Friday, February 06, 2015

Iran Restores Sassanid King Statue

Shapur ruled with his father Ardashir I the founder of the Sasanian dynasty. They are noted for their wars against Rome. JBOC

Iran Restores Sassanid King Statue
Statue of Sasanian Persian King Shapur

Statue of Sasanian Persian King Shapur full
Iranian cultural heritage experts are planning to restore the statue of the Sassanid king Shapur I in the southern Fars province.
The restoration project will start soon after Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization provides the necessary funding, Presstv reported.
Located in the cave of Shapur, the seven-meter-tall statue of the second Sassanid King was made of a stalagmite about 1,800 years ago.
The sculpture was pulled down after the Sassanid dynasty collapsed about 1,400 years ago and part of one of its legs was broken. Parts of his arms were also smashed about 70 years ago as a result of an earthquake.
A team of Iranian experts did some restorations in 1957, raising it again on iron and cement feet.
Although their work partially ruined the artistic integrity of the artifact, it could prevent further damage.
The new restoration plan will be a joint project of the cultural heritage office of Fars province and Pasargadae Research Center.

Sassanid Dynasty
The Sassanid Empire was ruled by the Sassanid Dynasty from 224 to 651. The Sassanid Empire was recognized as one of the two main powers in Western Asia and Europe alongside the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years.
The Empire was founded by Ardeshir I, after the fall of the Arsacids and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus IV. The Empire lasted till Yazdegerd III lost control of his empire in a series of invasions from the Arab Caliphate. During its existence, the Sassanid Empire encompassed all of today’s Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Dagestan), southwestern Central Asia, most of Turkey, certain coastal parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf area, and areas of southwestern Pakistan.
The Sassanid era, during Late Antiquity, is considered to have been one of Iran’s most important and influential historical periods. In many ways the Sassanid period witnessed the highest achievement of ancient Persian civilization, and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.
Persia influenced Roman civilization considerably during the Sassanids’ times, and the empires regarded one another as equals, as exemplified in the letters written by the rulers of the two states addressing each other as “brother”.
The Sassanids’ cultural influence extended far beyond the empire’s territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa, China, and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asiatic medieval art. This influence, and especially the dynasty’s unique, aristocratic culture, carried forward to the early Islamic world after the Muslim conquest of Iran.
Art 

Artistically, the Sassanid period witnessed some of the highest achievements of Persian civilization. Much of what later became known as Muslim culture, including architecture and writing, was originally drawn from Persian culture. At its peak the Sassanid Empire stretched from Syria to northwest India, but its influence was felt far beyond these political boundaries. Sassanid motifs found their way into the art of Central Asia and China, the Byzantine Empire, and even Merovingian France. Islamic art however, was the true heir to Sassanid art, whose concepts it was to assimilate while, at the same time instilling fresh life and renewed vigor into it. According to Will Durant:
“Sassanid art exported its forms and motifs eastward into India, Turkestan, and China, westward into Syria, Asia Minor, Constantinople, the Balkans, Egypt, and Spain. Probably its influence helped to change the emphasis in Greek art from classic representation to Byzantine ornament, and in Latin Christian art from wooden ceilings to brick or stone vaults and domes and buttressed walls.”
Sassanid carvings at Taq-e Bostan and Naqsh-e Rustam were colored; so were many features of the palaces; but only traces of such painting remain. The literature, however, makes it clear that the art of painting flourished in Sassanid times; the prophet Mani is reported to have founded a school of painting; Ferdowsi speaks of Persian magnates adorning their mansions with pictures of Iranian heroes; and the poet al-Buhturi describes the murals in the palace at Ctesiphon.
When a Sassanid king died, the best painter of the time was called upon to make a portrait of him for a collection kept in the royal treasury.
Painting, sculpture, pottery, and other forms of decoration shared their designs with Sassanid textile art. Silks, embroideries, brocades, damasks, tapestries, chair covers, canopies, tents, and rugs were woven with patience and masterly skill, and were dyed in warm tints of yellow, blue, and green.
The two dozen Sassanid textiles that have survived are among the most highly valued fabrics in existence. Even in their own day, Sassanid textiles were admired and imitated from Egypt to the Far East; and during the Middle Ages they were favored for clothing the relics of Christian saints.
When Heraclius captured the palace of Khosru Parviz at Dastagerd, delicate embroideries and an immense rug were among his most precious spoils.
Famous was the “Winter Carpet”, also known as “Khosro’s Spring” (Spring Season Carpet) of Khosru Anushirvan, designed to make him forget winter in its spring and summer scenes: flowers and fruits made of inwoven rubies and diamonds grew, in this carpet, beside walks of silver and brooks of pearls traced on a ground of gold.
Harun Al-Rashid prided himself on a spacious Sassanid rug thickly studded with jewelry. Persians wrote love poems about their rugs. 

