Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Ziegler Renaissance at Sultanabad

The Ziegler Fort,Sultanabad 1898.Photo by Friedrich Sarre

Founded in 1808,the town of Sultanabad is situated on the Ferahan plain,and was established as a bulwark against predatory tribesmen from the Zagros mountains area.The town lies at an altitude of 1800 meters and its Alpine climate is correspondingly hot in summer and very cold in winter.Situated at the center of a number of trade routes,it is strategically well-placed between Tehran and Bagdad.If we are to believe the report of Heinz Hegenbart,the first European involvement in the town was in the 1860`s,when a German named Reichert established a  workshop to weave carpets for the German company of Ginskey,in Maffersdorf(now Tchekoslovakia ).Due to various world Exhibitions carpets had become all the rage.The Reichert-Ginskey operation seems to have begun as a carpet-buying endeavour,acquiring old and new pieces from the Ferahan area in traditional designs such as the Herati pattern.In 1868 a Persian Ustad and his family were brought to Maffersdorf to teach local women carpet-weaving.In Sultanabad Reichert established a workshop with its own dyehouse.This is apparently also the time in which European designs(and sizes) were introduced.The three carpets illustrated in the “Wienerwerk” catalogue of 1892 were attributed by Hegenbart to Ginskey,although again without any documentation.They are somewhat in the style of Alphonse Mucha,who is known to have produced designs for the Maffersdorf company.In the catalogue however they are firmly attributed to Zieglers,making them the first published examples thus known.It must be said that the carpets,due to the nature of chromolithography,have the appearance of designs.Ziegler was not represented at the Vienna exhibition,and in the accompanying catalogue three silk carpets from Sultanabad were listed as from the Dutch-British company of Hotz,who had became active in the area during the 1880`s, probably inspired by the success of Ziegler.No Ziegler carpets are known to closely resemble the Vienna reproductions;they have more the appearance of a William Morris carpet,and the Arts and Crafts style went on to influence the more adventurous style of Sultanabad.
The production in Maffersdorf flourished and eventually the Iranian facility was abandoned.Reichert returned to Germany in 1881.Joseph Broglie brokered a deal between Ginskey and the Ziegler company(Broglie was a manager at Ziegler in Tabriz,and later at the PETAG.He is said to have been involved in the Ardabil purchase)Ziegler had been active in Iran since 1867,and had bought out the textile company of Dinner & Hanhart,taking on board one of their managers,the Swiss national Emil Alpiger.It was Alpiger who ran the carpet manufacture in Sultanabad,assisted from around 1886 by Theodor Strauss,who eventually became sole manager at some point between 1890 and 1894.
Alpiger`s collection of carpets and cartoons was first discussed by Schnyder in 1969,and then by Annette Ittig in 1992.Amongst the cartoons a number of well-known designs can be found(the classic Ziegler jagged-edge medallion for instance).We have no way of knowing which carpets were initiated by Strauss,apart from two standard examples once in family possession.The much sought after whiteground carpets with Lotus design and non-symmetrical layout are represented amongst the cartoons by a design drawn up on cotton-a solution poised between knotted wagireh and paper cartoon(Schnyder page 215)
Zieglers did not create the carpetmaking infrastructure in Sultanabad;they merely refined and industrialised it.A moot point is that carpet producers are by necessity wool-dealers,but perhaps stimulated by Reichert-Ginskey`s efforts,they also began to direct the dyeing of the wool yarn.This insured proper quality control,as village weavers would sometimes substitute cheaper material for the high quality Ziegler material.A middleman,or “Amil” was responsible for direct negotiations with the weavers,who otherwise rarely saw the proprietor.The weavers were often members of the Amil`s family,working in a cottage industry environment,as women were rarely allowed out to work(whereas in Tabriz and Kirman men and boys staffed the looms in a factory situation)The standard Sultanabad  weave was a Persian knotted to the left carpet of middling fineness,with two rows of weft on an all cotton base(the warp having been produced in Keshan)It is said that weavers were paid by the size of the carpets.The dyes used were known to be exemplary.Initially only natural dyes were employed,but later synthetics of good quality were employed(which explains T.Strauss`s time in Manchester and at the BASF in Germany.He certainly was not learning the use of madder there)The more standardised designs could be made in any required size(there are Mahals up to 10 metres long)yet the more rarified Zieglers with their exotic designs were usually in the 3 x 4 meter category.
Interestingly the Ziegler carpets of today which are so sought after(whiteground,often with white border and relaxed whimsical drawing)were not particularly admired in their day,when a “back to the roots” tendency(Churchill,Whigham et all)  eschewed the use of “modern” designs in favour of the more traditional Iranian carpets(which were anyway woven in large numbers.)So few “White Lotus” carpets have survived that one must assume a limited production.It was obviously easier to design a carpet to size than to adapt a more traditional design for European living space.Availability of designs,whether European or Iranian,was the least of Ziegler `s problems-they had thousands of models.Often too,different designs were combined in such a way as to make their origins unfathomable.

A note on Franz Theodor Strauss.

A charismatic but elusive figure,F.T Strauss was born in the small village of Kleinbocke,Thüringen,in 1859,where he grew up on the family farm.At 7 he lost his left hand through an accident.At 14 he absconded to Vienna,was apprehended and returned,and at 17 later journeyed to Tiflis on foot.He eventually set up business in the Caucasus,moving to Persia around 1881 where he took over the management of Rothschild`s banking house in Tabriz.Perhaps this is where he encountered Ziegler`s operation for the first time,as Rothschild handled a good deal of their transactions(and indeed had done for Reichert)At some point between 1885-86 he went to Sultanabad to help manage the carpet business.Despite his disability he was a crack shot on horseback,and undertook frequent journeys to gather plants and flowers for the Herbarium in Jena.He eventually collected more than 200 varieties,many of which are named after him.It was a pleasurable sideline which he continued as CEO in Sultanabad,despite objections from Ziegler`s HQ in Manchester.His fascination for plants undoubtedly influenced some of the Ziegler designs.
There are two contradictory views on Strauss and his importance:Schnyder and Ittig only mention him once,whereas for Hegenbart he is a “German Carpet Pioneer” Edwards knew of him from hearsay in 1947-“Oscar” Strauss.It seems that two world wars and a high level of anti-German feeling early on conspired to eradicate  Strauss`s pivotal role.Yet he was undoubtedly the driving force after Alpiger`s departure.He played a major part in the everyday running of the business,seems to have been the instigator of the Ziegler Fort on the outskirts of Sultanabad,and completely revitalised the dyeworks(His knowledge of the local flora would have helped him in this)He also collected old carpets,coins and metalwork,and ceramics,some of which entered the nascent Berlin Museum.Friedrich Sarre visited Sultanabad in 1898,and   later helped Strauss`s widow Clara in selling the remains of her husband `s estate.(Wilhelm von Bode also lent a helping hand)A knowledge of seven languages(including Persian and Kurdish dialects) was invaluable in such enterprises,and at the end of his tenure Strauss reigned over an area of 111 villages,employing several thousand weavers.Although a German citizen,in 1906 he was appointed British Vice-Consul.He is said to have been awarded the Order of the Lion & Sun by the Shah,and one photo shows him accompanying the Persian Crown Prince.Amongst notable guests at The Strauss Villa were Sarre,T.E Lawrence,and Winston Churchill.Hospitality flowed,and Strauss had a bowling alley constructed where evenings were spent consuming beer and home-made red wine.
However,in 1903-5 the writing was on the wall for Zieglers.Over-supply and a destructive price-war
slowly destroyed the business.Through an over-reaction to trends in the decorator market the Ziegler carpet slowly lost its character.The political situation continued to worsen,the roads were unsafe with many carpets lost to brigands,and no one went unarmed.Worn out by his toil on the Ferahan plain,Strauss eventually contracted stomach cancer,and after an arduous return journey with his wife and five children,died in the Bethanien Hospital,Berlin,on 28 December 1911,aged 52.Ziegler`s is said to have carried on various businesses in Iran until 1932.According to Schnyder the carpet production was terminated in 1912(i.e,after the demise of Strauss)

The legendary Ziegler Carpet.

For the purpose of this study,the author divided carpets from the Sultanabad area into three groups,all of which frequently flow in and out of each other:the Mahal,the Sultanabad,and the Ziegler varieties.The Mahal carpets are probably closest to the traditional area carpets,with large sizes and geometric repeating designs(chiefly the Herati,but later all-over arabesques)The Sultanabad carpets comprise elements from the Mahal group and the nobler,more exotic Zieglers(designs with animal combat and allover repeat,or marginally distorted traditional designs with exotic borders)The Ziegler group comprises carpets in the refined “White-Lotus” style,and a further group of blue-rust-gold coloured carpets with large,simplified designs of a languorous nature.The latter group features whimsical draughsmanship of a type quite unknown amongst Orientals,and which could also be described as “bad” Art(in the same way as Picasso`s portraits often display over-sized hands)These are quite deliberate distortions introduced to break up the monotony of a repeating design.We do not know who introduced the “Ziegler” style;whether it was from Head-Office in Manchester,or the whim of a London designer,or an invention of Alpiger or Strauss;or even a completely different manufacturer(Hotz,for instance,who perhaps wove the silk rugs which later entered the Alpiger estate.)Perhaps their time was short-lived and few were produced.They are now amongst the most coveted of all 19th century Persian carpets.

One anomaly surrounding the following Index concerns the photo sources.Rugtracker`s previous case-studies have focussed on classical and collectable carpets,and images were sourced from the literature on the subject.In the present case,a data-bank has only become possible due to the upsurge in interest-especially from America-in these carpets as decorative elements in home-furnishing.Invariably the “home” was a mansion,a palace,or in the case of the watershed-event for Sultanabad carpets,the Sale at Elveden Hall in 1984,where more than twenty Zieglers in pristine condition were sold on one day.Thus this work would not have been possible without a study of auction catalogues from the early `80`s onward,as the Sultanabads have otherwise remained untracked.But a Ziegler is as relevant for the history of carpets as a Lotto or a Star Kazak,representing as it does the second coming of the Persian carpet.


















1) Three carpets(?)attributed to Ziegler,Tehran.Published Wienerwerk 1895,plates LXXII,LXIII,LXIII(Nr.94)The red-ground example was attributed to Ginzkey-Reichert by H.Hegenbart.Ziegler seems not to have exhibited at the 1891 Vienna exhibition;the catalogue describes three silk carpets from Sultanabad,from the Hotz production.These three carpets were reproduced in the major catalogue from 1892.

