AN AXMINSTER CARPET, ENGLAND
approximately 349 by 336cm; 11ft. 5in., 11ft.
Overall measurements: 334cm across the top, 336cm across the bottom, 348cm the left hand side, 349cm the right hand side.
Pile variable ranging between fairly good in the centre of the field, 3-4mm, too knotbars more generally, some spotting, old scattered re-piling and strengtheneing of worn areas. Two glued patches on the reverse in the upper edge of the carpet, one with a split adjacent to the patch, suggesting foundation may be weake in areas. There is a small hole in the upper edge. The carpet wouldd originally have had a border but has been reduced in size at some point in its history. All four edges now rebound. Attractive colours which are typical of Axminsters in this generation. Highly decorative in need of sensative conservation.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Sotheby’s London, 22 November 2006, lot 252
The carpet manufactory at Axminster was founded by Thomas Whitty, originally a cloth weaver, in 1755. Carpets were made at Axminster until 1835, when having suffered a disastrous fire, the factory was closed and the weavers and equipment were transferred to Wilton, where hand-knotted carpets continued to be woven. Axminster carpets graced many of the finest English country houses of the second half of the 18th century and early 19th century; some were woven for specific rooms to designs by Robert Adam and James Wyatt, amongst others, or supplied as a part of decorative schemes by, for example, Chippendale or Crace for their fashion-conscious clientele. Thomas Whitty I was a botanist and many of the carpets produced at Axminster in the 18th century amply demonstrate his love of flowers, with their realistic depictions of them in baskets, swags and sprays; his son Thomas Whitty II (d.1799) continued this tradition. In the present lot a rich array of garden flowers is combined with acanthus scrolls, all centred by a small ‘rose moresque’, a device popularised by the 18th century carpets of the Savonnerie, whose products Axminster also looked to for inspiration, in their commitment to weaving the most desirable carpets of their day.