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Details & Cataloguing

Rugs and Carpets

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Two Cuenca rug fragments, Spain
together with a smaller Cuenca rug, 17th century (125 by 125cm; 4ft. 1in., 4ft. 1in.), illustrated on-line
approximately 340 by 170cm; 11ft. 2in., 5ft. 6in
17th century
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Catalogue Note

These distinctive Spanish 17th/18th century carpets have designs which are derived from the Western Anatolian 16th century ‘Lotto’ rugs. For a comparable Cuenca rug, late 16th century (257 by 157cm), with a central armorial with the grille of St Lawrence, woven as a royal commission for the monastery of El Escorial, founded by Philip II of Spain (1556-1598), for whom St Lawrence was a patron saint, see Sotheby’s, London, 16 October 1996, lot 86; provenance Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sammlung Schloss Rohencz, thence by descent. The deer and small birds in the corners of the main field of this particular cited example are unusual.

A 16th/17th Cuenca rug (249 by 129cm) with the same field and border design, was sold Sotheby’s, 3 November 1978, lot 16. For a comparable Spanish carpet with the same field design, see Spuhler, Friedrich, The Thyssen –Bornemisza Collection, Carpets and Textiles, London, 1998, Carpets, Spanish [66-69], pp.237-251, No.66, pp.240-241,  Spanish ‘Lotto’ carpet, Cuenca or Alcaraz, 17th century (532 by 298cm). The inner and outer guards are the same design and the border of the Thyssen carpet is a version of the same type, which is not dissimilar to a 16th century Cuenca carpet (300 by 150cm), exhibited at La Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, 1957, Tapis de l’Ancien Orient, cat. no.63, at the Prinsenhof Museum, Delft, February 1962, cat.no. 7; and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1955, cat.no. 62, and sold Sotheby’s, London, 25 April 1979, lot 82. For an interesting small fragment of 16th century Spanish brocade ‘of silk and gold’, which shows similarities to the ‘Lotto’ pattern, see Bunt, Cyril, G.E., Spanish Silks, 1965,  fig. 47. See Erdmann, Kurt, Seven Hundred Years of Oriental Carpets, London, 1970, Spanish Carpets, pp.209-214, p.211, fig. 272, for a 16th century Cuenca carpet (325 by 177cm), with the same field, inner and outer guard and border design.

For a Spanish carpet, probably Cuenca, 17th century (445 by 241cm), see Denny, Walter B, and Farnham, Thomas, J, The Carpet and the Connoisseur, The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs, Saint Louis Art Museum, 2016, Appendix, p.217 (Gift of James F.Ballard: No. 127:1929). The main field follows the Anatolian ‘Lotto’ design, and the border shows the inspiration of the ogival lattice pattern with stylised palmettes of early woven Spanish textiles, and for a Spanish carpet with similarly inspired main field see lot 97 lot XXXX….. in this sale.

The smaller rug offered here, is very stylised in design, inspired by the repeat patterns of the Anatolian ‘Lotto’ patterns and Italian and Spanish textiles with palmettes. For examples of these earlier Spanish textiles in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, see Bunt, Cyril, G.E., Spanish Silks, 1965, figs. 15 & 16, for fragments of 14th century silk tissue, with geometric trellis pattern designs, and fig. 27, for a fragment of 15th century silk tissue, with rows of large half palmettes with small leaf motifs dividing them, suspended from row of trellis above. See also a similarly inspired Spanish rug (320 by 185cm), Sotheby’s, Geneva, 12 May 1983, lot 194. For examples of Spanish 15th century trellis and palmette pattern rugs, with wide outlines to the palmettes, not unlike the present example, in the Textile Museum, Washington, see Bunt, Cyril, G.E., Hispano-Moresque Fabrics, 1966, figs.49 & 50.

Rugs and Carpets

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