2) 1 and 3 designed by Voysey,for Ginzkey; 2 is a design for Ginzkey from Alphonse Mucha.

3) Carpet designs from J.Straume(1) and William Morris(2)

4) A hand knotted Ginzkey carpet;the Ginzkey weavers;the Ginzkey Carpet Museum in Maffersdorf.The carpet on offer at the Dorotheum in 2016 utilises a simple version of the Bij Majnun design,coarsely knotted with the Turkish knot,and carrying the Orendi sales sticker.The Ginzkey Carpet Museum contained the originals used in the Ginzkey production,including the famous Vase carpet.The buildings still exist.

4A) The Ginzkey Vase Carpet,published in the Wienerwerk.Whereabouts unknown.

5) Sultanabad carpet cartoons from the Alpiger Collection.Nr. 1 can be seen as a carpet in Plate 48,Nr.1;2 & 3 exist in the originals 94-99;

6) A Ferahan(?)carpet with the inscription:”Completed as commissioned by the most noble merchants of(goods)Ziegler Company.Made in Feraghan 1250(AD 1834-5)”More likely to be read as A.H 1305,or 1887-88 AD.Christies 2010.

7) Two carpets said to have been designed by F.T Strauss.

7A) One of Strauss`botanical drawings.

7b)Paintings by Strauss;Luristan,and possibly Sultanabad.

8-1) A Ziegler carpet(?)published by Orendi;8-2) Carpet fragment said to have been designed by Strauss.
8-3) Sultanabad 1890.Yellow or camel ground.

9-1) Strauss(left) with Phillip Ziegler(third from Right);9-2) Strauss on horseback;9-3) Strauss(seated right)
9-4) Strauss portrait and 9-5) final resting place in Pausa,East Germany.

9A-1) Weighing carpets in Sultanabad.The European is probably Alpiger.Apparently the carpets were paid by size;possibly also by weight;9A-2) The Strauss residence in Sultanabad;9A-3) A caravan in winter,Sultanabad.

10-1) The Ziegler Fort;10-2) The same;10-3) The Ziegler House,photographed by Erna Strauss during a visit to her birthplace in 1975.

11) The Ziegler Fort today.After changing hands a few times,it now houses the Arak Art College.

12) Sultanabad weavers.

13) Elveden HalI,1984.Hali 6-4-1984-page 24.


















14-1) Cairene carpet Göteborg;14-2) Mahal Carpet,Sothebys 2000.

15-1) Ziegler carpet Sothebys 1999;15-2)Ziegler carpet Sothebys 2003.

16) The Maciet Cairene Carpet,Paris.

17-1) Ziegler,Farnham Carpets website;17-2) Cairene carpet fragment,V&A,London.

18-1) Christies 2014;18-2) Christies 2015.

19) Cairene carpets,Sothebys,Corcoran Sale 2013.

20-1) Sothebys 1995;20-2) Christies 2004.

21-1) Christies 2005;21-2) Christies 1997;21-3) Christies 2006 (see Hali148-114)

22-1) Sothebys 2004;22-2)Christies 2016.

23-1) Sothebys 2004;23-2) Sothebys 2008;23-3) Christies 1988;23-4) Sothebys 1989.

24-1) Cairene Carpet V&A,London;24-2 Cairene Carpet V&A,London,border closeup.

25-1) Skinners 1985;25-2) Christies 1984;25-3) Christies 2005.

26-1) Christies 2009;26-2) Christies 2005;26-3) Sothebys 2003.

27-1) Christies 2002;27-2) Advert “Warp & Weft”-Hali 122,page 39;
27-3) Christies 1998;27-4) Sothebys 2008.

28) Sothebys 2006.






29-1) Christies 2004;29-2) Sothebys 1995.

30-1) Sothebys 1989;30-2) Sothebys 1997.

31-1)Beauvais carpets website;31-2) Sothebys 2006;31-3) Christies 2005.
31-4) Sothebys 2002,DL Blau.

32) Sothebys 2002.






33-1) Amida Carpet,published Gantzhorn-509;33-2) Christies 2007.

34) Christies 1999.

35-1) Nagels 1997;35-2) Sothebys 2003;35-3) Sothebys 2006.
35-4) Christies 2004;35-5) Sothebys 1981.

35A) Christies 2008.

36) Sothebys 1995.

37-1) Sothebys 2007;37-2) Christies 2006.



38-1) Christies 2011;38-2) Sothebys 2010.

38A-) The Goupil Salting Carpet.

39-1) Sothebys 1999;39-2) Christies 2005.






40) Polonaise carpet,Berlin.

41-1) Sothebys 2002,Blau Sale;41-2) Christies 2012.
41-3) Christies 2011;41-4) Sothebys 2007.

42-1) Sothebys 2000;42-2) Christies 2011.
42-3) Christies 1998;42-4) Sothebys 1997.

43-1) Christies 1995;43-2) Sothebys 1998.

43A-Polonaise carpet Tehran,formerly Rockefeller.




44-1) Semenzato 2002;44-2) Christies 1994;
44-3) Christies 1998;44-4) Edelmann 1982.

45-1) Christies 2003;45-2) Sothebys 2003;45-3) Sothebys 2003.

46-Jourdan,Persische Teppiche,Nr.14.



47-1) Dorotheum 2010;47-2) Sothebys 1999.

48-1)Hakimian Advert,Hali 80-83;48-2) Christies 2006;48-3) Christies 2000;
48-4) Christies 2014;48-5) Christies 2002.

49-1) Christies 2006;49-2) Sothebys 1998;49-3) Sothebys 2006;
49-4) Sothebys 1998;49-5) Sothebys 1996.





50-1) Christies 1996;50-2) Christies 2010;
50-3) Sothebys 2001;50-4) Sothebys 2007.

51-1) J.Thompson,Tents 111;51-2) Sothebys 2002;
51-3) Sothebys 2003;51-4) Sothebys 2006

52-1) Sothebys 2008;52-2) Christies 1999.

53) Phillips 2001.

54-1) Sothebys 2006;54-2) Phillips 2001;54-3) Sothebys 2001.

55-1) Christies 2008;55-2) Christies 2011;55-3) Sothebys 2000;
55-4) Christies 2000;55-5) Bonhams Moheban Sale 2000;55-6) Christies 2002.



56-1) Grogans 2006;56-2) Sothebys 2004;56-3) Sothebys 2002 Blau sale;
56-4) Sothebys 1996;56-5) Christies 1998;56-6) Sothebys 2002.

57-1) Christies 2010;57-2) Christies 2007.






60-1) Sothebys 1996;60-2) Sothebys 2003;60-3) Butterfields 2002;
60-4) Christies 2007;60-5) Bonhams 2006;60-6) Schnyder,page 216.

61-1) Christies 1979 & 1990;61-2) Nemati Collection;
61-3) Christies 2012;61-4) Sothebys 1995.

62-1) Sothebys 1984;62-2) Christies 2007;62-3) Sothebys 1996;
62-4) Christies 2002;62-5) D.Sevi,Hali 29,1986;62-6) Christies 2000;
62-7) Sothebys 1990.

63-1) Sothebys 1992;63-2) Sothebys 2002;63-3) Van Ham 2008













64-) Sothebys 1988.

65-1) Christies 2000;65-2) Christies 2003.

66-1) Sothebys 2004;66-2) Sothebys 2002.

67-1) Skinner 1985;67-2) Skinner 1987;67-3) Sothebys 2007;
67-4) Sothebys 2001;67-5) Kayvan-Sternbach advert Hali 30-60-1986.

68-1)Sothebys 2000;68-2) Nagels 52T,2009;68-3) Van Ham 2006;
68-4) Sothebys 2006; 68-5) Sothebys 2002.

69-1)  Sothebys 2006;69-2) Christies 2003;
69-3) Udo Langauer;69-4) Sothebys 2000.

70-1) Phillips 1991;70-2) Peter Bausback advert Hali 112,2000;
70-3)-Sothebys 1996;70-4) Bonhams 2013;
70-5) Sothebys 2008;70-6) Sothebys 2005.

71-1) Christies 1998;71-2) Alex Zadah;
71-3) Sothebys 2006;71-4) Christies 1996.

72-1) Skinners 1996;72-2) Christies 1989.

73-1) The Nomad`s Loom advert,Hali 54,1990;73-2) Christies 2002.

74-1) Christies 1991;74-2) Sothebys 1996;74-3) Christies 2000.

75-1) Christies 2015;75-2) Sothebys 1997;
75-3) Christies 2004;75-4) Mallams 2013.

76)- Sothebys 1992.















77-1) Nagels 1998;77-2) Mirco Cattai.77-3)  J.P Willborg;
77-4) Butterfields 2002;77-5) Christies 2008;77-6) Sothebys 2002.

78- Sothebys 1997.

79-1) Sothebys 1997;79-2) Sothebys 1996.

80-Christies 2001 Davide Halevim.

81-1) Sothebys 1993.81-2) Christies 2015;81-3) Bonhams 2012.

82-1)Sothebys 1998;82-2) Sothebys 2005;82-3) Sothebys 1992.

83-1)  Christies 2003;83-2) Sothebys 1998;83-3) Bonhams 2008;
83-4) Christies 1989.

84-1) Sothebys 2001;84-2) Christies 2008;84-3) Sothebys 1998;
84-4) Christies 1992(Meyer-Müller);84-5) Sothebys 2008.

85-1) Bonhams 2006;85-2) Phillips 1998;85-3) Christies 2006.

86-4) Sothebys 2002;86-5) Skinner 1996;86-6) Sothebys 1999.

87-1) Christies 1997;87-2) Christies 2002;87-3) Rippon Boswell 2014.

88-1) Sothebys 2000;88-2) Sothebys 2008.

89-1) Davide Halevim advert Hali 60;89-2) Sothebys 2001.

90-) Nagels 2011.




91-1) Van Ham 1998;91-2) Christies 1995;91-3) Christies 1998.

92-1) Bonhams 2008;92-2) Christies 1992.

93)-Hali 49.

93A-Schürmann,Chris Legge.









94-1)  Sothebys 2001;94-2)  Christies 2004.

95-1 & 2) Alpiger cartoons.

96-1) Sothebys 2007.96-2) Mirco Cattai;
96-3) Sothebys 2010;96-4) Sothebys 2008.

97-1) Rippon Boswell 1999 & 2005;Engelhardt Collection.

98-1) Two silk carpets,said to be from Ziegler.Hali 80-84 and Schnyder 217.