Are Ushak rugs made in Iran?

Are Ushak rugs made in Iran? 
Ushak rugs are a traditional Turkish rug with certain distinct characteristics. The rugs are thick with wool pile on a wool foundation. The knot counts tend to be low and I generally expect then to be less than 100 knots per square inch. Quite often the wool is very soft and is said to be part goat wool. 
Could they be making Ushak rugs in Mahabad, Iran? Labor is expensive in Turkey which means weavers are taking higher paying manufacturing jobs so fewer and fewer rugs are being woven. Iran has plenty of weavers but with the embargo the huge US market is closed to them. Mahabad produced great Sauj Bulaq but there is not a strong market for the modern Kurdish rugs produced there. 
So it is very possible that if they started weaving Ushak rugs as soon they made it to Germany no one in US Customs would identify them as Persian rugs. I will keep my eyes open for new Ushak rugs. I think I could tell by the feel of the wool.  JBOC

New Persian Ushak in an Arts and Crafts Pattern



Back of the above rug.

Ushak carpets also known as Ziegler carpets, made by the artist carpet weavers of Mahabad in West Azarbaijan province, are very popular in international markets specially among American buyers.
The carpets made in this city are exported to many countries like Japan, Canada, Russia, Pakistan, Europe and Arab countries of the Middle East.
Among all the carpets made by Mahabad carpet weavers popular in foreign countries, Ushak or Ziegler carpets stands out: A local hand-made carpet whose fibers are made of sheep fur and colored with natural and herbal materials.
This 150 year old carpet is mostly made in huge sizes and since the fibers used in it are thick, they call it Ushak which means thick-fibered.
According to Yaqub Bab Sur, a carpet expert in the city of Mahabad, in the few years since this kind of carpet has been produced, more than 10 thousand square meters have been exported to foreign countries.
He also noted the designs used in this carpet are inspired by nature and up to 8 colors are used in its making.
Bab Sur also added: “Today more than 200 carpet weavers in Mahabad are making Ushak carpets.
Suitable publicity for this carpet is one of the reasons it has become so popular in the West, Chia Qorbani Aqdam, manager of the union of hand-made carpets said, adding: “Paying more attention to carpet exportation can increase production as well as quality which would lead to the presence of Iran's carpet in international markets.”
According to Qurbani Aqdam, the government must have proper plans in order to encourage and facilitate the carpet industry particularly in West Azarbaijan province through insurance and business support. http://www.iran-daily.com/News/110731.html
|

|News ID:110731
Publish Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:25:08 GMT
Service: Iran
The city of Mahabad, with a production of more than 4 thousand square meters of hand-made carpets a year and due to the high variety and quality of its carpets, has become a major carpet producing zone in West Azarbaijan province.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

American Friends of the Middle East CIA Front Organization

American Friends of the Middle East
In 1951 Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt, Jr. and his long time hatchet man Donald Newton Wilber put together American Friends of the Middle East. As window dressing they hid behind such luminaries such as columnist Dorothy Thompson, Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick and more than 20 others. But Kim Roosevelt was executive secretary in the early days.
While they made a point of fund raising American Friends of the Middle East was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency and ARAMCO. King Abdulaziz  had threatened to nationalize ARAMCO a year earlier so it is possible that ARAMCO was either operating on its own or at the direction of Saudi Intelligence.

The American Friends of the Middle East was an Anti-Zionist and Pro-Arab organization. It is easy to stretch Anti-Zionism into Anti-Semitism but I think that is an unfair characterization.
George O'Bannon worked for American Friends of the Middle East in 1964-1965.

