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PRIVATE AUSTRIAN COLLECTION

A Heriz silk rug, Northwest Persia
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68

PRIVATE AUSTRIAN COLLECTION

A Heriz silk rug, Northwest Persia
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Rugs & Carpets

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A Heriz silk rug, Northwest Persia
inscribed in Arabic,  fi dar al-sina'ah al-hindi (?), 'In the House (or College) of Crafts of India (?)'
approximately 183 by 139cm; 6ft., 4ft. 7in.
circa 1875
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Catalogue Note

This exceptional silk rug gives rise to some interesting questions. The tissue-like handle and weave are typical of Northwest Persia, specifically the 19th century weavings of the Heriz region, yet details within the design and the inscription, which references India, present us with something of a puzzle. When considering the design and the inclusion of the four arabesque lattice-stars within the field one can see the influence of early Safavid works such as ceramic tiles or the 'Polish' carpet formerly in the Keir collection, which share this motif - Spuhler, F., Islamic Carpets and Textiles in the Keir Collection, 1978, pl. 55, pp. 103 and 109. But equally this lattice is found in Mughal works of art such as the carpet fragment, again in the Keir collection (op cit), No. 60, p. 122 and some of the palmettes resemble hibiscus flowers, more typically Indian iconography.  

Silk rugs of this quality and weave are not known products of Indian looms, and this piece may have been made as a commission in Persia; but we cannot quite exclude the possibility that it was produced in India in a 'House of Crafts' or Art School under the guidance of a Persian weaver. There are two such schools which could possibly have accommodated such teachings. The Madras School of Art in Chennai (now the Government College of Fine Arts) established 1850 - and the Government College of Art & Craft in Kolkata, established 16 August 1854. However, in the absence of further information, on balance the rug is assigned to Northwest Persia.

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Rugs & Carpets

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