99-1) Christies 2001;99-2) Dorotheum 2013.

100-1) Christies 1993;100-2) Sothebys 2003.

101-1) Christies 1999;101-2) Sothebys 2008;101-3) Christies 2006;101-4) Sothebys 1999;
101-5) Sothebys 2001;101-6) Bonhams 2004.

102-1) David Black,Hali 40; 2) Christies 2002;102-3) Schnyder 218.














103-1)Gans-Ruedin,Persian Carpets 296; 103-2) Christies 2012.

104-1 & 3) Christies 2002;104-2) Sothebys 1992; 104-4) Sothebys 2003.

104A-1) Sothebys 1993;104A-2) Sothebys 1998; 104A-3) Sothebys 2006;
104A-4) Butterfields 2002.

105-1) Bonhams 2007; 105-2) Sothebys 2007; 105-3) Skinner 2008;
105-4) Sothebys 2000.

106-1) Bonhams 2007; 106-2) Sothebys 1989; 106-3) Sothebys 1991;
106-4) Sothebys 2010; 106-5) Christies 2002; 106-6) Christies 2001.

107-1) Christies 1999; 107-2) Sothebys 2011,Joseph Fell sale.

108-1) Cadry advert,hali 167,2011; 108-2) Christies 1997; 108-3) Christies 1985.

109-1) Sothebys 1985; 109-2)Markarian Album 119.

110-1) Sothebys 1996;110-2) Bonhams 2005(Moheban sale);110-3) Bonhams 2005;
110-4) Christies 2009.

111-Christies 2003.

112-1) Sothebys 1998;112-2) Sothebys 2003.

113-) Christies 2002.





114-) C.John.

115-1) Sothebys 1999; 115-2) Christies 2009.

116-1) Rippon Boswell 2014; 116-2) Sothebys 2009; 116-3 Christies 2002;
116-4) Christies 2008; 116-5) Christies 2009.

117-1) Sothebys 2002; 117-2) Sothebys 2008; 117-3) Sothebys 1997;
117-4) Christies 1998.

118-1) Sothebys 2009; 118-2) Christies 1991 ( Meyer-Müller II);
118-3) Christies 2010; 118-4) Christies 2008.
















































119-1) Christies 1998(D.Halevim); 119-2) Christies 2010;

120-1) Van Ham 1999; 120-2) Nagel 2009; 120-3) Sothebys 2000;
120-4) Christies 2014.

121-1) Sothebys 2008; 121-2) Alex Zadah Hali 95 ; 121-3) Christies 2003;
121-4) Eskenazi 209.

122-1) Christies 2003; 122-2) Sothebys 1990; 122-3) Sothebys 1999;
122-4) Sothebys 1992.

123-1) Christies 2008; 123-2) Sothebys 2009; 123-3) Sothebys 1994;
123-4) Sothebys 2005; 123-5) Sothebys 1998.

124-1) Sothebys 1988; 124-2) Sothebys 2010; 124-3) Christies 2000;
124-4) Christies 1999; 124-5) Christies 1998; 124-6) Sothebys 2002.

125-1) Christies 2010; 125-6) Christies 1989.

126-1) Christies 1998; 126-2) Sothebys 2006; 126-3) Sothebys 1999;
126-4) Lyon & Turnbull 2010; 126-5) Sothebys 2011; 126-6) Christies 2005.

127-1) Sothebys 1986; 127-2) Christies 1993.

128-1) Sothebys 1997; 128-2) Christies 2002; 128-3) Sothebys 2003;
128-4) Sothebys 1996; 128-5) Christies 1999; 128-6) Sothebys 1993.

129-1) Sothebys 1999(dated 1825) 129-2; Christies 2002.

130-1) Ghereh 1,page 72; 130-2) Butterfields 2002) 130-3) Sothebys 2003;
130-4) Sothebys 2003.

131-1) Sothebys 1996; 131-2) Sothebys 1993; 131-3) Bonhams 2009;
131-4) Phillips 1994; 131-5) Bonhams 2006; 131-6) Christies 2009;
131-7) Christies 2013; 131-8) Sothebys 2008.

132-1) Sothebys 2009; 132-2) Sothebys 2007.

133-1) Sothebys 1990; 133-2) Christies 2001; 133-3) Sothebys 1991;
133-4) Christies 1999.

134- Christies 2001.

135-1) Christies 1999; 135-2) Sothebys 1990; 135-3) Sothebys 2003.

136-1) Skinners 2016; 136-2) Christies 1990; 136-3) Sothebys 2002.

137-1) Sothebys 1995-137-2) Christies 1994; 137-3) Christies 2003;
137-4) Christies 2003; 137-5) Sothebys 1993; 137-6)John Siumak,Hali 119,2001.

138-1) Christies 2000; 138-2) Sothebys 2010; 138-3) Sothebys 2008;
138-4) 2006; 138-5) Christies 2006; 138-6) Phillips 1992.

140-1) Christies 2006;140-2) Sothebys 2005;140-3)Sothebys 2007;
140-4) Christies 2003; 140-5) Christies 2002; 140-6) Bonhams 2007;
140-7) Christies 2003; 140-8) Christies 2014.

142-1) C.John ; 142-2) Bonhams 2015; 142-3) Bonhams 2002;
142-4) Sothebys 1998; 142-5) Bonhams 2004.

143-1) Christies 1993; 143-2) Sothebys 2006; 143-3) Sothebys 1989;
143-4) Sothebys 2004.

144-1) Christies 2005; 144-2) Christies 2005; 144-3) Nagels 2007;
144-4) Sothebys 1999;Sothebys 2008.

145-1) Christies 1985; 145-2) Christies 1998; 145-3) Christies 1988;
145-4) Nagels 2005.

146-1) Sothebys 1999; 146-2) Sothebys 1998; 146-3) Sothebys 2007;
146-4) Sothebys 2000; 146-5) Sothebys 2000; 146-6) Christies 1999;
146-7) Christies 1996; 146-8) Christies 2000.

147-1) Sothebys 1997; 147-2) 1998.

148-1) Bonhams 1996; 148-2) Christies 2010.

149-1) Nagels 2011;149-2) Christies 1998; 149-3) Christies 1998;
149-4) Christies 2006.

150-1) Sothebys 1999; 150-2) Christies 1995; 150-3) Christies 2016.

151-1) Sothebys 2002; 151-2)Sothebys 2006; 151-3) 2002.

160-1) Sothebys 2002; 160-2) Sothebys 2006; 160-3)Nagels 2002.

161-1 & 2) Christies 2002 & Christies 2004; 161-3)Bonhams 2007;
161-4) Sothebys 1998;161-5Christies 1999.

162-1) Sothebys 1992; 162-2)the Freud Ziegler Christies 2001; 162-3) Christies 2011;
162-4) Christies 2011; 162-5) Christies 1997.

163-1) Van Ham 2006; 163-2) Sothebys 2003; 163-3)Sothebys 2004;
163-4) Sothebys 2003; 163-5) Sothebys 1993; 163-6) Christies 1984.

165-1) Sothebys 2010; 165-2) Sothebys 2000; 165-3) Sothebys 1988;
165-4) Christies 1999;165-5) Christies 2001; 165-6) Christies 2000.

166-3) Christies 2005; 166-4) Sothebys 2010; 166-5) Sothebys 1992;
166-6) Sothebys 2008.

167-1) Sothebys 2000;167-2) Sothebys 2007; 167-3) Christies 2015;
167-4) Christies 1993.

168-1) Christies 2016; 168-2) Christies 2007; 168-3) Sothebys 1993;
168-4) Sothebys 2010; 168-5) Bonhams 2003; 168-6) Sothebys 1997.

170-1) Hali 108-107; 170-2) Sothebys 2011; 170-3) Sothebys 2010(Lehman Sale)

171-1) Christies 2007; 171-2) Sothebys 1989; 171-3) Rippon Boswell 2013;
171-4) Sothebys 1998; 171-5) Christies 1996; 171-6) Sothebys 2005.

172-1) Sothebys 1999; 172-2) Sothebys 2000.

173-1) Sothebys 1991; 173-2) Sothebys 2005; 173-3Christies 1993.

174-1) Christies 2003; 174-2) Sothebys 2006; 174-3) Sothebys 1992;
174-4)Nagels-Christies-Sothebys; 174-5) Christies 2006.

175-1) Sothebys 2002; 175-2) Sothebys 2010.

176-1)  Sothebys 2008; 176-2) Sothebys 1999; 176) Bonhams 2011.








177-1) Sothebys 1999; 177-2) Christies 1996; 177-3) Van Ham 2009.

178-1) Sothebys 1997;178-2)Bonhams 2002;178-3)Christies 1997;
178-4)Christies 2003; 178-5) Christies 1998.

179-1) Sothebys 1989; 179-2) Christies 2015; 179-3) Farnham Carpets website.

180-1) Christies 2001; 180-2) Sothebys 2005.

181-1) Christies 2011; 181-2) Sothebys 1999; 181-3) Phillips 2001;
181-4) Sothebys 1992; 181-5) Sothebys 1995; 181-6) Sothebys 2006.

182-Christies 2012.






183-1) Sothebys 2002; 183-2) Sothebys 2002; 183-3)Roger Cavanagh,Hali 91;
183-4) Christies 1998.

184-1) Bonhams Moheban Sale 2005; 184-2) Sothebys 2004;
184-3) Christies 2005;184-4) Sothebys 2001.

185-1) 171;185-2)Sothebys 1998;185-3) Christies 1999;
185-4) Sothebys 1999.

186-1) Christies 2002; 186-2) Sothebys 2009; 186-3)Sothebys 1997;
186-4) Bonhams 2008; 186-5) Sothebys 2002; 186-6)Christies 2003;
186-7) Sothebys 1996; 186-8) Christies 2001.

187-1) Sothebys 2002; 187-2) Sothebys 2003.

188-1)Sothebys 1996; 188-2) Sothebys; 188-3) Christies 2011;
188-4) Sothebys 2002-2003-2010.





189-1)Christies 2004; 189-2) Christies 1989; 189-3)Phillips 1993;
189-4) Sothebys 1993.

190-) V&A,London

191-1) Christies 2002; 191-2)Christies 1989; 191-3) Sothebys 2007;
191-4) Sothebys 1995; 191-5) Sothebys 2005.

192-1) Sothebys 2006; 192-2) Christies 2010; 192-3) Christies 2011.





































193-1) Sothebys 1999; 193-2) Sothebys 1992; 193-3) Bonhams 2005.

