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Isfahan Carpet: Christie's 2203 Lot 130 Most Expensive 2009


3rd (Two Way Tie) Most Expensive Carpet of 2009


Lot 130


Auctioneer:  Christie's New York

Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000

Price Realized*:  $ 254,500

Age:  17th Century

Size:  Approximately 17 ft. 6 in. x (633 cm.) x 8 ft. 1 in. (246 cm.)

Origin:  Central Persia

Type:  Isfahan

Sale Sale 2203 500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe Including Carpets from The Corcoran Gallery of Art


Lot 130 Most Expensive 2009, IsfahanLot Description

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.)

Pre-Lot Text

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.

Lot Notes
The use of silk warps in the present lot allows for an exquisitely intricate design. The graceful vinery and the details achieved in the palmettes and minor borders are all a product of the incredibly fine foundation. The incorporation of silk for a carpet of this large size 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 contemporaries.

Zoom in on Lot 130

See Lot 130 on Christie's


Lot 130 Detail Isfahan 17th Century


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