Arts of the Islamic World and India

Arts of the Islamic World and India

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 34. A Safavid silk sash, Persia, 17th/18th century.

A Safavid silk sash, Persia, 17th/18th century

Auction Closed

April 24, 03:45 PM GMT


18,000 - 25,000 GBP

Lot Details


weft-faced compound tabby with wadding warp and binding warp of silk, brocaded and floating wefts of tram silk and metal lamella spun around a silk core, the main field brocaded on cream ground in repeated units of bands of floral scrolls in green, red and blue on a beige and gold ground alternating with bands of beige and gold flowers and spirals on a red ground, separated by narrow beaded borders, outer borders with floral scrolls in brown, red, green, turquoise and white, the endpieces with five large floral sprays set within a rectangular field with borders of floral scrolls

556 by 59.5cm.

Please note that there may be restrictions on the import of property of Iranian origin into the USA and some or all member countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council. Any buyers planning to import property of Iranian origin into any of these countries should satisfy themselves of the relevant import regime. Sotheby's will not assist buyers with the shipment of such items into the USA or the GCC. In addition, FedEx and US courier services will no longer carry Iranian-origin goods to any location. Any shipment services would need to be provided by a Fine Art shipping company.

Sotheby's, London, 'A Princely Collection', 5 October 2010, lot 105

1400 Years of Islamic Art, 1981, no.162

Babaie, Porter & Morris 2017, p. 47

In the seventeenth century, sashes such as the present example were an essential element of noble costume and conveyed the status of the wearer through variations in length, colour, quality and design (Mackie 2015, p.388). The sashes were worn low on the waist, wrapped and tied such that the blossoms at each end were visible at the front, as shown by a magnificent Safavid oil portrait sold in these rooms, 8 October 2008, lot 49.

The varying silk wefts in these sashes results in a delicate chromatic display that complements the fine drawing of the floral blossoms. The exceptional quality of the textiles appealed to the European markets and sashes were exported, becoming especially popular in Poland. A closely comparable sash is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no.15.70.2).