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Lot 1007: Antique NAVAJO RUG Hand-Woven Wool Natural Vegetable Dyes 5'x8'
November 18, 2012
Ithaca, NY, USALive Auction
Details: This antique wool Navajo rug bears a relatively complex design in five colors: taupe (grayish brown), tan, ivory, red, and brown. Tinted with natural vegetable dyes, the colors are simultaneously rich and soft. The rug measures 57-1/2" x 100", or roughly 5' x 8', and is part of the Van Lennep family estate.
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Henry J. Van Lennep (1815-1889) was a noted nineteenth century minister, missionary, writer, illustrator, and educator. Born in Smyrna, Van Lennep was educated in the U.S. but returned to Turkey upon ordination, where he served as missionary for 29 years. During this time, he traveled extensively throughout western Asia and Egypt, aided by his proficiency in many languages. A skillful artist, he wrote and illustrated several books based on his travels. Published during a time when public curiosity about "the Orient" was high, these books were very popular, showing the scenery, people, and customs of Asia Minor, and discussing these elements with Biblical and archaeological references. He also illustrated scientific texts with the noted geologist and President of Amherst College, Edward Hitchcock. After losing his sight in 1869, he returned to the U.S., where he spent the last twenty years of his life teaching natural sciences and languages at Ingham University, a women's college in Le Roy, New York, and later serving as co-principal at the Sedgwick Institute in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with his son, Edward.
Condition / Notes: This rug in generally good, usable condition, with a few caveats: there are stains on one tan medallion, and the rug needs to be cleaned. In addition, the edges have several small tears, and there are a number of finger-sized holes scattered around the rug. Please examine the photographs.
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