194-1) Christies 1989; 194-2) Bonhams 2005(Moheban Sale) ; 194-3) Sothebys 2005.

195- Bonhams 2006.

196-1) Bonhams 2015; Cairene Carpet Ryksmuseum.

197-1) Sothebys 2005; 197-2) Bonhams 2004; 197-3) Phillips 1995;
197-4) Christies 2006; 197-5) Sothebys 2005.

198-1) Sothebys 2000;198-2) Christies 2001; 198-3) Christies 2004.

199-1) Bonhams 2005; 199-2) Christies 2001; 199-3) Christies 2011;
199-4)D.B Stock,Hali 138; 199-5) Sothebys 1997; 199-6) Sothebys 2007;
199-7) Hali 62-28,advert Galleri Orient.

200-1) Butterfields 2002; 200-2) Christies 2007; 200-3) Sothebys 2007.

201-1) Sothebys 1996; 201-2) Christies 2005.

202-1) Sothebys 2006; 202-2) Christies 1990.

203-1) Sothebys 1990; 203-2) Christies 2011; 203-3) Sothebys 2004;
203-4) Anthony Thompson 1992.

204-1) Christies 1984; 204-2)Christies 1996; 204-3) Sothebys 1993;
204-4) Sothebys 1998; 204-5) Christies 1996; 204-6) Sothebys 1992.

205-1) Sothebys 1999; 205-2) Sothebys 2008; 205-3) Grogans 2006;
205-4) Sothebys 1989; 205-5) Christies 1998.

206-1) Sothebys 1997; 206-2) Tschebull ; 206-3) Sothebys 2002;
206-4) Sothebys 2002; 206-5) Bonhams 2003; 206-6) Sothebys 1995;
206-7) Sothebys 2003.

207-1) Sothebys 2009; 207-2) Sothebys 2001; 207-3) Sothebys 2001;
207-4) Sothebys 2002; 207-5) Sothebys 2002; 207-6) Christies 1995.

208-1) Bonhams 2007; 208-2) Eliko advert Hali 126; 208-3) Bonhams 1997;
208-4) Nagels 2009; 208-5) Sothebys 1999; 208-6) Sothebys 1996;
208-7) Bonhams 2008.

209-1) Sothebys 2007; 209-2) Sothebys 2004; 209-3) Sothebys 2000;
209-4) Sothebys 2006; 209-5) Sothebys 2004.

210-1) Christies 1995; 210-2) Sothebys 2008; 210-3) Sothebys 1989;
210-4) Sothebys 1998; 210-5) Christies 1988.

211- Sothebys 2005.

212- Sothebys 1995.

213-1) Josephson,Hali 58; 213-2) A.Gilberti,Hali 45,1989; 213-3)
Christies 1991; 213-4) Christies 1989; 213-5) Christies 1987.

214-1) Van Ham 2005; 214-2) Sothebys 2000; 214-3) Christies 2010;
214-4) Christies 2005; 214-5) Rippon Boswell 2006; 214-6) Sothebys 2004.

215-1) Sothebys 1990; 215-2) Sothebys 2006; 215-3) Sothebys 1998;
215-4) Christies 2011; 215-5) Bonhams 2012; 215-6) Sothebys 1991;
215-7) Christies 2001.

216-1) Christies 2004; 216-2) Sothebys 1993; 216-3) Sothebys 1990;
216-4) Christies 2009; 216-5) Sothebys 1989.

217- Sothebys 1989 

218-1) Christies 1998; 218-2) Christies 1994.

218 A-1) Sothebys 1999; 218A-2) Sothebys 2007.

219-1) Christies 2002; 219-2) Christies 1997; 219-3) Sothebys 1998;
219-4) Sothebys 2007; 219-5) Sothebys 1992; 219-6) Sothebys 2002.

220-1) Boralevi,Hali 67,1993; 220-2) Sothebys 2006; 220-3) Christies 1999;
220-4) Christies 2001; 220-5) Christies 2002.

221-1) Christies 1998; 221-2) Sothebys 2009; 221-3) Sothebys 1993.


222-1) Sothebys 2001; 222-2) Bonhams 2005,Moheban Sale;
222-3) Sothebys 2002; 222-4) Christies 2001.

223-1) Sothebys 1989; 223-2) Sothebys 1990; 223-3)Sothebys 2005.

224-1) Roger Cavanna,Hali 37-19; 224-2)Warp & Weft advert,Hali 120;
224-3) Christies 2004.

225-1) Sothebys 2001; 225-2) Phillips 1989; 225-3)Sothebys 1994.

226-1) Christies 2002; 226-2) Christies 2001; 226-3) Christies 2000;
226-4) Sothebys 2004: 226-5) Sothebys 2009; 226-6) Sothebys 2004.






















227-1) Christies 1997; 227-2) Sothebys 1991.

228- Netherhamptons 2016;

229-1) Christies 2004; 229-2) Christies 2002.

230-1) Sothebys 199; 230-2) Sothebys 1997.

231-1) Sothebys 2003; 231-2) Christies 1997; 231-3) Christies 1992;
231-4) Christies 2015;231- 5) Christies 1995; 231-6) Nagels 2009;
231-7) Sothebys 1996; 231-8) Sothebys 2001; 231-9) Sothebys 1998.

232-) Sothebys 1999.

233-) Sothebys 2006.

234-1) Edelmann 1980; 234-2) Sothebys 2006; 234-3) Sothebys 2010.

235-1) Christies 2010; 235-2) Christies 2000; 235-3) Sothebys 2002.

236-1) Sothebys 2000;236-2) Hali 83,advert B.Jonas ; 236-3) Christies 2000;
236-4) Sothebys 1998.

237-1) Sothebys 2005; 237-2) Sothebys 2004; 237-3) Sothebys 2005;
237-4) Sothebys 2008.

238-1) Christies 2008; 238-2) Bonhams 2006; 238-3) Sothebys 1998;
238-4) Sothebys 2002.

239-Christies 1997.

240-1) Christies 1989; 240-2) Christies 1995; 240-3) Christies 1989;
240-4) C.John; 240-5) Sothebys 1995; 240-6) Sothebys 2002;
240-7) Sothebys 1990; 240-8) Christies 1985.

241-1) Christies 2013; 241-2) Farnham Carpets; 241-3) Bonhams 2004.

242- Christies 1995.

243-1) Christies 2014; 243-2) Sothebys 2007.

244-1) Christies 2004; 244-2) Sothebys 2009; 244-3) C.John;244-4) Sothebys 1996.









245-1) Hegenbart; 245-2) Sothebys 1998; 3) Sothebys 2000.

246-1) Christies 2001; 246-2) Sothebys 2008; 246-3) Sothebys 1996.

247-1)Sothebys 1995;247-2)Sothebys 2001;247-3) Sothebys 1999.

248-1) Christies 1989; 248-2) Christies 2008; 248-3) Istanbul Art,advert Rugrabbit.

249-1) Sothebys 2006; 249-2) Sothebys 2001; 249-3) Sothebys 2001.

250-1) Sothebys 2003; 250-2) Christies 2003.

251- Sothebys 2005.

252-Sothebys 2000.







253-1) Christies 1999; 253-2) Van Ham 1999; 253-3) Sothebys 1997;
253-4) R.Cavanagh,Hali 41,1988; 253-5) Sothebys 2005; 253-6) Sothebys 2010.

254-1) Phillips 2001; 254-2) 254-3) Sothebys 1992; 254-4) Farnham Carpets;
254-5) Christies 1998; 254-6) Finarte 2005.

255-1) Bonhams 2007; 255-2) Sothebys 2002(DL Blau Sale)

256-1) Christies 2008; 256-2) Sothebys 1999; 256-3) Sothebys 2015.

257-1) Sothebys 2002(DL Blau); 257-2) Christies 1995; 257-3) V.Blau Hali 6-4-1984.

258-) Christies 2003.



259-1) Christies 2004; 259-2) Sothebys 2002.

260-1) Sothebys 2000; 260-2) Sothebys 2002; 260-3) Sothebys 2001.





261-1) Christies 2000; 261-2) Sothebys 1990.

262-Sothebys 1998.

263-1) Finarte 1997; 263-2) Christies 2006; 263-3) Sothebys 1995.

264-1) Sothebys 2005; 264-2) Christies 1999.




265-1) Sothebys 2008; 265-2) A Senneh version published by Cohen,Fascino 1983.

266-1) Sothebys 2005; 266-2) Sothebys 2010; 266-3) Bonhams 2011.

267-Christies 2002.




268-1) Bonhams 2006; 268-2) Owen Parry; 268-3) Christies 2001;
268-4) Sothebys 2005; 268-5) Bonhams 2005 ; 268-6) Skinner 1991;
268-7) Sothebys 1998.

269-1) Christies 1989; 269-2) Christies 2000; 269-3) Skinner 2000;
269-4) Jeff Dworsky; 269-5.

270-1) Rippon Boswell 2016; 270-2) Sothebys 2002; 270-3) Tiffany Studios.







271-1) Berj Abajian Hali 6-4-441.

272-1) Christies 2004; 272-2) Christies 2001; 272-3) Sothebys 1996.

273-Sothebys 1996.

274-Christies 2005.

276-Sothebys 1989.

277-Altman Collection MET.





278-1) Christies 2002; 278-2) Sothebys 1996;278-3) Sothebys 1999;
278-4) Sothebys 2006.

279-1) Sothebys 2006; 279-2) Sothebys 2004.

280-1) Sothebys 2003; 280-2) Sothebys 1992; 280-3) Christies 1998;
280-4) Sothebys 2002; 280-5) Christies 2004; 280-6) Bonhams 2015;
280-7) Skinners 1995; 280-8) Christies 2007; 280-9) Christies 2001.

281-1) Brunks 2009; 281-2) Christies 1992(Meyer-Müller)






282-1) Christies 1988; 282-2) Sothebys 1991; 282-3) Sothebys 1993.

283-1) Sothebys 2004; 283-2) Sothebys 2003; 283-3) Christies 2011;
283-4) Hali 1998; 283-5) Christies 2001; 283-6)Madayan advert Hali 26,1985.

284-1) Bonhams 2007; 284-2) Nagels 2009.

285-1) Fairman advert Hali 38,1988; 285-2) Sothebys 2003.




286-1) Alberto Levi Catalogue III; 286-2) Sothebys 2005; 
Bonhams 2005; Skinner 1989.

287-1) Christies 2001; 287-2) Christies 2001.

