My Agatha Christie’s carpet

Pubblicato: gennaio 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


Agatha Christie has always been my best and beloved carpet, subject of a fantastic story: to save it I had to hanging it on the wall, along the stairway.

In Santa Maria del Giglio, the carpet was lying on the living room floor; Peggy Guggenheim used to come often for lunch with her Pekineses that were always playing on the carpet, using it a as a loo.

During the Baghdad years, while Ugo was working as chief architect of the Government, I used to run to the desert always windy after a precious rain to collect treasures laying on the sand; at the sunrise, I used to go to the souk to get again precious junk, for example Persian miniatures. One day I discovered such a beautiful carpet that I wanted to buy but there was a problem: Lady Mallowan saw it before me and she had to take it at six that afternoon. I waited for her until late evening and she did not appear. So I went home with my magic carpet.


Her husband, Sir Mallowan, an archaeologist, was digging in Baghdad, and I used to spend a lot of time looking at was going on. The researches had just started and I was very intrigued. I had a personal bodyguard that carried my guns and large bags that I fillet with little pieces of antiquities that now sleep at Palazzo Te in Mantua: the only Mesopotamian collection in North Italy.

Few days later, I was invited with Ugo for a pleasant lunch. When the coffee appeared, Lady Mallowan, aka Agatha Christie, that I did not like particularly, asked me to give her back the carpet; I refused, thinking she was not interested anymore. Sir Mallowan jumped up, kissed me on both cheeks: he won a bet of 100 pounds.

Two precious presents opened a flash on my past adventures: Beatrice Rosenberg gave me “La plus vieille cusine du monde” and Catherin Ball “Murder in Mesopotamia”.


“La plus vieille cusine du monde” by Jean Bottero it’s a study of gastronomy in ancient Mesopotamia with many recipes of ancient Babylon taken from three clay tablets dated back to 1700 B. C.

murder in mesopotamia

“Murder in Mesopotamia” by Agahta Christie, published for the first time in 1936, describes the adventure of Hercule Poirot. Amy Leatheran, is a nurse working in Iraq when she meets Eric Leidner, an eminent archaeologist. He asks her to join the dig to look after his wife. The nurse has the impression that Ms Leidner is having a nervous breakdown. Ms. Lediner confesses, however, that for some time now she receives letters that threaten death. A few days later, Mrs. Leidner is found dead in her room, where she had retired to rest after lunch. Poirot is entrusted with assisting the police in their investigations.

Sigillo Mesopotamico

Cylinder seal, Ugo Sissa collection. Third Early Dynastic Period. White calcite. Two registers are separated by two parallel horizontal lines; two figures drink through long tubes. (“Catalogue of the Ugo Sissa Collection of Stamp and Cylinder seals of Mesopotamia” by E. Douglas Van Buren, Rome 1959, p.14).



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