Sotheby's December 17, 2008. Important Judaica, New York, NY.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ANTON FELTON
A kashan PICTORIAL silk rug
SOLD $22,000 USD including buyer premium
6 feet 5 1/2 inches by 4 feet 5 inches
197 by 135 cm.
King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and appropriately titled in Hebrew
(1 Kings 10), below six panels enclosing opposing animals flanked by
niches containing flowering vases, the main border composed of twenty
nine panels depicting biblical events and places
London, The Jewish Museum, n.d.
LITERATURE AND REFERENCES
Anton Felton, Jewish Carpets, Suffolk, 1997, no. 1 pp. 58-60 (illustrated)
Ross Dunn, A World History, McDougal, Little & Co., 1988, p. 71
Werner Daum, Die Konigin Von Saba, Belser Verlag, 1988, p. 121
Abba Eban, Heritage, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1984, p. 43
"Splendours of the Past", National Geographic, 1981, p. 90
The Jewish World, ed. Elie Kedourie, Thames and Hudson, 1979, pp. 85, 156, 157
charming carpet, created as religious wall-hanging meant to convey
Judaism's basic ideologies, is the earliest dated carpet in the Anton
Felton collection. Created in the nineteenth century, it depicts the
legendary visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon to test his legendary
wisdom, as described in I Kings 10: "And when the Queen of Sheba
heard of the fame of Solomon, and what he had done in the name of the
Lord, she came to prove him with riddles"(Kings 10:1).
This biblical story, only briefly mentioned in here and in
Chronicles has nevertheless had an impact on the imagination of artists
in Jewish, Islamic, Christian, and Ethiopian traditions throughout the
ages. From the 12th century onward, Solomon and Sheba often
appeared as a pair and among the masters who depicted the two are found
Tintoretto, Rubens, Bosch, and Claude Lorrain.
Twenty-nine detailed panels on the carpet enclose Solomon and Queen
Sheba to recount the early history of the Jewish people. Symbols of the
twelve tribes are depicted and titled, along with significant Judaic
events and venues. These vignettes include those featuring two
important synagogues in Jerusalem's Old City; the burial place of the
Patriarchs in Hebron; the sacrifice of Isaac; Pharoah's daughter
discovering Moses, and the Western Wall of Solomon's Temple.
The asymmetrical elements shown, such as the columns surrounding the
six steps and the frame encircling King Solomon and Queen of Sheba are
the weaver's intentional devices, meant to emphasize the belief that
only God can create something perfect.
-Sotheby's Catalogue, December 17 Important Judaica Sale 2008.
Rug Rag Response:
December 4, 2008, we had the opportunity to see this rug in person. There are various other versions of Judaic rugs which exist, however, this particular weave is very fine. The design execution is fantastic, with high attention to detail.
Colors are absolutely incredible in person. The dyes are spectacular, with rich jewel tones and excellent saturation, not bright or garish.
knot density is very high, measuring approximately 17x22 ( Using standard US quarter slightly smaller than 1"x1") or ~374+ KPSI.
On the reverse side of the rug at the top there is a carefully sewn sleeve for wall hanging/display.
A very fine example with historic importance.
Below: Excellent example of very fine design execution. Note the rich burgundy color of the seat fabric, with exceptionally defined floral pattern.
Below: Knot density measured using a US quarter (just under 1"x1") approximately 17 Vertical knots and 22 horizontal. Approx. kpsi ~374+.
Below: Reverse side of Lot 128. A sleeve has been sewn on for proper hanging and wall display.