Home > Archive >PREVIEW: Fall Sale at Skinner/Boston
Fri, Sep 23rd, 2005 11:49:18 AM
Topic: PREVIEW: Fall Sale at Skinner/Boston

Each Fall and Spring for the past years RK.com has offered commentary on the auctions Skinner/Boston has organized. And each time we have had trouble finding any “collector” rugs that deserved to be called exemplary. This Fall’s collection at Skinners is no different, in fact, it seems to us to be even worse than the past years, as difficult a feat as that appears to be.

But after reading the publicity the auction house has generated for this sale you’d have to think they were talking about a completely different auction than the one they are trying to hype.

Here’s what Skinners has said about their sale:
“Skinners Fall 2005 Auction of Oriental Rugs & Carpets will feature a wide variety of offerings including over 50 room size carpets. Styles include Ushak, Serapi, Soumak, Kuba, Fereghan-Sarouk, Talish, Tabriz, and Moghan, Karabagh, Konya, Khotan, Tekke Chuval, and more. Skinner rug auctions also offer tribal and village weavings, textiles, and antique decorative carpets of merit.”

”Carpets of merit”? Where are these carpets RK would like to ask the Skinner folks, as not even one we’d class as meritorious jumped out of the catalog when we checked it out.

OK then, let’s take a look at some of their offerings through our bright eyes and not through the rose-colored glasses the Skinner rug people must be wearing 24/7.

The first of the handful of almost and wanna-be “carpets of merit” we have chosen for a bit of scrutiny is lot 91, an Akstafa Long Rug:

The catalog description, which by the way we’d agree with states as follows:
“Southeast Caucasus, third quarter 19th century, (rewoven ends), 9 ft. 5 in. x 3 ft. 10 in.” However the over-the-top guesstimate of $10,000-$12,000 will not in our opinion be met and we’d rather suggest a $5,000 - $7,000 estimate. Granted Caucasian rug of this ilk are used a furnishing carpets and while that market has many hot spots where explosive prices have shot-up we doubt this piece will ignite any firecracker bidding.

By the way we believe more than half of the “collector” type rugs in this sale, which includes those like this lot, have the words “rewoven” or “rewoven ends” in their descriptions. Have so many of these pieces made the ocean voyage to Turkey and back? If so there have been some busy repairers working for the consignors to this sale. Or is it that most of these rugs come from the same consignor?

Anyway this Akstafa, like almost every other lot in this large 297 piece auction, would be best described as pedestrian rug weaving exemplified – regardless of Skinner’s attempt to categorize them as having merit.

Lot 95 a so-called in the catalog Talish Prayer Rug is the next piece we’ll put under our microscope of reality:

Sorry to tell the Skinner rug expert but this would be better described as a Gendje rather than Talish. In fact, there are no characteristics present to lead anyone to such a conclusion—well anyone who has a strong command of knowledge about Caucasian rugs that is.

Again the minor end reweave is mentioned in the catalog description and likewise the estimate $4,500-5,500 will, in our opinion, not be met and setting the bar at $2,000-$3,000 would be far more realistic.

Design-wise Lot 97 is one of, if not the, most interesting rug in the sale:

But calling it a Chelaberd is foolish and archaic as using a quill pen.

While RK readily agrees many of the descriptive “names” or “tags” used in rug terminology are in sore need of proper categorization (the various spellings of those names discounted of course), anyone who calls themselves, or has a job title that includes the words “rug expert”, should by now know enough to avoid using such meaningless and outdated terms like Chelaberd and that other miserable moniker “trans-Caucasian”.

We will take Skinner’s experts dating of this rug as “last quarter 19th century, as accurate even though the proportions and drawing would suggest an earlier dating. Over the years we have seen other Caucasian rugs where the presence of synthetic dyes belied their early 19th century or older level of draftsmanship and drawing and would not be surprised if this were the case here as well. But regardless of its age, the weaver who created this rug was well steeped in the history of the visual terminology of Caucasian weaving. We like the rug for that reason but again don’t believe the catalog’s $7,000-$9,000 will be met. Might we suggest $4,000-$5,000 as more realistic?

Stay tuned for Part II of this review and more of RK.com’s unbiased comments.

Author: WB Fri, Sep 23rd, 2005 11:49:18 AM

Mr, Jack, I am a naive rug dealer from Africa. You couldn't even explain that the weave of the rug is gendje or not, you can see the same mihrap and similar design in many caucasion rugs, i have a very similar rug, and it has Talish weaving, that makes my rug it has been woven in Talish. Some times people sould admit that they are wrong, to defent your wrong, doesn't make that you are rigth. i am going away leaving you by your self. it is. is. it is.

Author: jc
Thu, Sep 22nd, 2005 06:06:11 PM


Go away, we tire of your games.

You're boring.

It is perfectly clear the rug is a not Talish and is better described as a Gendje. Remember the shape of the Mirhab and the drawing within it are typical for Gendje, not Talish...and on and on.

So go study and come back in your next lifetime and we'll talk.

Ta ta for now.

Author: jc
Thu, Sep 22nd, 2005 05:54:29 PM

Is not. Is. Is not

Author: WB Thu, Sep 22nd, 2005 04:44:13 PM

Mr, Jack, Could you tell me that what made you to think that is a gendje rug, and what is the diffrence between Gendje and Talish weaving?

Author: jc
Thu, Sep 22nd, 2005 09:42:19 AM


Why would anyone interpret your statement as definitive?

What reasons can you supply to support your alleged affirmation.

Since you have not identified yourself we find it hard to put any credence behind your statement and will stick to our disbelief that rug is a Talish, or even made in the Talish area.

Go ahead and supply some proof and/or post who you are and we might continue this discussion. If not then as far as we are concerned you are just another ruggie whose ideas about provenance are meritless.

By the way we do know, or it appears, you are located in Burke, Virginia...mighty close to professor price=clown....is he your guru?

Author: WB Wed, Sep 21st, 2005 10:50:33 AM

Mr,Jack, It is Talish.

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