lot 316

A fine 19th century North West Persian carpet of Harshang design, of unusual square shape, the ivory field with an all-over design and with a wide floral border, probably Azerbaijan, 443 x 456cm. Provenance: The Rt. Hon. The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire. This carpet has graced Broadlands the home of the Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma for many years and most recently was in the Ante Room (see photograph below). The original manor lands, known as Broadlands, belonged to Romsey Abbey before the Norman Conquest. In the early 18th century the estate was acquired by Henry Temple, 1st Viscount Palmerston. In 1767 a major transformation involving Henry Holland and Capability Brown led to the house at Broadlands becoming the Palladian mansion seen today. During the 19th century Broadlands remained the primary country estate of the 3rd Viscount Palmerston, the famous Victorian Prime Minister, and passing down through the family it remains today the country seat of the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Harshang from the Persian word for crab, was a design that was popular throughout Persia in the 18th and 19th century, particularly in the North West of the country. It takes its name from its principal motif, which is a large oval crab-like design. It appears that the design was first used in the Khorassan district and in origin ultimately derives from the Isfahan 'in and out palmette' design. The pattern also bears some resemblance to palmettes from the Safavid period.