288-1) Sothebys 2000; 288-2) Sothebys 1991; 288-3) Beauvais Carpets;
288-4) Christies 2016; 288-5) Sothebys 2001; 288-6) Bonhams 2007.

289-1) Christies 1990; 289-2) Sothebys 2005; 289-3) Christies 2000.






290-1) Christies 1993; 290-2) Christies 1994; 290-3) Christies 2004;
290-4) Christies 2001.

291-1) Christies 1985; 291-2) Christies 2010; 291-3) Christies 2008.

292- Christies 2005.

293-1) Christies 1987; 293-2) Advert DSV-Hali 152,2007;
293-3) Advert Sany,Hali 54,1990; 293-4) Christies 2003.

294- Bonhams 2007.






295-Christies 2001 & Sothebys 2003.

296- Christies 2002 & Butterfields 2002.

297- Sothebys 2007 & Christies 2012.

298-Christies 2000 & Sothebys 2002(DL Blau).

299- Christies 2003; Sothebys 2004.





300-1) Christies 2000; 300-2) Christies 2005; 300-3) Sothebys 2003.

301-1) Christies 1994; 301-2) Christies 2006; 301-3) Sothebys 2005;
301-4 Sothebys 1998.

302-1) Christies 2014; 302-2) Sothebys 1997; 302-3) Phillips 1998;
302-4) Beauvais Carpets; 302-5) Sothebys 1998.

303-1) Sothebys 2005; 303-2) Sothebys 2010; 303-3) Sothebys 2000;
303-4) Christies 2008.

304-1) Sothebys 1990; 304-2) Sothebys 2002; 304-3) Sothebys 2003;
304-4) Christies 1993.







305-1) Edelman 1980; 305-2) Sothebys 2002; 305-3) Sothebys 1998;
305-4)Sothebys 1998; 305-5) Christies 1985; 305-6) Phillips 2000.

306-lower left: Textile Museum.

307-1) Sothebys 1997; 307-2) Farnham Carpets; 307-3) Lyon & Turnbull
2010; 307-4) Tabibnia,Hali 100,1998.

308–Inscribed-1) Sothebys 1999; 308-2) 2006; 308-3) Christies 2003;
308-4) Sothebys 1994; 308-5) Christies 1994; 308-6) Sothebys 2010;
308-7) Christies 1995.

309-1) Christies 1989; 309-2) Sothebys 2005; 309-3) Sothebys 1999;
309-4) Sothebys 2004.

310-1) Sothebys 2003; 310-2) Sothebys 1986.








311-1) Sothebys 1999; 311-2) Sothebys 1999; 311-3)E. Herrmann,Hali 36,1987;
311-4) Taher Sabahi.

312-1) Skinners 2011; 312-2) Phillips 1991; 312-3) Freeman`s;
312-4) Sabahi,Wagireh 75; 312-5) niceart,Istanbul; 312-6)
Jourdan,persische teppiche 59.

313-1) Finarte 1990; 313-2) Bonhams 2005; 313-3) Bonhams 2008;

313-4) James Cohen,Hali 138,2005; 313-5)Internet.

314-1) Keshishian; 314-2) Walkowiak Collection; 314-3) Bonhams 2016;
314-4) Nagels 8507-228; 314-5) Nazmiyal.

315-1) Peter pap,Hali 134,2000; 315-2) Kanna advert Hali 69,1993;
315-3) Sothebys 2010; 315-4) Taher Sabahi; 315-5) Haliden.

316-1) Robert Fritz; 316-2) Christies 2003; 316-3) Private Collection;
316-4) Nazmiyal; 316-5) Beau Ryan; 316-6) Sothebys 2007.

317-1) Battilossi,Christies 1998; 317-2) Rippon Boswell 2005;
317-3) Jay Nazmiyal; 317-4) Skinners 1997,later Rippon Boswell.

Classical Designs,1: Cairene Carpets.

The large Saz style common in Cairene carpets of all types was imitated in high-quality Sultanabad productions.A carpet from Göteborg can be seen mirrored in a Mahal sold at Sothebys in 2000(14)Blue ground examples were not uncommon,inspired by the large Cairene example in Paris.15-1 was woven in the blue-pale yellow-rust of the classic Ziegler style;15-2 employs the Cairene cartouche border.Nr.17-1 has a medallion design derived from a famous band of fragments scattered throughout the world `s museums.The borders on Nr.18 were taken from the Cairene Prayer rugs,especially that in the MAK,Vienna;the border was used extensively in Transylvanian prayer rugs.A carpet from the Corcoran sale shows the traditional Cairene large saz form.Plates 20 and 21 demonstrate a process of ongoing “Zieglerisation”,in which white and yellow predominate.The rare cartouche border(copied from Mamluke carpets) appears most clearly in the V&A `s silk ground example,which was available for study from its purchase date of 1883,although it was first published by Griggs in the 1890`s and later by LaScala in 1908.Plate 15 features more incongruous variations,whereas Nr.26 mixes the border of the Grassi carpet,Leipzig,with the field design on a set of fragments in the MAK.

2:Vase Carpets.

The jumbled vase garden in plate 29-1 makes a valiant attempt to replicate the strapwork border found on a group of fragments,again scattered,which have been collated by Christine Klose.One piece of the puzzle is housed in the V&A London(29A)29-2,on the other hand is a classic Ziegler variant in rust and blue.The most elevated Ziegler examples are invariably on a whiteground(30-1)A redground piece, lacking an arabesque underlay,seems to attempt a fusion between Red Ground Floral carpets and a standard Vase Carpet layout.31 represents a further move away from the Classic models with a Pars pro toto design of vases and rigid arabesque.
As an afterthought,the awkward border palmettes of the Paris Sanguszko carpet may have been an inspiration for the more unorthodox Ziegler experiments.

3: Animal Carpets.

Sultanabad carpets with animal designs are uncommon.Often animal forms are hinted at,as if merging into the foliage.A carpet published by Gantzhorn has been carbon dated to 1600,but is likely to be a 19th century Mahal.A number of other pieces with bucolic animal depictions are typical of the style(33-2,and 34)One strange group depicts camels with turned necks and lions heads on a Lotus-Arabesque framework(35)In 35A the animal figures have become totally abstract.One of the greatest Sultanabad carpets integrates the animal figures so subtly into the floral undergrowth as to become virtually invisible(36)In Plate 37 snakes connected to swastikas are flanked by the vestiges of bird-leaves.The field surrounded by an ugly and degenerate strapwork border.

4: Medallions.

The ambition of the Sultanabad  weavers apparently knew no bounds,as two amusing versions of the Goupil Salting medallion carpet show(38)in the customary languorous style.As with most of the classical-based models,it had been published in the 1892 Wienerwerk(38A) The two examples in (39) ape a large medallion carpet,16th or 17th century,Indian or Persian,of a type published by Bode and later with Doris Duke.


One carpet served as model for a series in the Polonaise style.This is the example now in Berlin,and once in the collection of the Prince of Lichtenstein.(40)Again,a Wienerwerk publication.Beautiful and interesting things happened to the design in Sultanabad (41)before an inevitable process of decay set in(42)The two carpets in 43 were inspired by the Polonaise pair(43A) one of which,via Rockefeller,went to Tehran.


Countless variations on the Isfahan,or Red Ground Floral style, issued from the weaving sheds of Sultanabad.Mostly woven on blue fields ( characteristic of the area) they incorporate the usual repertoire of classical designs in a bewildering array.Few pieces are alike,a testament to the never-ending versatility of their designers(44 and 45) .The carpet in plate 46,once in the Markarian Collection,is a member of a group with designs based on the Vase carpets.Structure is Persian knotted open right,with three ply wool and cotton weft.

Out of a large portfolio of classical designs(most of the published in the 1892 WienerWerk) the Sultanabad designers forged their weapons of choice:Medallions,Palmettes and Sickle-leaf.


47-49.A medallion and sickle leaf arrangement,often found in blue-rust-gold.The wagireh can be seen in 5-1.
50-54.Lattice medallions influenced by Classical Indian carpets.
55-Medallions formed by sickle-leaf rinceaus.Wagireh:312-5.
56-57.Medallions with thick bands,presumably taken from the Sanguszko carpets of the type in the V&A(56A)
60-63.”Caterpillar” cloudband design borrowed from the Classic RGF(“Red Ground Floral”) repertoire.The caterpillars ape the cloudband design.63 is without larvae.
64-76.Various large medallion carpets.64 is an unusually symmetric and orthodox “Mahal”65-1 employs the “Ziegler-Flower”,tilted at 45 degrees,perhaps a borrowing from the Ardabil.Both pieces in 65 seem influenced by Cairene carpets.66 displays quite Heriz-like medallions.67 bears a large ragged medallion,again quite Heriz-like.Plate 69 uses a compartment medallion setup.
77-90.The classic Sultanabad medallion.5-3 & 4 show the Wagireh.A number of splendid large examples are known,including the arabesque medallion type in 77(Nr.77-3 was at Christies in 1998 and 2005,passing in the interim through J.P Willborg.It had once belonged to the brother of the last German Kaiser,Heinrich von Preussen)
An outstanding yellow-ground example was once with Davide Halevim(80)81 & 82 display the squat form,usually in blue-rust-gold.84-2 can be compared unfavourably to Halevim`s masterpiece.87-2 is another outsatnding example with clear Indian influence.88 are on noble white.89 shows two variations on a theme with strange calligraphic field decoration.91 is a design often attributed to Malayer,although 91-1 was called a Ferahan-Ziegler,and 91-3 a South Persian.The design has been sighted in Heriz carpets (93-dated 1884) on its way to the Caucasus,where it received the epithet “Gymyl”(93A)
94-102.The largest group of Sultanabad carpets with a simplified jagged medallion on a plain field.Plate 95 again shows the cartoons for this design,which was alos applied to silk(Plate 98)The cartoon in 98-2 is from the Alpiger estate,however at the 1891 Vienna exhibtion only the Dutch-British company Hotz actually exhibited silk rugs at the exhibition-Ziegler seems to have sent none.THe poshtis in 97 seem to hail from a previous generation,and may have served as the prototype for the larger Zieglers.Plate 102 is a foto-montage of a wonderful carpet once with David Black,and which earned the illustrious moniker “ Ferahan-Ziegler”.102 was published by Schnyder and is again an Alpiger photo.
103-113.Carpets with a prominent single medallion occur,although often the intention is to integrate the design into an all-enveloping backgound.The two carpets in 103 will doubtless arouse cries of “Ferahan” and are decidedly classical examples with a strict symmetry,however whimsy rules.Plates 104 & 105 often depict images of the white Div holding aloft a mosque or a fort.They all feature large scythe-like floral blades around the medallion.More elegant and Bookcover style are the items in 105-106,often with arabesque backgrounds.107 seems to mimick a Persian Namad.108-1 manages to be spritely and elegant although overly symmetrical.109 is another Safavid eulogy,with snakes and lions on an arabesque field.The pastel rugs in 110 were presumably all tampered with to create a bleached effect,although today such carpets are thus woven,in the manner of faded jeans.111 should be compared to the Halevim piece in Plate 80,and is clearly modelled on the Vase group carpets such as the Burns-McMullan shrub carpets in 111A.The capricious productions in 112 with their Bij Majnun borders probably issued from the same workshop as plate 89.More Mahal than Ziegler,plate 113 features Ziegler flowers and a large dominant medallion-pendant scheme in truly classic style.
114-118.Multi-medallion designs are less frequent.The whiteground example(114) from C.John befits a Royal Purveyor.115 is maintained in blue-rust-gold,in the customary squarish shape.Rippon Boswell`s 2016 offering(116-1)recalls 17th century Caucasian carpets with the Vine-leaf medallion.116-2 & 3 are a curious mix,neither floral nor geometric.With 116-5 we return to the blue-rust-gold colour scheme.The four large medallion carpets in 117 are a clear nod to Kirman;118 is a last potpourri of medallion designs.


