Dec 3, 2022
The auction has ended

LOT 43:


Start price:
Estimated price :
€8,000 - €12,000
Buyer's Premium: 25%
VAT: 17% On commission only
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259 x 119 cm (8' 6" x 3' 11")
East Turkestan, mid 19th century
Condition: good according to age, low pile in places, both ends partially slightly incomplete, scattered small old repairs
Published: „Gewebt und geknüpft IV, antike Teppiche und Textilien aus oberösterreichischem Privatbesitz", Georg Butterweck, 2011, plate 26
„Antike Orientteppiche aus österreichischem Privatbesitz", TKF, 1986, plate 127
Provenance: Count Vinzenz Baillet de Latour (Minister for Culture and Education 1897-1898), mentioned in the catalog of the exhibition of oriental carpets in the Imperial and Royal Austrian Trade Museum Vienna 1891, No. 273
Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

East Turkestan was Buddhist for the first thousand years CE, and it is not until the 15th century that Islam could be said to have taken over completely. That is one of the reasons why Hans Bidder in his ground-breaking work Teppiche aus Ost-Turkestan established the theory that three medallion carpets are based on the idea of Buddha sitting on the centre medallion attended by two bodhisattvas on either side. Does this four-medallion rug, which seems to show a little ram's horn in the field, throw the idea out of the window, or is it just the exception to the rule? Neither - careful observation actually supports the theory. It is full of Buddhist symbols. Hidden at the bottom of the outer border we find a swastika, an endless knot in the top left corner as well as above the upper medallion, and to the right something which could be a flute. There are Chinese cloud depictions in the border and in the lower medallion, and in the top medallion we find the Chintamani motif which also has its roots in Buddhism. Note the almost three-dimensional two yellow flowers in the field which are very much Chinese in style.
Only a handful of four-medallion East Turkestan carpets are known. But it is not only rarity that makes this rug exceptional but also the wonderfully playful way it represents the syncretism of East and West. The carpet was published by Rainer Grünzner in HALI 6/4 on p. 6 and way before it was mentioned in "Katalog Nr. 273 Ausstellung Orientalischer Teppiche im
K.K. Österr: Handelsmuseum 1891", the first carpet exhibition in the world.

Estimate: € 8000 - 12000