AN isfahan carpet
Central Persia, 17th Century
With silk warps
Approximately 17 ft. 6 in. x (633 cm.) x 8 ft. 1 in. (246 cm.)
Property from the Corcoran Gallery of Art to Benefit the Acquisition Fund
Sir Frederick Leighton (1830-1896), London.
William A. Clark, New York.
Illustrated Handbook of The W.A. Clark Collection, Washington, D.C., 1928, p. 73.
'Carpets for the Great Shah', The Corcoran Gallery of Art Bulletin, Vol 2, No. 1, October 1948, p. 12, no. P1, ill IV.
R. Ettinghausen, 'oriental carpets in the Clark Collection', The William A. Clark Collection, Washington, D.C., 1978, p. 85.
Washington D.C., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Carpets for the Great Shah, 3 October-16 November, 1948, no. P1.
The use of silk warps in the present lot allows for an exquisitely
intricate design. The graceful vinery and the details achieved in the
s and minor border
s are all a product of the incredibly fine
foundation. The incorporation of silk for a carpet of this large
would have been very expensive indicating that this carpet was likely
commissioned as a gift or made for a member of the Persian nobility.
According to records, this magnificent silk-warped carpet was
previously in the collection of Sir Frederick Leighton (1830-1896), the
English artist most associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
Leighton worked closely with the architect George Aitchison (1825-1910)
to build his impressive home in Holland Park, London. Starting in 1864
and for the next 30 years the two collaborated to embellish and expand
his home, including the famous Arab Hall in 1877 that housed his
immense collection of Syrian, Turkish and Persian tiles. Presumably,
this exceptional carpet was purchased during one of his numerous trips
to The Middle East, Northern Africa or Europe where he developed a deep
appreciation for the arts of these regions. Today, the home is open to
the public as the Leighton House Museum and displays the magnificent
collection of tiles as well as works by Leighton and his