FROM THE VAULT
Selected acquisitions of antique textile art
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21. 
Alg 2116
Zil-i-Sultan rug with birds and cypresses
Ferahan area
West Persia
circa 1890
200 x 132 cm (6’7” x 4’4”)


Notes: asymmetrically knotted wool pile open to the left on a cotton foundation
Zil-i-Sultan literally means ‘the Sultan’s shadow’ in Persian, and it represents a family of finely knotted rugs from the Ferahan area decorated by small scale Persianate patterns. This example is embellished by a central large cypress tree flanked by two smaller trees with birds, in a creative variation of the so-called gol-e-bolbol (tree and bird) design. What sets it apart from the other members of this group is the almost celestial palette, centred on tonalities of soft green, angel skin and ivory, which coupled with the profusion of floral elements makes it closer in feeling to a wall tapestry.

 



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