George W. O’Bannon, Donald N. Wilber and American friends of the Middle east

This is the article by Don Wilber that links George O'Bannon to American friends of the Middle east. Wilber revealed his ties to the CIA in his last book Adventuires in the Middle East. By telling how he met O'Bannon he closes a circle since American friends of the Middle east has been acknowledged as a CIA Front that was jointly funded by the CIA and ARAMCO

[This article originally appeared in print in Volume 13, No. 3 of Oriental Rug Review, in 1993.]
George W. O’Bannon, An Irishman In Friendly Disguise by Donald N. Wilber

We had the pleasure of meeting George and Helen O’Bannon in 1964 when he worked for the American friends of the Middle east, an influential organization in which we had a strong interest. From 1966 to 1968 George was Assistant Director of the Peace Corps in Afghanistan. While he traveled widely in that country, Helen added to their growing family that was to number four sons: Patrick, Colin, and Sean and Casey, twins.

 George and Helen O’Bannon with Patrick, Colin, and the twins Sean and Casey
Helen added to their growing family that was to number four sons: Patrick, Colin, and Sean and Casey, twins.
On these travels, rugs were under foot: his first purchase was a Nain, a beginner’s choice in the land where rugs of many local types were available. As he was absorbed into the rug world, Baluchs and Turkomans became his specialties and he moved into the forefront of experts in these fields.

In 1973 he started dealing in rugs, and in 1976 opened a rug shop in Pittsburgh, O’Bannon’s Oriental Rugs. He was an early member of the Princeton Rug Society and spoke often to us. His base at Pittsburgh was also that of Helen, a member of the Public Utility Commission of Pennsylvania. Brilliant Helen was an outstanding administrator with a far reaching vision that she displayed later in a major post, Senior Vice President, at the University of Pennsylvania. And she always maintained a close connection with Wellesley, her college.

George also was publishing: in 1974 The Turkoman Carpet, featuring rugs from Afghanistan and establishing a bridge between the old and the new. About 1976 appeared Oriental Rugs From Western Pennsylvania Collections, Kazak and Uzbek Rugs from Afghanistan appeared in 1979 and Tulu: Traditional Rugs from Central Anatolia in 1987. The same year, his role of frequent contributor of articles to Oriental Rug Review blossomed into a very active profession as editor of the magazine.

By 1983 George and Helen were in a new home in a suburb of Philadelphia, facing a bright future together. In 1985, he opened another rug gallery on Philadelphia’s Spring Street. But, in 1988 the bright future vanished: at 49, Helen was struck down by a fatal affliction.

George stayed for some time in the inner city, but the town was no longer home and he moved to southern Arizona, not a great distance from the region where he spent his childhood. Publication continues. Now his exhaustive bibliography of rug books is at press.

But a short recitation of events in his career does not give us George as a person: blessed with an even temper, incapable of being either cross or rude; a man kind to all and who keeps in touch with friends for many years. At a time when the rug world is plagued by know-it-alls, and a few bad tempered persons, George stands for sanity, honesty, and experience. One of his articles questioned the validity of a Turkoman piece at auction, and was rewarded by a savage personal attack by the leader of the ill-tempered group. Later he wrote a rather devastating review of a display of kilims that were highly overpraised by the organizers of the show. Since then, this praise has been muted.

George is a man of many interests, and the range of his endeavors in the field of rug studies alone is exhausting to contemplate. Despite his hectic schedule, or maybe because of it, George seems always (almost always) available.

[This article originally appeared in print in Volume 13, No. 3 of Oriental Rug Review, in 1993]




Saturday, January 17, 2015

Man, Sheep and Wool

Musings about Man, Sheep and Wool
Little Children know:
Mary had a little lamb,
His fleece was white as snow,