Palmette designs form the most important group of Sultanabad carpets,both in terms of beauty,desirability and auction results.Maximum desirability can be found in the whiteground variations,especially those with a whiteground border,but wonderful carpets were produced on blue and red fields.An outstanding carpet once with Davide Halevim deploys the classic “4-Lotus” trellis design,clearly taken from the RGF carpets of the 16th-17th century(and also found on some Vase carpets-119A)Edwards shows a very ornate version of the design drawn out in 1925(119B).A number of blue-rust-gold efforts can be seen in plates 120-122,fit for Elveden Hall.123 incorporates a chopped-off Spiralranken,which however is really connected.124 displays the variety of meander borders found in these rugs,adding more surge to the overall design.125 has a pseudo-Sanguszko border.The items in plate 126 are of a more boisterous and outgoing nature.Plate 127 utilises a special Ziegler-type border found in many differing qualities,and whose startingpoint can surely be found amongst the Cairene carpets.The large Kelleh in plate 128 are a powerful and distinctive group with an overt swagger and almost Harshang-like aura,although genuine Harshang designed carpets were rarely made in the Sultanabad  area(Avshan designs being preferred)Sothebys carpet from 1999 is dated improbably 1825(129-1)but is almost a Harshang;129-2 is  a classic,elegant design floating on a blue ground.Coarser,rougher executions such as plate 130-132 are nevertheless desirable objects,and the palmettes in 132-1 & 2 have an almost Edwardian,artsandcraft touch,with gorgeous flowing borders.135-136 are notable for their white arabesque tracery.137-138 are again in the bombastic style.The variety of odd green ground shades appearing in the area is demostrated in 140.The classic green in 140-6 is probably aniline dye(we should not forget that at the approximate date of its weaving sythetic dyestuffs had been on the market for 30 years)142-144 are marvellous firecrackers often in blue-rust-gold;143 shows a carpet in rare original condition-most of the rugs illustrated here have had some kind of restoration/meddling behind them.143-4 is a successful blend of Isfahan and Kirman classic styles.Large pattern(and sized ) carpets in the standard Mahal rendition can be seen in plates 145-147.The Mahal carpets are frequently much larger than the Zieglers,which usually hover around 3 x 4 metres.The Mahal Kellehs can reach 10 metres in length.Very large Zieglers are thus much sought-after.Plate 146 features a standard large mahal group with light and delicate arabesque tracery.Although standardised,no two are alike.147 bears a Ziegler medallion amongst the foliage.More rusty beauty can be admired in plate 148,and 149 shows the 4-Lotus design in a most dynamic form surrounded by an extra Lotus palmette border.
Illustrations 162-169 form the core of those whiteground(and often whiteborder) rugs upon which Ziegler`s legendary reputation is based-162-3 and 163-3 are true masterpieces.165-3 succeeds despite its mawkish border.The more abstract and whimsical the field design,the higher their standing amongst decorators.Strict symmetry and hard colouring are taboo. The carpet in 170-1 would probaly not qualify for a Manhattan seal of approval,being too “Mahal-ish” as are most of the pieces in 171,wonderful examples all.172 shows the condensed version of the 4-lotus design,and 173 the chopped arabesque.Few yellow ground carpets were produced in the area,where the secret of a bright and stable yellow seems to have been lost in the 19th century,although F.T Strauss claimed to have recovered it(174).Tan or camel colour(natural?) seems to have taken its place(174-2)The lovely carpet in 175-2 has a non-identifiable ground colour not helped by inadequate reproduction:is it tan,faded ochre,or yellow?
A distinct type of Lotus or Egyptian Palmette can be seen in the field of 177-,presumably derived from the Hapsburg Cairene prayer rug now in Vienna(177A)As with most Cairene design elements it was used chiefly on high-quality carpets.Degenerate variants can be seen in Plate 178.The white ground versions are as ever paramount,and the carpet in 181-3 sports a typical Ziegler medallion form.Wondrous effects were achieved through the allover use of palmettes as in 183.Despite its murky and foreboding appearance,184-2 was a prime seller at Sothebys in 2004 grossing $275,185.A cartouche above the central palmette appears to be inscribed. Plate 188 shows a variety of different ground colours,including the “Ziegler slate” which may or may not be of artificial origin(188-3)As a natural dye,only Logwood would be a possibility,but that dyestuff would certainly have been used for purple shades,or their faded remains.
The “Pilgrim Flask” design found on Vase Carpets(190) was often used as a dominant element,but plays no defining role in the attribution of things.The carpets in 189 are all of outstanding quality.191-5 again uses the “Ziegler slate” colour,and the whiteground examples in 192 are classic decorative rugs.
A last major group utilises Sickle-Leaf Palmettes in a variety of ways.Two basic design types emerge.In the first the opposed leaves are joined;in the second,the leaves are separated.A classic example of the first group can be seen in plate 193-1,a blue-rust-gold version.In general though,the conjoined leaf form was usually reserved for more prosaic “Mahal” types of which plate 197 offers some excellent examples.A rare yellow ground example was at Christies in 1989.A stylised palmette usually sits between the joined leaves and the direction is vertical,although sometimes the leaves are opposed from above to below,meeting in the centre,and resembling a floral “Shield” form.Dynamic meander borders,often with carnations,are used to add more pace to an otherwise static field.Plate 196 shows the separated leaf form and its likely progenitor,a Cairene carpet now in the Ryksmuseum.A remarkable carpet at Sothebys in 2000 sold for $104,250(198-1)A predominantly blueground type employs a palmette roundel between the sickle-leaves(199)Rare whiteground variants were also woven(200) and examples in tan and red are shown in plate 201.In general the separated leaf form is the more luxurious type(202-3)203 shows four square examples in blue-rust-gold,destined for the grouse-shooting community.The breathless charge of 204 again demonstrates the designers` ingenuity and resourcefulness in combining classic ingredients into a new and shocking arrangement.The treatments in 208-1,4 & 7 cement Ziegler´s reputation as the providor of languorous and opiated atmospheres,yet the effect is decidedly Edwardian:the lord of the Manor and his soiree.209-3 captures a perfect moment of enervation,yet in 210-3 things have normalised in a brash Mahalesque interpretation with lateral Egyptian palmettes.211 is a classic example of the “Ziegler slate” ground tone;the turgid ground colour of 212 is curiously attractive.213-1 to 4 utilise a slightly misshapen palmette(slp) common to the area.The iridescent carpet in 214-4 is one of a very few examples on a yellow ground with ascending and descending palmettes and birds-leaf forms rivetted at 45 degrees.But in the whiteground pieces of 215 the layout is often quite stiff,albeit with fantastic border designs(215-7)Large and sonorous forms dominate in plate 216,showcasing the variety of designs from the Sultanabad plain.PLates 217-219 reprise the “Bird-Leaf” design,so-called after the particular Ziegler magic trick of tranforming animals into fauna,and vice-versa.The images swirl and gyrate on diverse ground colours(including the “Ziegler-slate” of plate 218-1)A large scale Herati design with “yin-yang” (220-226)leaves seems to have been a borrowing from Senneh,yet penetrated into the Caucasus and appears in a large number of “Perepedil” rugs(212A)220-226.The style ranges from strictly controlled(225) to thoroughly dissolute(226)


Most of the traditional Iranian rug patterns were also woven in the Sultanabad area.An arabesque allover scheme(227-232) was borrowed from a carpet in the Grassi Museum Leipzig,and also published in the Wienerwerk(227A)It is of the type which also fathered a group of Gerus carpets(227B)A Gerus border can be seen on 229-2.The large scale models in 230 are genuinely imposing,as is a model in the blue-rust-gold style(232)A further transformation occurred in the camel-ground group of plate 236,in which medallions have been formed from the leafy rinceau.Some very lovely arabesques were devised to camouflage the medallions in 237,but in 238 we see the “chopped” Spiralranken arabesques of the great Classical period,albeit unhidden.239 features an expressionistic treatment of the arabesque trellis pattern,and 240 demonstrates the “Mahal” type.A carpet on offer at Christies in 2016 reveals the decorative clout of such a carpet in appropriate circumstances(240-A)Whiteground versions sometimes contain squashed arabesques formed into medallions and compartments(241)and more arabesque subtlety can be found on a solitary carpet with light-bluegreen ground(242)The two examples in 243 are of meteorological nature,and 244 concludes the arabesque section with some particularly fine pieces(244-1 & 3)

A classic design from the Ferahan area is said by Hegenbart to have been drawn up by Reichert for the Ginzkey Sultanabad  production in 1859,but alas there is no proof of this.The “Mustaphi” design as it is known,is invariably on a blue ground  whereon large Catherine Wheel Rinceau disport themselves on a  one size fits all type which could be adapted to the needs of any client.Mustaphi is the name for a high State official.Both small and large carpets are known,and the model again has been based on the Grassi Museum carpet in 227A.More allover designs abound in plate 247,and plate 247-3 seems reminiscent of a NW Persian or Bakshaish style-not the only time where the Sultanabad weavers copied from the Heriz area.Interlocking sickle leaves unite to form medallions on the carpets in 248,a harmonious combination of floral and geometric.248-2 employs a rare purple(?) ground colour,perhaps a logwood dye.A wagireh has also survived(248-3)Rarely do such similar carpets from a design series appear as in plate 250.They reveal how much creativity was involved in producing a unique example from a basically contrived design of crosses,medallions and lateral “tuning-fork” sickle leaves.The Ferahan “Dombakli” border occurs on a number of carpets,sometimes as an allover design(251)and a complex floral design has again been placed against a quaint,almost Turkish-like border in 252.

