Bonhams holds the auction Oriental & European Carpets & Rugs 27 April 2004 in New Bond Street London.
There are 124 lots on sale. Among them a rare Mughal carpet fragment.
(Prices are incl. Buyer’s Premium )
Selection from the preview.
All images ©Bonhams
RUG NAME: Karachov Kazak rug
ESTIMATE: 3.000 – 5.000 GBP
SOLD: 14.340 GBP
DESCRIPTION: A Karachov Kazak rug Central Caucasus, 7 ft 8 in x 5 ft 10 in (234 x 177 cm) some minor restoration to one corner
RUG NAME: Mughal Indian carpet fragment
AGE: circa 1630 – 1650
ESTIMATE: 6.000 – 8.000 GBP
SOLD: 57.360 GBP
DESCRIPTION: An extremely rare Mughal Indian carpet fragment circa 1630-1650, 140-135mm x 153-148mm
Warp: silk, ivory, Z2S angle of alternate warp depression 60º-65º count per cm.: 34, 36, 34 Weft: silk, brilliant lac-red, U2 or S2, x3 passes first and third pass straight, middle pass more sinuous count per cm.: 17, 18, 16 Pile: pashmina (the fine underhair of the domesticated Himalayan goat, Capra hircus laniger), eight colours: off white/ecru ground, pink, lac red, light turquoise green, darker green, black (degraded), golden-beige, lighter golden-beige, 4-6 strands, slightly S twisted ? together Knots: Asymmetric, open to the left. Horizontally: 17 to 18 per cm. x Vertically: 16 to 18 per cm. (27,200-32,400 per square dm) or (1755-2090 knots per square inch). This elegant fragment is part of the most finely woven*, classical period, knotted-pile carpet in the world. Not only are the technical aspects of its construction unsurpassed, but only two other classical-period Imperial Mughal quality carpets (the “Pincket” and “Thyssen-Bornemisza”) are known. All three have similar silk foundations, a pashmina pile, and a central design, based on the representation of a central pseudo-naturalistic flowering plant rising gracefully from a grassy hillock, symmetrically positioned beneath an arched niche of the type one associates with Indian mihrabs. The choice of a silk foundation and a pashmina pile was technically necessary in order to be able to knot a carpet with over 2000 knots per square inch/32,000 knots per square decimeter. But collaterally, with changes in humidity and temperature, all silk foundation carpets eventually break down over time, under the strain of such tightly packed knotting. All three carpets exhibit splits and tears, although this carpet is by far the most fragmentary of the three. The largest surviving portion of the carpet that this fragment has become detached from, is the famous Altman bequest in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York no. 14.40.722 which is 152 x 648 mm. The Altman fragment is two-thirds of the lower left part of the rug (exhibiting the inner minor border, three quarters of the flowering mound, the base of the central flowering plant as well as another smaller flanking plant, and the base of an architectural column). Another large fragment in the al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait LNS 16 R is 156 x 297mm and displays the top of the cusped arch with its leafy finial, flanked by two leaf-bearing stems and part of a large blossom as well as part of the inner minor border. The Bonham fragment probably joined LNS 16 R on its right side. Finally, three more small fragments of this same ecru-ground carpet are in the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Denman Ross bequest 08.388 a & b. Again, according to Walker (p. 90) one fragment displays the top of the right hand column capital while the others are from its border. Beattie (HALI 1982, p. 220) mentions a fragment still in Leicester in 1982, but that could now be either the Kuwait or the Bonham fragment, if not a seventh fragment. The other two structurally related carpets are more complete, but still quite damaged and reduced in size. One, 1570 x 1020mm, in the private Pincket collection, Grimbergen, Belgium, is better known as the “Paravicini” or the “Engel-Gros”, after former owners. Its lower quarter closely resembles the Bonham/MMA/Kuwait/Boston carpet, but without side columns. And structurally, it is almost identical, with only a slightly lower knot count. The third example, once known as the “Aynard” (and sometimes “Goupil”) is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection in Switzerland and Madrid no. T 90 and now measures 1245 x 900mm. It is later than the first two, has bands of multi-coloured warps, a knot count half that of the others, and displays a much more elaborately compounded central flowering plant on a lac red ground. Instead of