by Valerie Justin
Christie’s Auction , 500 Decorative Arts, took place 24 November 2009 in New York. The auction included fifteen 17th century Isfahan carpets from the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
All of the ISFAHAN 17th century carpets from the William Clark bequest sold. Most sold well; some at more than twice their high estimate. One, lot130, sold for $254,000, more than three times its high estimate, which in euros was 60,000.($80,000).
This carpet has been well covered in carpet literature. It was exhibited by the Corcoran in 1948. The carpet has a very fine foundation , silk warped, enabling a most intricate design. The dark blue ground palmette-figured border, surrounding the deep rose field, is glorious.
The provenance is impressive – the owner prior to Ambassador Clarke was Lord Frederick Leighton, the pre-Raphaelite artist whose house, with its splendid collection of Near Eastern tiles, became London’s Leighton House Museum. Perhaps the new owner is a museum who will show this great example of carpet art to a large public.
Valerie Justin, Vanishing Textiles
Sag Harbor, NY December 15, 2009