The lots come from Rounton Grange, also in North Yorkshire, and include four carpets presented to Bell by King Faisal I of Iraq, two of which are now offered for sale, each with an estimate of £500-800.
While it is unclear exactly when Bell was given the carpets, it is thought that they decorated the courtyard when Faisal was crowned.
Bell (1868-1926) was a writer, traveller, mountaineer, photographer, political officer, archaeologist and explorer who had a significant influence on British policy in the Middle East.
A great traveller, Bell fell in love with the East after visiting Persia in 1892. In 1916, because of her encyclopaedic knowledge of the region and her good relationship with both British officals and native tribal leaders, she was appointed to run the Iraq section of the Arab Bureau in Basra. At the Cairo Conference in 1921 the geographical structuring of the modern states of the Middle East was decided, and Bell was consulted, along with TE Lawrence (whom Bell had first met in 1909), in the selection of the first king of Iraq.
As a result, Faisal bin Hussein – who had aided the British in the First World War – was appointed later that year. Bell remained a close friend and adviser to the new king until her death.
In 1872 Gertrude’s grandfather Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell commissioned leading Arts & Crafts architect Philip Webb to build a new family seat at Rounton Grange, Northallerton. It was to be furnished entirely in the same style by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. The house was demolished in 1953.