The Avshan design can be distinguished from the Harshang by the four fork leaves attached to a palmette slanted at 45 degrees(253)Originating in more northerly climes,the Avshan was a design stalwart in Sultanabad ,where the genuine Harshang seems more rarely to have been woven,perhaps due to its strict geometric nature.Plates 254 show how they might have dealt with it,showcasing some carpet fireworks in this vein.255-1 is a pure Ziegler carpet with interesting lop-sided elements,whereas 255-2 with its standard Mahal “turtle” border is a strict rendering in the Caucasian style.The examples on tan-yellow-camel ground have had their design units straightened and aligned,with barely a trace of their carpet DNA left over:the Emperor`s carpet.The tan field colour imparts a serious and noble aura,heightened in 257 by the white ground and the emphasis on a non-repeating symmetrical design section.A fragmented carpet once at Christies in 2003 has such a yellow field that one might suspect an extensive repile job.

There are some notable examples of the Bij Majnun design,although the design was rarely woven in Sultanabad ,perhaps due to the massive competion from NW Persia.However,the carpets in 259 are outstanding and much more painterly than their northern forebears.Three blueground carpets in 260 continue the look of noble languor.

The Boteh design is also uncommon,and usually treated in large-scale fashion(261)Some unusual arabesque designs particular to the area combine large botehs and sickle-leaf variations(262-264)

The Herati design of an earlier generation of Ferahan “Gentlemen`s” carpets was often rendered large-scale,not unlike the examples of plate 222,but more rigourously.265-1 shows the Sultanabad model,perhaps taken over from a carpet such as 265-2 from the nearby Senneh area.In 266 the red ground models are most appealing,in particular 266-2.Naturally a blue-gold version with tight Herat should not be lacking.

The Mina-Khani rugs in 268 differ from the standard version of this design and seem closer to the products of the Veramin area.The redground models in 269 are Mahalesque in style,although Jeff Dworsky`s medallion carpet is more typical in design and may be from somewhere else.It has more in common with the carpet at Rippon-Boswell in 2016(270-1)

Lattice carpets appear in a variety of disguised forms.An outstanding carpet once with Abajian once appeared in Hali 6-4(plate 271)The lattice itself is often so overlain with palmettes,sickle-leaves et al as to be unrecognizable(272)Another white-ground carpet bears an unusual border possibly derived from Ushak medallion rugs.274 is curiously reminiscent of a Spanish Wreath carpet,but 276 has surely been adapted from a well-known Mughal carpet(276-277)

Some outstanding shrub carpets were also produced,especially in the blue-rust-gold modus(278)Two whiteground carpets with love-birds are closely matching,but 279-2 is inscribed.The whiteground pieces in 280 are the standard decorators dream:carpets could be produced inexpensively with white woolen grounds and borders,although surely the undyed wool was prepared in some way.281-1 has a rare green olive field,probably synthetically dyed,but 282 is a real wonder: a full sized carpet in Bagface design(Meyer-Müller Sale)

Some very large carpets were produced with prayer designs,prompting the question as to whether extremely large people prayed on them.282-1 is clearly derived from a Turkish Davanzati style Transylvanian rug,yet the examples in 283 seem more iIndian-influenced,perhaps by Dhurries and cotton rugs.A Wagireh is known(312-3)not unlike the green things in 284.Strauss wove a similar carpet for his friend,the publisher August Oberreuter(284b)
More standard prayer rugs exist,including a Sultanabad copy of the MAK Indian prayer(285-2)

A number of large carpets with plain fields are known,in various “flavour-of-the-month” packaging.Perhaps they were set up for beginners to practice.They are usually very attractive and perhaps quite daring at a time when large-scale plain areas in modern painting had not yet been invented.(286-289)

Curiously,few runners have survived from the area,perhaps the competion again was too stiff.Some beautiful examples are known,including the ubiquitous Mustaphi design (290-4)and a rare yellow ground item(290-3)Smaller carpets are known,but are few in number,or have not been correctly identified.A quaint example,at Sothebys in 2005,can be seen in 292.Squashed medallions are not unknown(293-4)but a strange carpet which surfaced at Christies in 1987 was said to be in mercerised cotton,and may be modern.

With their low knot count the Ziegler Mahals lend themselves to repair of all kinds.295 was at Christies in 2001 and re-emerged at Sothebys in 2003,to a resounding success.Abrash is undesirable in a decorative carpet and was thus removed in 296,within a short space of time(i.e in 2002)The carpet in 297 has had its entire border colour removed,presumably to pep it up,between its appearance at Sothebys in 2007,and its last known showing at Christies in 2012.To no avail,as it went unsold on both occasions.
A carpet at Christies in 2000 was revamped and re-sold at the Blau sale in 2002.And finally a 4-Lotus carpet had its faded upper end reknotted between Christies(2003) and Sothebys (2004)

300-304 show various stages of decorator`s anaemic dreams;it`s unclear whether the carpets in 300 have been meddled with. Likewise 301-but perhaps 301-4 is just plain dirty,the condition in which purchasers delighted.302 is an elegant carpet in blue-gold.304 has allover palmettes and lions and has perhaps been bleached.

The “Ziegler-Flower” appears on a number of high-class productions(305),and appears in this form on an Indian fragment in the TM(306-3)It is perhaps Ardabil-derived.Large,clumsily-drawn flowers emerge from a vase flanking a central medallion in 307,but the effect is pleasant.

Sultanabad carpets are rarely inscribed or dated(308)

A rare group with large cross beams,reminiscent of the St.Andrews design in Seyshour carpets(309)

Two carpets with striped designs perhaps borrowed from South Persia(310)

Zieglers are credited with the introduction of the wagireh system in Iran; In 1912 George Stevens introduced paper cartoons.Two of the most beautiful examples,once with Jerrehian,were sold at Sothebys in 1999(311-1 & 2)A piece from Herrmann recalls the elegant arabesque of the Wienerwerk-Reichert-Ziegler models;an example from Sabahi`s Wagireh monograph depicts billowing trees in the Paradise Park style.A blueground example with joined sickle-leaves was at Skinners in 2011(312-1);a piece with ragged medallion at Bonhams in 2008(313-3);an outstanding whiteground example was with James Cohen;314-2 is surely the prototype for a plain field model,whereas 314-4 features the 4-Lotus design;314-5 is a paradigm of Ziegler whimsy.The redground example in 315 seems like an Edwardian version of the Indian “Grotesque” carpets,but 315-2 is pure Lewis Carroll with human-headed plants and leaf-birds.The Mahalesque examples in 316 augur not well with their forebodings of American Sarouk(316-4 & 6)Yet all`s well that ends well with 317 `s Ladik style prayer wagirehs,previously referred to in 282;one of the most curious of all carpet inventions.

Ehlers,Eckart…Teppichmanuftur und Teppichhandel in Arak/Ferahan
Eiland,Emmet..The Elusive Zieglers,Hali 144
Flynn,Leonard…Ziegler`s Man,Hali 36
Fontane,Patrice…The Carpet Weaving Industry in the Arak region,in OCTS III-1
Ffrench,Jim…A Ziegler carpet,Hali 155
Frotscher,H…Die Teppiche und Blumen des Franz Theodor Strauss,1998
Hegenbart,Heinz…Deutschsprachige Pionere des Orientteppichs,in:Anatolische Dorfteppiche,1988
Hegenbart,Heinz…Persien vor 100 Jahren,Heimtex 10,89;12-89;6-90
Helfgott,Leonard…Ties That Bind,1994
Ittig,Annette..Ziegler`s Sultanabad Carpet Enterprise,in:The Carpets and Textiles of Iran,1992
Ittig,Annette…Ziegler`s Carpet Cartoons,Hali 80
Ittig,Annette…The Kirmani Carpet Boom,OCTS I
Lettenmair,Das Grosse Orient-Teppich Buch,1980
Meyer,F.K…Franz Thodor Strauss,Jena,1975
Quensel,P…Theodor Strauss,1929
Schnyder,Rudolf…Ziegler Teppiche,in:Forschungen Zur Kunst Asiens,1969
Strauss,Erna…The “Real” Ziegler`s Man,Hali 39
Strauss,Erna..Franz Theodor Strauss,1993
Willis,Tim…Elveden Hall,Hali 6/4,1984.
Wynn,Anthony…Ziegler`s Man Rides Again,Hali 161

Hali Auction Price Guides:

Hali:28-84;29-76;32-80;32-80;34-81;39-91;44-83;47-89;54-171;50-168;62-135;63-137;74-140;84-137; 87-157:91-157;96-142;97-137;99-127;102-126;103-141;104-120;105-144;109-157;113-134;114-135;
120-131;121-121;122-152;124;125-128;125-129;126-126;126-134;127-145;128-128;129-113;131-123; 133-123;134-132;135-136;139-120;143-132;148-114;148-144;149-108;153-153;157-147;158-136; 165-124.