But white fleecy sheep are a fairly recent development in the grand scheme of things. Man has been cultivating sheep only since the 9th millennium BC (about 10,500 years). But Mary would not recognise those early sheep. They were hairy brown and black animals much closer to today’s Ovis Orientalis and the Argali sheep of Asia.
Men started by hunting sheep and at some point about 10,500 years ago man made the realization that sheep could be caught and preserved alive rather than just dead as meat. Think of the first attempts at domestication as a primitive alternative to refrigeration. Obviously living sheep are less prone to spoilage.
On the question of early domestication I am drawn to an observation by Pliny the Elder on the character of Spanish and particularly the Corsican Musimons (Wild sheep like the big horned sheep).
Ovis Ammon Nigrimontana AKA the Argali sheep of Asia.
“Of all living creatures those that bear wool are the most foolish; for if one of them be drawn by the horn all the rest will follow, though otherwise they were afraid to go that way.” Pliny's Natural History. Book VIII, Chapter XLIX, Of the Musmon.
This is particularly pertinent since the latest genetic research indicates that all domestic sheep (Ovis Aries) descend from a mix of two clades most closely related to today’s Ovis Orientalis and Ovis Ammon Nigrimontana AKA the Argali sheep of Asia.
See Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences  Journal ListProc Biol Sciv.269(1494); 2002 May 7 “Molecular analysis of wild and domestic sheep questions current nomenclature and provides evidence for domestication from two different subspecies.” Stefan Hiendleder, Bernhard Kaupe, Rudolf Wassmuth, and Axel Janke.
What Pliny the Elder observed fits perfectly with what we know today as the “Judas Goat” phenomena. Certain animals particularly sheep but even cattle will follow another animal even to their own detriment. This explains why outside of the dog sheep are believed to be the first animals domesticated by man.
I remember years ago when I met the venerable EJW Barber professor of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College in Los Angeles  and witnessed a fascinating and vigorus discussion between Barber and the noted author John Wertime.
This was at Barber’s address to the International Hajji Baba Society in Washington DC. in the late 1990s. In the question and answer period John wanted to link the earliest wool weaving to the Mediterranean region or at least to the Fertile Crescent of South West Asia. Barber was quite adamant that the earliest wool weaving was to the East. She insisted that the older the evidence the further east the evidence was found. Could this mean that the Argali clade held the vital docility wool gene. Perhaps.
We can tell man’s relationship to sheep through archeological records. The process is by bone distribution analysis. Without getting overly technical by recording the age and sex of the sheep by the bone distribution in prehistoric encampments archeologists can tell the relationship between man and the sheep. In the oldest encampments the sheep bones indicate that they were hunted. Then they were captured and harvested. In the first efforts to domesticated sheep we see more young lambs growing older then would be expected then with sheep hunted in the wild.
Over time we see a shift which represents early mans realization that sheep could be used as dairy animals. Again shifts in the bones as female sheep were preserved not only to have more lambs but also preserved for the milk, butter and cheese that they could produce.  In a dairy flock only enough rams are preserved to deal with the requirements to perpetuate the flock. Male sheep are harvested before female sheep since  the females have a greater value due to the dairy considerations. Wethers or castrated male sheep have no values and males are not only available but preferable to be harvested as meat.  Only later when wool was a factor was their an impetus to castrate the wethers so by analysing the bones discarded at an encampment the archeologists can tell us how the flock was managed and used.
If we divide the stages of man and sheep we have four distinct stages:
  1. Hunting
  2. Captivation for Meat
  3. Meat and Dairy
  4. Meat, Dairy and Wool
Well into the third stage Meat and Dairy sheep were primarily hairy. Their coats were straight hair both long and short with a hard bristle mixed in which is called kemp. This kemp is stiff and rather similar to boar bristle such as we see used in hair brushes.  Small amounts of wool usually white or lighter toned grew around the base of these fibers as an insulating fiber. Sheep had their heaviest wool in their winter coats. These early sheep molted losing their winter coat in the spring time.
An interesting phenomenon occurred as a result of the domestication. The wildest and most difficult sheep were culled from the herd. The reason is simple, docile sheep were more desirable. That being so the impetus is to eat the least desirable sheep first.  This effectively created selective breeding of the most docile sheep. The gene that deals with docility is also the gene that affects the growth of wool.  The more docile the sheep became the thicker the wool grew.
So with domestication beginning by the 9th millennium BC significant wool is seen by the 6th millennium BC and definite wooly sheep by the 4th millennium.  We are now at a point where the most highly bred sheep such as the so-called Merino sheep have extremely fine wool with fibers of as little as 10 microns although most is 14.6 microns plus.  For comparison Harris Tweed fibers are 25 – 30 microns and Carpet Wool is 35-45 Microns with wool from some tribal breeds in Afghanistan exceeding 45 microns. Keep in mind normal Caucasian human hair is about 60 microns for comparison.
Just a small note on the initial capture and cultivation of sheep. Sheep are often considered the second animal to be cultivated by man. The first is of course is the dog. Once man took unto himself the first dog hunting would follow as surely as day follows night. The first sheep captured alive was most probably boxed in by dogs and then confined by man. Earlier I speculated that steep sided gullies were the first pens. Let me add that I feel that the first sheep in those gullies were chased in by man and dog. Probably not long afterwards man trained sheep to lead other sheep into captivity.
Barber and Felt
At some point by at least 6,000 years ago man discovered that wool was useful and had a value in and of itself. Barber makes a fascinating conclusion in Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze ...  By E. J. W. Barber page 24. Barber following Zeuner assumes that early sheep breeders would have either spun molted wool from the sheep’s winter coat because they knew how to spin a bast fiber such as flax or would have made it into felt with the gigantic assumption that they would have known how to make felt before they would have made wool felt. One can only wonder just what they would have felted in a stage before wool. Other scaled fibers will felt but the idea that there was knowledge of felt making before there was wool felt is unsupported by fact,
These ideas assume innovation and action on the part of the human sheep breeder. I will grant that Barber is following and did cite Zeuner on felt (A History of Domesticated Animals. By F. E. Zeuner D.Sc., Ph.D. Hutchinson, London, 1963.) But I have serious doubt.
Let me propose another possibility that I feel may offer a greater probability. I call it the spontaneous unintended occurrence of felt.  What I mean by this is sometimes felt just happens. The earliest animal pens for sheep were most likely narrow steep sided gullies. The animals would have been led or stampeded in and then a bush barricade would close off the opening.  Before a use for the molted fibers was established it is likely that particularly in spring there would be an accumulation of wool, hair and kemp in that confined area from the molt. All it takes for felt is heat, agitation, pressure and moisture so left to their own devices it is likely that the sheep breeders would find clumps of felt in the enclosure. Finding the randomly occurring felt would then cause the breeders to find uses for it. The Barber/Zeuner idea that they knew how to spin or make felt and only then discovered wool strikes me as improbable. I note that Barber muddles felt and felted textiles in together. I see them as distinct and separate but I do note that she does make reference to unintended felting of textiles. But f course no one is suggesting that woven textiles preceded felt.  Of course I do not want to seem critical of Barber since I really admire her work.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Queen Elizabeth lived like a Peasant Girl

