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[Bell, Gertrude]
A LARGE HAND KNOTTED CARPET, [OTTOMAN EMPIRE, POSSIBLY IRAQ OR SYRIA, CIRCA 1910]
(720 x 244cm., 23ft. 8ins x 8ft., approximately), madder field with three linked central cartouches, with stylised script from the Koran enclosed by ivory borders of angular vines and polychrome flower and plants flanked by pale lemon guard stripes and pale indigo outer guard stripes, one end complete with web fraying, selvedges original and complete, pile low area of wear, fading probably due to water damage
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Provenance

Gertrude Bell (1868–1926), this rug was, according to her descendants, one of several presented to Bell by Faisal I of Iraq (1885-1933); later at her family home Rounton Grange, Northallerton, Yorkshire; thence by family descent, from whom acquired by the present owner

Catalogue Note

A LARGE DECORATIVE CARPET ONCE BELONGING TO THE GREAT TRAVELLER, ARCHAEOLOGIST AND DIPLOMATIST GERTRUDE BELL. 

Bell (1868–1926) was an English polymath, who travelled extensively in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. "At her death she was commemorated as a brilliant public servant, who helped to shape the post-war settlement in the Middle East and in particular the creation of the kingdom of Iraq. H. St J. Philby called her 'the maker of Iraq' and reflected that if Feisal's kingdom survived the vicissitudes of time, 'it will stand forth in history a monument to her genius, to the versatility of her knowledge and influence, and to the practical idealism tempered with honest opportunism which were the outstanding characteristics of a remarkable Englishwoman'" (ONDB).

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