and glorious history of the castle has always been entwined with that of English royalty. From Edward I to Henry V, kings have bestowed the castle upon their queens. Henry VIII bequeathed Leeds Castle to a loyal servant and the great house remained as the property of the English aristocracy until 1924 when heavy death duties obliged the Wykeham Martin family to sell the family seat.
The castle was bought by an Anglo-American, the Hon. Mrs. Olive Wilson-Filmer (later Lady Baillie), the daughter of Lord Queensborough and his American wife, a member of the Whitney family. Lady Baillie restored the castle with characteristic imagination and vigour. Having grown up in France she turned to Stéphane Boudin, the foremost French decorator of his generation. Boudin's work was essentially international in its appeal, being French in inspiration and approach and carried out for clients with international backgrounds and fortunes. For thirty years they decorated and embellished the castle, stripping away incongruous additions and refining interiors. The placement of a seventeenth century Mughal Indian weaving in a thirteen century English interior decorated in the French manner was a quintessential example of Boudin’s Internationalist design and Lady Baillie’s approach to recreating an historic interior.
The carpet is a member of a select group of Mughal weavings depicting flowering plants drawn with exceptional botanical realism. Some comparable naturalistic renderings of plants are depicted in contemporaneous Indian paintings and architecture. (See Skelton, Robert, A decorative motif in Moghul art, Aspects of Indian Art, Los Angeles, 1972, p. 147). The vogue for such designs was influenced by the popularity of European herbaria in India during the reign of Jahangir (1605-1628) and developed during the rule of his grandson Shah Jahan (1628-1658). Similar renditions of lilies, tulips and roses appear on contemporaneous carpets such as one previously in the collection of the Maharaja of Jaipur, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv.no.1970.321) see: Walker, Daniel, Flowers Underfoot, Indian Carpets of The Mughal Era, New York, 1997, no. 22. pp.96-7, figs.93-4.
Although the Baillie carpet was re-configured at some point, the placement of some plants at slight angles outside of the strict horizontal rows typical of such carpets would suggest that it was originally a shaped carpet. The carpet was recently examined by Dr. Hans Sindermann and his analysis of the inserts suggests that the two larger fragments in the lower central portion of the field were originally positioned immediately above this, in the gap which would be created by undoing the present central seam. Reconfiguring the carpet in this way would result in a width o
LOCATION: Bond Street, London
DATE: 20. september 2006
WEB SITE: http://search.sothebys.com/
PHOTO COURTESY: Sotheby's
ABOUT THIS AUCTION: Sotheby's auction "Carpets" 20 September 2006 in London includes 235 lots.