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Petit Point Carpet Kirman Vase

OOAK Miniature Petit Point Persian Area Carpet KIRMAN VASE is charted and hand stitched by Natalia Frank.

It measures 11 1/4” x 13 1/4”. It is stitched on 48 count silk gauze with Classic Colorworks over dyed silk floss. Total of 291,156 tiny stitches, 771 hours of stitching.

The design for the OOAK miniature Petit Point Kirman Vase carpet is adopted from an antique Kirman ‘Vase’ carpet, mid-17th century, that was woven in Kerman, Iran, a major weaving center in the south-eastern part of the country, and sold at Christie’s, London on April 15, 2010 for $9,599,535.

Some observers have described the design of this carpet as a prototype for the Herati motif with it’s four curling, serrated leaves surrounding a rosette connected by vines. The pattern repeats across the rug on a relatively large scale. An interesting feature of this carpet is that the curving serrated leaves have three colors, including black, which is rare, running longitudinally upon a vibrant blue background. The designers of the original rug worked out an arrangement that makes the blossoms of the flowers completely secondary to leaves. It is no longer the powerful scrolling of individual leaves that creates energy of the design. Here it is the rhythm set up by the interlocking leaves. Their stems and the drawing of the individual plants growing from each end of the carpet create one rhythm, but the coloring, which makes facing leaves from two different plants still have the same colors, creates the counterpoint. It is an apparently simple but wonderfully satisfying design that gives an unusual energy and charm.

The six-volume “Survey of Persian Art” by Arthur Upham Pope, described this very carpet as having belonged to a Frenchwoman by the name of Martine Marie-Pol, Comtesse de Béhague.

Born at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the countess stood out for her collecting. She was a woman in a man’s world, wealthy and possessed of a spectacular eye which she used to build up noted collections of antiquities and Islamic art.

Some of the de Behague collections were dispersed in two sales at the Château de Fleury-en-Bière in 1927 and 1928, but this carpet was not included. After her death in 1939, the remainder was inherited by her nephew, the Marquis de Ganay. It remained in the family collection until December 1987, when the bulk of it was sold at auction in Monaco to a German dealer.

The German dealer obviously did not realize what he had and gave it to his housekeeper. This housekeeper had left it in her will to her friend – who had kept it in storage for years. “It was so big, so long, it didn’t fit into my flat,” she said of the carpet which is more than three meters long and one-and-a-half wide.

She decided to move to a new house after her husband died and wanted to sell off some stuff via the auctioneer. He said as a general dealer he was no expert in carpets and put it in his catalog without a picture, with an estimate price of €900.

I had a lot of fun and enjoyed each minute of stitching this carpet!

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