Friday 3 January 2014

The Holbein-Lotto Family III:The Small Pattern Holbein Carpets

Plain Ground.

A Type Border(Chainlink)

From the lost treasure of Bistritz

114-Hali 160(36)

A carpet in the Budapest Museum of Applied Art was acquired in 1889

115-Pasztor 3

 A carpet im Munich was acquired before 1883

116-Bayerisches  Nationalmuseum-T1598

Philadelphia 4 has a pattern with"broken"colour(Ellis) in the Quatrefoils,which paves the way for the "counterchange" style with two ground colours

117-Ellis,Philadelphia 4

A carpet from the Palazzo della Ca `d `Oro in Venice was shown during the 1999 ICOC

118-Ca d `Oro

A large carpet from the Bargello Museum in Florence

119-Hali 83-80

A famous fragment from the Bardini Museum has an inwoven coat of arms and was discovered in the Mozzi-Bardini Palace as a puzzle of fifty fragments

120-Bardini-Oriental Geometries(11)


A model example once in the Bode collection was destroyed during the war.An unusual treatment is the halved row of octagons

122-Berlin-700 J 177

A fragment from the Rhode Island School of Design

123-OCTS II-247

The following from the Keir Collection,the richest in Holbein carpets

124-Spuhler,Keir Collection-7

A fragment from the Church of St,Margaret,Mediasch,Transylvania

125-Ionescu 6

A last piece published by Atalay("Ushak Carpets",1976)


B Type Border(-Chainlink)

From the Ballard Collection in the Saint Louis Art Museum,this was exhibited in London for the ICOC show"The Eastern carpet in the Western World"where the cataloguer percipiently noted the absence of red-ground Holbein examples in Western paintings-they are apparently all blue-green.Not difficult to grasp,as there are only 8 red ground examples recorded here,all of which are small sizes.

127-Ghereh 25-75

A green ground example from the MAD in Paris has a spacious quality suggesting serious age

128-Berinstain 67

One of the few SPH carpets sold at auction in living memory,the following was purchased  in 1992 for $220,00.With the rare "C-Göl" outer guard.See APG Hali 63-140.Later with Battilossi.

129-Finarte 31 March 1992-Lot 37

A green ground carpet shown at the 1926 Chicago Exhibtion, then with Julius Böhler

130-Chicago 1926

131-Kiss Heimtex 96

C1 Type Border ("Haring").

Only three examples are recorded here with the C1 border,of which two are large pieces.The border is more common on Lottos.

From the Church of Mediasch,Transylvania

132- Ghereh 50-9

The following was published in the Turkish Handwoven Carpets series,Nr 3,pattern 0238.Not published in the 2007 catalogue of the Carpet Museum in Ankara,so perhaps it is still in the Ethnographic Museum

133-THC 3-0238

A last example is from the Barberini Palace in Venice,and features three types of Kufi border-The Timurid,the Haring,and the X-Box

135-Courtesy of Stefano Ionescu

D Type Border("X Box") This border is somewhat more common on the counterchange models.

A carpet exhibited by Alberto Boralevi in Perugia in 1996 was once in the Contini-Bonacossi Collection and was optimistically dated late 15th Century.It has a D1 type border with "X-Boxes" still connected.Unsold at Nagels on 7 May 1994(1112)

136-Boralevi Hali 87(164)

The legendary Papal chair from the Bernheimer collection is one of four lots once belonging to the Italian dealer Salvadori,now stretched between the V&A and the Keir Collection.Of all the classic SPH carpets it is certainly the most archaic,Turkmen-like,its prosaic border notwithstanding

137-Bilski 43

138-V&A Hali 6-4-362

139-V&A Hali 24-362

140-Keir Collection

E Border Type("4 Arrows)

The only example of a Holbein with this border,and the rare red ground.From St.Margaret`s Church Mediasch

141-Ionescu 4

F Border Type("Kotchanak")

Part of a once very large carpet with two differing borders,in the Textile Museum Washington

142-TM Denny 5

Two fragments in Berlin bear the Budded Kufi border and are both very carefully executed.The larger was purchased in 1876,the second in 1879

143-Berlin-Spuhler 2

144-Berlin-Spuhler 3

Now with Tabibnia,formerly Barbieri and Wher Collections,with skillful colour variations and Turkmen-like diagonal flow

145-Tabibnia-Milestones 2

A fragment from the Chris Alexander Collection

146-Alexander 177

Another example in the TIEM , Istanbul,is considered by Jon Thompson to be one of the earliest Holbein rugs.Note the well-turned borders

147-TIEM-Thompson Beattie 62

A last example with this border from the Keir Collection.

148-Keir Collection 6

G Type Border.

