Carpets of extreme rarity because of their great age, with eclectic provenances, added a decorative touch to this Normandy sale, sporting names evoking great Renaissance painters.
Armenia, 17th century. "Holbein" vosdan carpet from the Caucasus, 160 x 102 cm.
A collection of carpets woven in Asia Minor and Armenia was rolled out in Rouen, where one outstanding feature was their age: highly venerable for this type of artifact. In the front line was this Caucasian "Holbein" rug (160 x 102 cm, 5.2 x 3.3 ft) in the Vostan style – named, like many ancient Armenian carpets, after a village in Armenia. It dates from the 17th century, and its pattern is composed on a red background of "Holbein gul": a motif seen in paintings by the Augsburg-born artist (1497-1543). The piece, which has a Kufic border round the edge, ended its ascent at €120,400. From Anatolia, and more precisely Konya, came a carpet produced in the 18th century (278 x 168 cm, 9.2 x 5.5 ft), whose huge geometric decoration on a red background attracted €96,064. The following lot brings us back to Armenia: a late 17th-century Ardzagank carpet (250 x 160 cm, 8.2 x 5.2 ft), this time sporting a floral decoration on a yellow background with its main border featuring cartouches containing bouquets of flowers (€45,504). Lastly came an 18th-century Turkish Ushak carpet (164 x 123 cm, 5.3 x 4 ft), also known as a type II or "Lotto", because similar rugs often appeared in the paintings of the Italian artist Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556). Its pattern, typical of the change from geometric to floral motifs, is surrounded by a border with cartouches forming lozenges on a dark blue background. This went for €36,656.