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There's a pattern here

August 12, 2004|Leslie Trilling

Fine Oriental rugs and carpets from around the world will be on display starting Friday for Sunday's sale at the Bonhams & Butterfields Los Angeles gallery.

In addition, a collection of eight important 18th and 19th century tapestries will be sold on behalf of the De Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University. Proceeds will fund future acquisitions.

Textiles from France, Belgium, Ireland, Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, Russia and India will be represented, with estimated prices from $400 to $80,000.

What differentiates a rug from a carpet? "Only the size," says Hadji Rahimipour, head of the carpet department at Bonhams & Butterfields. "Anything over 8 feet is a carpet. Everything smaller is a rug."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday August 12, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Rug, tapestry auction -- In some copies of today's Home section, the At Auction feature gives the wrong time and date for Bonhams & Butterfields auction of rugs and tapestries. The sale will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Rahimipour points out that, although antique carpets and rugs are made to be walked on -- "they're really a piece of art under the foot" -- it's important to know how to "use and not abuse" them.

Among his tips: Keep antique textiles out of direct sunlight. Turn around rugs in high-traffic areas once a year. Have them washed every five years. Always use a pad to help them maintain their shape. Protect against moths by periodically opening windows if they're in a warm, dark spot. And watch your pets: animal urine is ruinous.

-- Leslie Trilling

Bonhams & Butterfields

Location: 7601 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles;

(323) 850-7500

Preview hours and dates: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Sale: Noon Sunday

Square deal

Lot 257: Aubusson tapestry. Late 19th century. France. 9 feet high by 8 feet, 6 inches wide

Estimated sale price: $9,000 to $12,000

Most tapestries are vertical or horizontal, but this one is unusual in that it's almost a perfect square. Designed after an important 15th century work known as the "Gobelins Tapestry," it depicts a female surrounded by courtiers offering her gifts. "Aubussons are widely considered to be the finest tapestries ever made," Rahimipour says. The same technique is used to execute both Aubusson tapestries and Aubusson carpets.

Irish sensibilities

Lot 126: Donegal carpet. Late 19th century. Ireland. 13 feet, 7 inches long by 13 feet, 4 inches wide

Estimated sale price: $7,000 to $9,000

Starting in 1898, Donegal carpets were manufactured by the Alexander Morton & Co. textile firm in Northern Ireland. Although the patterns are probably based on 17th century Indo-Persian textiles, they also incorporate early Gothic and Celtic designs. Donegal designs influenced such Arts & Crafts designers as William Morris. These carpets are rare because they were custom ordered, not commercially manufactured.

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