A palatial carpet with Mantegna border is now divided between the Bardini Museum in Florence and the Wher Collection,England.The hole in the centre of the Bardini fragment seems to have been used to patch the Keir piece.Apart from its distinguished border,this carpet excels through its use of broken colour in both octagons and quatrefoils.


150-Keir Collection-5

A fragment  in Berlin is also considered by many to be amongst the earliest,with a knotcount of 1:1

151-Berlin-Beselin 63

H Border Type.The "Timurid" border does not occur in the counterchange group.As demonstrated by Christina Klose,the little "steps" in the diagonal were at one point interlacings.

The Sibiu carpet is one of the most prestigious examples still in Transylvania,published for the first time complete and in colour by Stefano Ionescu in his standard work,"Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania"Now restored.

152-Sibiu-Ionescu 3

From the TIEM in Istanbul

153-TIEM Ertug 1-51

The Textile Museum piece seems to have been patched in the borders with fragments from a similar rug

154-TM-Denny 6

A carpet published by Gantzhorn has the "Star Kazak" border

155-Ganzhorn 382

Fragments from Plain Ground examples.

A piece in the Röhsska Museum in Göteborg,ex professor E.Walter,is listed by Ellis a s R-58

156-Röhsska Museum 375-29

157-Keir Collection

158-Bertram Frauenknecht

159-keir Collection 9

160-Keir Collection T3-T4

161-Swiss Collection

One fragment was found nailed to a stool by Ali Reza Tuna

162-Hali 110-13

163-Keir Collection 8-2

Counterchange Ground.

The clearest demonstration of the two types of SPH carpets can be found in Thompson,Jon,Milestones,page 70.It is not always easy to differentiate between the two systems,especially in old poorly focussed black and white pictures.But a simple way is to examine the sides of the field:if here the colour varies between blue(or blue-green) and red,that is a counterchange model.Even in black and white one can observe how the chroma changes.

164-Milestones,Moshe Tabibnia,page 70

Type A Border("Chainlink")

A clear example of the counterchange style in very good condition

165-Milestones 3

The Berlin carpet is equally iconic and has been published many times,most recently in the "Turks" catalogue

166-Berlin,Beselin 67

A piece from the Keir Collection later appeared restored

167-Keir 14

168-Keir 14 restored-Hali 134-37

A fragment discovered by the late Marino Dall `Oglio in the Church at Sion


A further fragment from the Keir Collection

170-Keir 10

171-Sothebys 15 December 2000-Lot 60

The above sold for $36,400(APG Hali 115-144)but did not fare so well at the same venue in 2005(3 June,Lot 17)where it went unsold.

172-Christies 15 October 1998(218)

The Alexander fragment(composed of four pieces)sold in 1998 for $21,570(Hali 103-136)

 B Type Border("- Chainlink")

Once with Ulrich Schürmann in the Sixties,and later with Bernheimer,this was part of an exhibition reviewed by Michael Franses in Hali 5/4(515).Later acquired by the Textile Gallery.Now John H.Bryan Collection USA(see Hali 172,71)

173-Textile Gallery

Offered at Sothebys Olympia in 2002,the following went unsold,but later reappeared with Zia Bozoglu after a massive lifting operation

174-Sothebys 27 February 2002(39)

175-Zia Bozoglu,Ghereh 35

A carpet once in the Baron von Tucher Collection

176-700 years-Erdmann- 47

A carpet in the Müsee des Arts Decoratifs Strasburg was once in the Kunstgewerbemuseum,Berlin,and was reviewed by C.M Suriano in Hali 83

177-Arabeschi 7

A battered rug in the Lees Williams Collection Philadelphia led C.G Ellis to some interesting conclusions regarding the occurrence of counterchange rugs in Western paintings.He thought this to be the only rug in an American collection with counterchange design,but in fact both Chris Alexander and the Dumas Collection already possessed one.

178-Philadelphia 3

This appears to be the only known example in Transylvania,From the Church of St.Margaret,Mediasch

179-Ionescu 5

With 4 rows

From the Museum of Design in Copenhagen,the following was once in the Wulff Collection(Nr 9 in his catalogue),originally acquired from Bardini

180-Kunstindustriemuset-Louisiana Revy 59

The following sold at Christies on 12 October 2000 for $25,555

181-Christies October 2000-201

A carpet in the V&A has been constructed from a larger carpet(actually two pieces)and is Nr.R5 and R5A in the catalogue of C.G Ellis

182-Mounsey Collection

From the Barbieri Collection

183-Milan,OCTS 1-61

A fragmented carpet now in Kuwait

184-Al-Sabah Collection-Spuhler,6

The example from the Dumas Collection,now in the MET New York

185-Dumas Collection,MET

A carpet now in the Wolf Collection,illustrated by Walter Denny in the Textile Museum`s latest publication on Turkish carpets

