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Old April 6th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #3
Pierre Galafassi
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Hi Chuck,

Indeed, a beautiful, very late example of «small Holbein» rug.

After the middle of the seventeenth century, Italian painters very seldom featured rugs in their paintings and when they did, they hardly bothered with details (Only a few Dutch «genre» and «interior» painters still used rugs at the time).

Bettera was an exception. He was perhaps a true ruggie since, as Filiberto mentions, most of his beautiful still-life-with-musical-instruments paintings feature a rug. In our shared databank, all but one illustrated rugs are from the «small Holbein» type, while the last one features imbricated lozenges, a design which origin is not clear to me (Anatolia?, western Persia?) (FIG 1).

FIG 1.

Indeed Chuck, the border of the Houston rug is interesting: A «double leaf-and-wineglass» border of the type discussed in Filiberto’s thread : http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/showthread.php?t=989.
Quite odd, since «small Holbein» rugs came, in nearly all cases, with a «kufik» border instead. One of the paintings in the data bank shared with Filiberto, shows the same border again, in details. (FIG 2). Which supports his opinion that Bettera used the same small pattern Holbein rug in his paintings.
FIG 2.

Your excellent close-up, Chuck, shows that the rug pile was severely down. Several of the other Bettera paintings also show this pile wearing. One can suppose that the rug(s) were in the family (or in the family of his rich friend and patron) since a long time and therefore were not necessarily examples of seventeenth century weaving.
Best regards
Pierre
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