AN OUSHAK FRAGMENTARY SAPH, WEST ANATOLIA
Property from a Prominent Private Collection
AN OUSHAK FRAGMENTARY SAPH, WEST ANATOLIA
second half 17th/early 18th century
fragment approximately 142 by 301 cm., mount 145 by 306 cm.
Please note: Condition 9 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers for this sale is not applicable to this lot.
Mounted on a stretcher, arches woven 'sideways' the bottom of the weave is the right hand side when viewed. Pile varies with some areas 2-3mm deep, reducing down to knot heads in most areas, with some of the red wefting visible and holes and losses as seen in the illustration. The larger holes in columns are backed in red. A powerful fragment with glorious colour and dramatic graphics. Additional photographs are available from the department.
"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."
A fragment from a multi-tiered saph carpet, related to a group of fragments reputed to have originally come from the Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) of Bursa in western Anatolia, which include a piece once in the Christopher Alexander Collection and examples in The David Collection, Copenhagen, The Linden-Museum, Stuttgart, the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf collection and The Textile Museum, Washington D.C.
Several pieces related to the present lot are known. They all share similar curled vine divisional borders between the ranks of arcaded niches, the decoration of the spandrels differs more or less, and two border types are evidenced. Large multi-niched carpets may have been woven in sections that were then conjoined on site, which may account for the variations seen. Published examples include the piece once in the Christopher Alexander Collection, see Christopher Alexander; A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art, New York and Oxford, 1993, pp.308-309, sold Christie’s London, 10th April 2008, lot 106 and now in a private Middle Eastern collection (with same divisional guard stripes and closely related spandrel decoration, and with similarly proportioned major green and minor red ground niches); a fragment illustrated in Hali 106, September/October 1999, p. 46, Peter Willborg Gallery advertisement, with same divisional border, slightly differing spandrel decoration and a section of border with polychrome split cartouches. A further four pieces with the same main border are: a fragment in the Linden-Museum, Stuttgart, Inv.no. A40.196, illustrated in Hali 72,December 93 - Jan 94, p.90; a fragment in The David Collection, Copenhagen, from the lower right hand corner, Inv. no. 21/1994; a third, from the lower left hand corner in the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection, illustrated Denny, W., The Classical Tradition in Anatolian Carpets, Washington D.C., 2002, p. 115, no. 50; and the fourth with two niches and part of the upper border with Tony Hazledine illustrated Hali 100, September 1998 p.156. Denny, op.cit., notes a piece in The Textile Museum, the gift of Don and Inge Cadle, Inv. no. 1996.24.1. David Sorgato illustrates a three tiered Oushak Saph carpet, apparently complete, in Hali 155, spring 2008, p. 44, again with related divisional border, but whose main border and spandrel infill differs from the Willborg/Linden/David/Wolff/Hazledine fragments. Another almost complete carpet, with rosette spandrels and equally sized niches lacking the cusping seen here, was offered at Rippon Boswell, most recently on 1 December, 2007, lot 107.
The present fragment appears to be from an inner rank of niches, similar to the piece from Christopher Alexander. It has a unique feature in the canted border with a hooked vine guard stripe which cuts across the upper right hand corner. The decoration of the spandrels of these saph fragments is closely related to that found in some ‘Transylvanian’ niche rugs, see for example lot 255 in this sale.