186-Wolf Collection,Denny 7

A carpet from the Pisa Collection Milan,now in the Reeves /Dallas Art Museum

187-Reeves Collection-207

A carpet illustrated by Roger Bechirian

188-Bechirian 206

D Type Border("X-Box")

The legendary Dirksen rug,auctioned in the thirties and now missing,has elements taken from the Berlin Large Pattern Holbein

189-Dirksen 517



Two fragments from the V&A described by Hali as being probably from an SPH

191-Hali 6-4-362

A carpet formerly in East Berlin which graced the cover of Hali 154.In a whimsical moment the weaver changed the border design,perhaps telling us that she-or more likely he-could also weave the "older" style of Kufi.The carpet had a hooked star border sewn on in  an earlier photo. Note the C-Göl inner guard.



The following at Lefevre`s 1978 Sale brought $25,000;later with C.Alexander;sold at Christies on 1 May 2003 for $57,360

194-Lefevre 3 February 1978-7
D1 Type Borders.Three examples are known in which the X forms are still connected by a single line.

A pleasant example from the Bardini Museum with original sides and kilim ends

195-Bardini 12

A piece published by Hangeldian which has never re-appeared

196-Hangeldian 29

One piece in Berlin has a non-Kufi border;this is the only classical example with this feature,presumably 17th century.Another piece in Philadelphia has an old variant border,but of that more later.

197-Hali 69-95

A number of fragments exist without borders

198-MET 1984.503 Ettinghausen

199-Sothebys 22 September 1993-96

200-Lefevre 16 May 1975-6

201-Bausback 1976-13

202-Keir Collection-11

203-V&A-Hali 24-362

Later examples

There are three carpets with a scaled down Holbein pattern.The first two share a common,"Hooked-Star"border;the third and most beautiful has a much older border.

The following rug,now in the Museum of Applied Arts,Budapest,was purchased in 1908 from a dealer who brought it from Transylvania.With remarkably intact kilim ends.

204-Budapest Museum catalogue 2

Advertised by Bertram Frauenknecht in Hali 34,1987,this went unsold at Christies in 2000 against an estimate of $ 12-18,000(12 October 2000,Lot 200)Now Zaleski Collection.

205-Christies October 2000-Lot 200

Perhaps belonging to this group is a fragment from the Keir Collection,although the border also occurs at least four times on the Lotto carpets listed here

206-Keir(Islamic Art) T17a

G.G Ellis felt the following had been made in Wallachia and dated it the 17th century,but a later date in Anatolia seems more likely.It has the "Edward VI" border from a painting of the Prince,in which however the painter was unable to deal with the stereoscopic quality of the original

207-Philadelphia 5

208-National Gallery London

A last group contains only octagons

209-Batilossi 2

210-Van Hamm 28 October 2011-138

Bausback`s piece imitates the Kochanak border of the earlier pieces

211-Bausback 1978-41

A fragment with Lawrence Kearney

212-Lawrence Kearney

And another with Bertram Frauenknecht

213-Bertram Frauenknecht

A carpet published by the TKF in Vienna

214-Vienna 41

Two very similar carpets

215-Gülgönen 51

216-Brüggeman & Böhmer 58

An entire group consists of SPH octagons in a cassette form

217-Peter Scholten-Hali 56-67

Last man standing

218-Sothebys 15 December 1994-184

No review would be complete without mention of the Berlin Museum`s yellow ground Holbein variant,which follows the design scheme of its Beyshehir ancestor,with its interlaces turned outwards

219-Riefstahl,Art Bulletin 1931-9


A complex type of ambiguity which also appears in the corners of the earlier Mamluke fragment in the V & A

221-V & A(reconstruction)

222-V & A closeup

The "Anatolian"Mamluke fragment is a carpet full of secrets.If as suggested previously,it is a case of industrial piracy,then all is well.However,if it be proven to be earlier than its Anatolian cousins,then rug history needs to be revised.The Kufi border,interlaced octagons and inner ascending chevrons are all features later developed,in one form or another,in Anatolian rugs.

The form occurs again on anothe Mamluk Blazon carpet fragment in the Textile Museum Washington


Returning to the yellow ground Holbein,a simple cut-and-paste of the borders reveals a complete design,not out of place on an Anatolian Kilim



Comparing the two types of interlaced octagons we can see that the first design from the yellow ground Holbein variant is more complex.The star forms at the centre are so embedded that they hold the outer scaffolding together.The second form,found in the SPH carpets,is much simpler with a rosette plonked in the middle,which could be easily varied.The design returns for an  encore in a well-known group of 19th Century Bergama carpets,virtually unchanged,as it is indeed very difficult to alter.

226-From Enderlein 1967,drawing by Uta Tyroller.

Part IV