In 1598 Paul Hentzer a German traveler visited Elizabeth the First’s Greenwich Palace and noted that the floors were strewn with straw rather than rugs.
The Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture, Volume 2

Oxford University Press 2012

Friday, October 24, 2014

$1.3 million Mamluk Carpet at Christie's

$1.3 million Mamluk Carpet at Christie's

 This rug is a manifestation of Mamluk wealth and power in the early 15th century. Mamluk Egypt was incredibly wealthy and powerful because they controlled the  principle  trade route between Europe and Asia. The spice that Europe desired came by sea from India through the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea to Aqaba or Suez where it was taken over land and then by ship to Europe. Then two things happened and Egypt slid out of world power and into relative obscurity. July 8th, 1497 Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon and reached Calcutta May 20th, 1498.  By breaking the spice monopoly the Mamluk lost the ability to tax all spice trade. Less than 20 year later power crazed Ottoman bent on world domination conquered Egypt and ended Mamluk rule.

This is a splendid example and familiar to those familiar with the literature:


THE BAILLET-LATOUR MAMLUK CARPET
EGYPT, PROBABLY CAIRO, EARLY 16TH CENTURY

Price Realized  £782,500 ($1,299,733)
Estimate
£250,000 - £350,000 ($414,000 - $579,600)
Sale Information
SALE 1519 —
ORIENTAL RUGS & CARPETS
8 April 2014
London, King Street
Localised light wear, corroded red, localised repairs, occasional spots of old tint, backed, overall very good condition
8ft.6in. x 7ft.11in. (258cm. x 240cm.)
Provenance
Vincenz Baillet-Latour, Vienna by 1892
With Galerie Sailer, Vienna, by 1986
Literature
Friedrich Sarre, Orientalische Teppiche. Mit Unterstutzung des K.u.K. Handels-Ministeriums, Vienna, 1892-96, pl.XXXVIII.
Hali 31, July/August/September 1986, p.32-33

THE BAILLET-LATOUR MAMLUK CARPET EGYPT, PROBABLY CAIRO, EARLY 16TH CENTURY 1.3 million

Lot Notes

The carpets of Mamluk Egypt are the most magnificent and complete group of early carpets to have survived to the present day. Their designs are closely connected to the geometric designs of other Mamluk art forms and are characterised by a complex, almost kaleidoscopic, geometry created by the juxtaposition of colour and form. Their restricted palette of wine-red, green and light blue silky wool and the variety of complex interlocking small octagons are unlike any other group of carpets which has an effect akin to luminescence.