Ziegler`s employees.Photo Sarre 1908.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Re-entrant Carpets


A rare Persian carpet appeared at Sothebys in 1981.The von Angeli Re-entrant carpet was cited as an obvious reference,although an exact timeline cannot be determined(1).The Persian rug may be part of a saf,or was influenced by such an item,but its relation to the Turkish rug is clear.Perhaps it is just a later copy,although the elaborate kufi and Shia inscriptions in the field indicate otherwise.They have been thus translated:”Mohammed is the prophet/messenger(emissar)of God (Rasoul)Ali is the righteous viceregent/viceroy of God(Wali)”(translation Hadi Maktabi)The Persian rug is surely copied from an earlier example,which may have provided the basis for the von Angeli.One of the two safs kept in Najaf(2) could serve as a starting point,and it is not difficult to see the arabesque origin of the blue combatant animals in the von Angeli`s spandrels.By contrast the upper part of the Sothebys rug looks like broken marquetry,and the lower orange ground is filled with the angular arabesque typical of North West Persian medallion carpets.When kneeling for prayer the tilted angle on the  Sarre saf (3) immediately suggests the “Re-entrant” style,which has also been interpreted as a symbol of the universal mound,or a representation of an ablutional fountain.Through meaning many things it has survived,and its simple framework made it an ideal vehicle for rug design.Johanna Zick  defined 4 basic types of mihrab design(6),and the concept lived on into 19th century Turkey and the Caucasus,where it became an iconic prayer rug form.Two outstanding carpets from the late 15th early 16th centuries are amongst the greatest of all rugs,and both are in Berlin:the Mamluke prayer rug(4)and the foremost “Bellini” prayer rug(8).The Mamluke example has a closed lower octagon at its base,and a Menorah-like tree of life in the field.The closed octagon does not appear again amongst the classical examples,except perhaps in a Bellini carpet which has been tampered with.The two carpets would demonstrate a clear leap if it were not for the white “Seljuk” saf,said to be some two centuries earlier(5).Yet that piece merely suggests a Re-entrant form in a style which survives into the 19th century.The architectonic form of the Re-entrant is already crystallised on the Mamluke prayer,and in Turkey the design is well established in the late 15th/early 16th centuries,as can be seen on a painting of Lorenzo Lotto from 1524(7).The first Berlin Bellini rug is a small wonder with perfect proportions and an early style Holbein Kufi border.In the same small group is a carpet from the Italian trade which has been repaired at some point between 1982 and 2004(9).In the earlier reproduction the lower re-entry point was closed,as in the Mamluke example.This may have been old,faulty repair which was later corrected-or it has been “improved”.The SPH medallion and boxed Kufi border betray its proximity to the Holbein/Lotto tradition.A charming feature are the two miniature rugs woven into the borders for the sake of corner alignment.Two further members of the “Bellini” group are in the Maciet Collection,and the Pogliaghi Museum in Varese(10).Their relation to the Small Medallion Ushaks can be established by the typical use of cloudband and Fertek borders.A carpet illustrated by Hendley in his Asian Carpets folio may or may not be original-the author speaks of a “reproduction”,but it is not clear if he means a photographic or woven re-make.The carpet appears fragmented,but is otherwise a vapid example(11).A second pivotal group of rugs centres on the Ballard carpet(12) and utilises a ragged leaf border.The long narrow shape is typical,with a skeletal medallion which later appears in a 19th century group of prayer carpets from  the Taurus mountains.Lazy lines can be seen in the second of the Berlin Museum`s Bellini carpets,as in the Pogliaghi carpet in Plate 10.Although shattered,Philadelphia`s example is an intense piece of weaving,with an addorsed animal band forming the niche,as in Berlin 1 and the Ballard-a border band which was later to appear in some “Baluch” rugs of the 19th century.The fragment in plate 13,from a Swiss collection,links well to plate 17,and has a rare border seen in plate 29.A last member of the Ballard group was once with Baron Tucher,and passed to Eberhart Herrmann(14).Somewhere along the way it was altered,and two “Talish” rosettes were inserted into its yellow spandrels.A carpet in the Topkapi(15) relates to the inverted Re-entrant carpet found at the Cathedral in Sion with its flagged minbars and interlocking niche band,both memes to be found later in Keyhole carpets down into the 19th century.The octagonal star-on-whiteground and Ghirlandaio central medallion are indicators of early design.A fragment at the Thompson Sale in 1993(16) was declared an inverted Re-entrant by its then-owner,although this cannot be determined;what is left of the orient stars fragment is still gripping,with simplified addorsed niche-band and Turkmen-style border.Many of the Re-entrant carpets were found at Divrigi,in the Turkmen badlands of Anatolia.A last touch of Ballard can be felt in the rug found at the Alaeddin Keykubad Cami in Konya(17),and the next item,found at Tekirdag,still recalls old Sion with its minbar flags rising and falling,and what appears to be a bisected version of the border from Nr 13 used at its centre.A carpet from the Alexander Collection(18) is clearly modelled on the white Selcuk saf,and later inspired a group of 19th century Turkish prayer rugs.Clearly still old but showing signs of degeneration are the three examples in plate 19.The Ballard rug has a very prettified design,and shares a piece of Nr.13`s border in the minbar designs,as does Sothebys item from 1997,which shows signs of stiffening.The Textile Gallery`s carpet has been restored;the outer borders and lappet elems are not original.A later group is best represented by a rug at Sothebys in 1998(20),with a border also seen on a Ballard inverted Re-entrant rug in the MET(22.100.89)Two carpets with elaborate arabesque borders are in blitzed and completely restored condition(21)which cannot be said of the Orient Stars rug,in which a small comb has been placed in the open end.A carpet at Nagels(via ebay)is clearly 19th century,but charming none the less(22).A carpet in the Sforzesco Castle Milan(23) strives after the early Ballard ductus,but fails.Its missing outer border is no help.Another carpet from the Hugh Black auction is squat,but not ungainly.The meander border group continues with two early-looking pieces from Bausback and Bertram Frauenknect,both with combs woven into the open orifice(24).With three last examples(25) and the eponymous “Lucas” carpet,the Re-entrant theme draws to a close.The Lucas example itself was subsequently restored(26).

A second group of carpets re-interprets the basic design by mirroring the open ends.The Mihrab as such has vanished.Nevertheless,the group brought forth some grand carpets,starting with the aforementioned Sion carpet, shown here with its miniaturised version from the Parsons Todd Collection(27).Queries have been raised concerning the Todd rug,which appears to be an 18th (?)century version,albeit  with the original layout.Its makers surely knew the Sion carpet.A truly extraordinary fragment was presented by John Thompson in Herrmann III(28).It appears to be the vertical half of a symmetrical Re-entrant rug which has been folded over and stitched together à la photoshop.From a “Swiss” collection(usually a codeword for the Wher Collection)it bears a massive Holbein cogwheel medallion and ragged leaf border.No colour info was made available,but the rug appears critically important.Equally distinctive is the fragment illustrated by Ledacs(29) with a vajra border as seen on NR.13 and also on a four-and-one Holbein rug from the Baba Yusuf in Sivrihisar.The carpet has not otherwise been published (?)and its whereabouts are unknown,but modern copies have been sighted, so perhaps it is in a Hungarian collection.The three carpets of plate 30 are now all in the TIEM,Istanbul,which seems the first address for such items.Nr.1 seems closest to the Thompson fragment of plate 28,and with an arabesque border probably anticipated that of plate 21.Nr. 2.has an addorsed eagle border which appears as a field design in a few later works.The borders of Nr. 3 occur on some Baluch carpets.Three pieces from Turkish museums can be seen in plate 31:a bulky village example with swastika border and Holbein accoutrements,a medallion carpet with ragged leaf border,and an allover design rug with square niches.The lost item from Vegh-Layer(32) has a pendant in the Church at Keisd,and a fragment from perhaps the same piece was lately with James Cohen.Alas,they do not seem to be part of the missing rug.A carpet from a Pennsylvanian collection(33) re-enacts the Sion style,although the minbar flags have become a chevron band,and the main border is moving slowly direction 18th century.A fragment from the Kirchheim Collection has jaunty borders and an effervescent colour scheme,although McMullan`s example tops all for Kodak enhancement.Growing out of all this is a further group,two of which feature a Ghirlandaio medallion and quincunx border(34)The Tschebull-Franses carpet is so similar to the Todd piece as to be clearly from the same workshop;the Manilow carpet,also later with the Textile Gallery,bears a ragged-leaf border and has an altogether more sombre appeal.Another  six rugs feature the red and white quincunx border,of which the carpet at Skinner in 1988 is the most relaxed,with its large stars in the spandrels.A true green ground is rare amongst such items,but Herrmann presented one  in his tenth book.The Ursula Mayer carpet is the third of this exquisite group,in which the prayer design has receeded in favour of a centralised medallion.The Rippon Boswell piece performed poorly,the Phillips carpet is a complete restoration,and the Sothebys-Fell example,although on a green ground,has the wrong shape and has lost its bearings(36).A related group can be seen in plates 37-39.It also features a red and white border design,but with repeating swastikas.The Grote Hasenbalg example even has swastikas in the field,and all three items employ a cross medallion.The inner niche of the Eskenazi and Sothebys 2001 rugs have rosettes set to look like eyes,reminiscent of the “Faces” rug.The Sothebys 2006 example is in rare original condition;all of would be happy to obtain a colour photo of the Cairo piece(38).Skinners auctioned two variants,one with a rare blue ground,the other,in 2014,with merely the suggestion of a mirrored niche(39).Towards the close of the 18th century a new group appears,perhaps in the Ushak area,with a Fleurs-de-Lys border.The “H” Group(plates 40-41)is a last reduction of the classic inverted Re-entrant group.Closely related are the three rugs in plate 42.

Although the entire group of re-entrant carpets have been loosely labelled as “Keyhole Carpets”, only one group assumes that shape.The foremost examples were found at Divrik.Considering how few have survived,it is a wonder that the design went on to such a successful career in the Caucasus;but many have perished.The wasted condition of the rugs in plate 43 cannot detract from their inherent greatness;plate 43-3 has become iconic since its appearance on the cover of Hali 38,although no reproduction seems able to capture its ground colour accurately.43-2 has a more simplified lotus border,but 43-1 is action-packed,with its swirling  meander border and auguries of Sevan things to come.44-1 with its “Gothic” border and elongated form comes close to the top,but that award must surely go to the (here)re-constructed yellow ground masterpiece from Sivrihisar,of which countless multiples were made in the Southern Caucasus,even down to the blue-black border.On a more prosaic level,a related group of Keyhole carpets(known as the “Flathead Group”) is best represented by an example in the MAD,Paris,with a lesser example once with Kirchheim and now in the Zaleski Collection(45).The Paris rug has a wild untrammelled look;its borders are worth a separate study.The controversial carpet now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (46) has a border design used on 19th century Denizli carpets and a simple SMU central medallion surrounded by a chain of poorly drawn elements.The left border appears dilated,perhaps as the result of restoration.The little minbar flags of Sion still run round the niche,but otherwise the impression is quite lackadaisical.It was a notable success in Los Angeles.Herr Kircheim `s green keyhole rug has a quincunx border as seen in plate 35,and is an attractive example.A rugged fragment from the Chris Alexander collection excels through its colour,especially a large dollop of light blue.Two last examples conclude this survey,a square niche example from Sivrihisar,patently very old,and a shield carpet from the Orient Stars collection(47)


3-Sarre fragment


5-Seljuk saf








13-Swiss Collection







20-Sothebys 1998







28-Herrmann III




















Late entries

A selection of later Re-entrant carpets can be seen on my Facebook page: