Lot 24
  • 24

A Mughal Rug, Probably Lahore, North India

40,000 - 60,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • wool. cotton
  • approximately 6ft. 8in. by 4ft. 6in. (2.03 by 1.32m.)


Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Carpets for the Great Shah, October 3 - November 16, 1948
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era, November 20, 1997 - March 1, 1998, no. 15
Washington D.C., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, The World at our Feet: A Selection of Carpets from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, April 4 - July 6, 2003

Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Masterpieces: European Arts from the Collection, August 25, 2007 - April 15, 2008


The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Illustrated Handbook of The W. A. Clark Collection, The Corcoran Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C.: W. F. Roberts Company, 1928, p. 77  
"Carpets for the Great Shah: The Near-Eastern Carpets from the W. A. Clark Collection," The Corcoran Gallery of Art Bulletin, Washington, D.C., Vol. 2, No. 1, October 1948, p. 25
Walker, Daniel, Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997, fig. 64, p. 70, cat. no. 15, p. 167

"The Senator's Carpets," Hali, issue 127, p. 41, fig. 1 (detail)
Franses, Michael, "Classical Context," Hali, issue 129, pp. 68-69, fig. 2


Pile generally good, near original 1/8 inch with dark brown and some crimsons oxidized to spot foundation. Many dark browns repiled with a caramel-colored wool; repiling appears to have been done to the surface of the rug as it does not show on reverse. Small scattered areas with repiled light blues. Sides later overcast, ends with tied warps now secured with blanket stitch. Some minor losses to both end guard stripes; not extensive. Good color, in good overall condition.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

When compared to the Isphahan rug, lot 23 in this catalogue, this rug presents the strong Safavid influence on Mughal carpet weaving in the seventeenth century. It not only illustrates the many similarities but also shows the subtle differences between the two schools. Both rugs have a scrolling vine pattern accented with palmettes and blossoms, but whereas the Persian rug’s pattern is completely symmetrical, this rug’s design is composed of a replication of motifs along three vertical axes. Also, in this rug motifs of the same type are of the same size, whereas in the Persian piece the weaver differentiated comparable design elements by size. Another typical Mughal feature of this rug is the use of ton-sur-ton coloring in the field. Safavid motifs are almost always contoured with dark outlines, a technique that is not used in this rug.  Coupled with the rose ton-sur-ton pattern, in a distinctively Indian color palette, this piece appears softer than its Persian counterpart. The cartouche border is probably the most striking similarity between the two rugs. Even though the cartouches are almost identical, in the Persian rug they are accented with small cloud bands, whereas in this lot they are supplemented with small flowers, showing the Mughal love of herbaria. For Mughal carpets with other variations on the Safavid cartouche border, see Daniel Walker, Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era, New York, 1997, pp. 55, 58, 60 and 62. The light rose wefts, the six-ply cotton warp and the handle all point to North India, probably Lahore, as a place of manufacture, similar to the Mughal Animal and Palmette carpet from the estate of Vojtech Blau, sold Sotheby’s New York, December 14, 2006, lot 54.