The Mamluk Empire stretched from south east Anatolia to the Hijaz, in modern day Saudi Arabia, taking in Egypt, Syria, Palestine and parts of Sudan and Libya, lasting for over 250 years. The origin of Mamluk carpet production has remained uncertain but it is generally accepted that Cairo is the most likely weaving centre. It is thought that carpet weaving in Egypt commenced under the reign of Sultan Qa'it-bay (r.1468-1496), when there was a golden age of artistic creativity. This theory is supported by 43 surviving documentary sources that make reference to a carpet weaving centre in Cairo, the earliest and most famous of which appears in the writings of an Italian traveller named Barbaro who in 1474 was comparing the carpets of Persia, Cairo and Turkey. This along with a 16th century inventory of the Medici Collection which lists a Mamluk carpet as being 'Un tappeto Cairino', help to establish a chronology for these weavings (Alberto Boralevi, 'Three Egyptian Carpets In Italy', Oriental Carpet & Textile Studies II: Carpets of the Mediterranean Countries 1400-1600, London, 1986, pp.205-220). 
Mamaluk Rug Egypt


Mamluk carpets are unique in the history of carpets both in terms of their design and structure. The lustrous silky wool found in Mamluk carpets is 'S' (clockwise) spun and 'Z' (anti-clockwise)-plied whereas every other group of Eastern carpets are constructed from 'Z'-spun/'S'-plied wool. Louisa Bellinger has shown that the technical characteristics of Mamluk wool is consistent with the characteristics of Egyptian wool used in the production of textiles for centuries (Ernst Kuhnel and Louisa Bellinger, Cairene Rugs and Others Technically Related, Washington DC, 1957, p.80). It has been suggested that the designs are reflections of other forms of Mamluk decorative arts, such as the striking geometric Cairene floor mosaics, tiles, book bindings and architectural woodwork. The strongest correlation appears between the composition of Mamluk carpets and Egyptian fountain courtyards. However, it is interesting to note that the Cairo attribution is not unanimously accepted and, in her article ''Mamluk Carpets' of North Africa', Jenny Housego has put forward an interesting but unproven argument that the square-format Mamluk carpets, such as the Baillet-Latour Mamluk, may in fact have been produced in the Maghreb, which had a long and prestigious history of weaving (''Mamluk Carpets' of North Africa', Oriental Carpet & Textile Studies II: Carpets of the Mediterranean Countries 1400-1600, London, 1986, pp.221-241).

The Baillet-Latour Mamluk carpet relates particularly closely to two important square-format Mamluk weavings with star-shaped medallions, the example in the Osterreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, inv. no. T8345, and the Mamluk rug in the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, formerly in the collection of George Blumenthal, inv. no. 41.190.262. All three of these carpets have a very similar field organisation, they share a rosette and three section cartouche border without additional internal medallions, as well as two tiers of feather-shaped motifs that surround the interior octagon. Where our carpet differs is in its use of five colours instead of the three employed in the other two examples and the very unusually open central medallion with small floating ornaments which make the design feel particularly luminous and almost iridescent due to the large amount of light blue employed in both the inside and outer band of the medallion. 


The present carpet, is important not only for its rarity and extraordinary beauty but also for its place in the history of carpet scholarship. It was one of the first Mamluk carpets to be published and appears as plate XXXVIII in the Friedrich Sarre's seminal Orientalische Teppiche, Vienna, 1892-96 (see lot 2 in the present sale), which was the first comprehensive carpet survey and was hugely influential on subsequent texts. In Orientalische Teppiche, the carpet is listed as the property pf ‘Herrn Grafen Vincenz Baillet-Latour’. This is Vincenz Baillet-Latour (1848-1913), an Austrian count and politician, of noble Belgian origins and the grandson of Theodor Count Baillet de Latour (1780-1848). 
DEPARTMENT INFORMATION
Rugs & Carpets
KEYWORDS
16th Century
Medallion
Carpet
Rugs & Carpets
Rugs & Carpets
Wool
Egypt
Mamluk (1250-1517)

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