Notwithstanding the nonsense protestations of “WB” and his objection to the Gendje provenance we suggested, let’s take a gander at a few more lots in this sale.
Lot 101, a Heriz carpet, wouldn’t normally interest us on any level since it is purely a commercial, decorative carpet.
However, what interests us here is not the carpet but the description. Why Gary Richards, Skinner’s carpet “expert” called this a Heriz Dragon Carpet is way beyond our imagination and we are wondering if it was beyond his as well. Since we have never heard, or read, of any Heriz, or Heriz area weaving, described as a Dragon rug we like to ask Mr. Richards to clue us, and our readership, into his rational for making up this absurd attribution. We are all ears, Gary, so fire away when ready.
He also dated the Heriz Dragon(sic) rug “early 20th century” and estimated it for $8,000-$10,000. Both statements we’ll leave unmolested, as these furnishing rugs and what they bring at auction interest us not.
We also question calling the charming Senneh fragment, lot 104, a “sampler”:
First off, while it is a obviously a fragment and as such naturally appears to be incomplete, believing that makes it a sampler just doesn’t compute, well at least in the calculations any knowledgeable person would make from the information at hand. But thinking, or equating as Richard’s has done, this incompleteness implies it being a sampler is even nuttier than his calling the Heriz rug a “Dragon Heriz”.
Since it is a fragment, we clearly recognize the possibility it originally could have been part of a sampler. But, honestly, we highly doubt that as well and should Mr. Richards be able to prove us wrong with any positive proof, other than the worthless type of arguments a troll like “WB” tried to advance, we would welcome his posting that info here.
As our readers know, RK.com is always willing to publicly state we were wrong and to accept responsibility for our errors.
By the way, we like the Senneh fragment and were we forced to bid and buy anything in this sale, it would be lot 104. However, since no-one is forcing us to bid on any lot in this Skinner sale, rest assured we will not be waving a plastic paddle or bidding in any other form on it or anything else.
The estimate for the “sampler” is $2,000- $2,500, which we feel might be a bit on the high side. Look for around $1,500 as a probable result.
The 12 gol Tekke torba, lot 106, is another piece we’d not mention were it not for the fact of the “early to mid-19th century” dating in the catalog:
Granted, 12 gol Tekke torbas are not often encountered, however, that in itself doesn’t mean they are early. In fact, we do not recall having never seen a one that predates the mid-19th century.
Again we might suggest Mr. Richard be more careful and not to allow his novice ideas about dating and provenance into the catalog descriptions.
We do not have much to say about this torba besides for the fact that it is a good example of the high quality even late, post 1850, genuine Turkmen weavings invariably demonstrate. The $2,000-$2,500 estimate is reasonable considering the clientele at Skinner rug sale is not as discriminating as those found in other auction houses.
Another Turkmen trapping, lot 109, would also fall far below RK’s radar screen were it not for the inexpert catalog description:
This chuval is clearly Kizil Ayak and not Tekke. While the fine points of identifying some Turkmen weavings are complex, or even impossible to ascertain, knowing that a piece like this is Kizil Ayak and not Tekke ain’t one of them. This chuval shouldn't stump anyone who sits in the expert’s chair in any rug department or shoppe and, frankly, we are surprised Mr. Richard has shown such a shallow level of understanding.
The last lot we chose for comment is 125 a soumak bag:
Bags with this design are fairly common and, were it not for our suspicions concerning its genuineness, it, too, would have not been chosen for scrutiny. But we do believe the chance it is a recent reproduction, made purely to deceive, is strong enough for us to mention it. Should we decide to make the drive to Boston and view the sale preview in person, rest assured we will be able to answer the question positively, as for now it is presented as only a supposition on our part. If we had a better higher resolution photo of the entire bag, it would allow us to answer this question more positively. But let us state once again for the record: Nothing can replace handling a rug in person. However, when we do make judgments, like this one, they are based on our more than 35 years of experience researching and collecting. And that, dear readers, is something we, and you, can trust.
Skinner’s sale, as usual, has nothing for the history books, nor does it offer anything other than some nice floor rugs and novice collector-type merch. We would never rain on that parade if an auction house like Skinner’s would call a spade a spade. But they, like all the other auction houses and hali magazine as well, would rather spin superlatives, hype, over-dating and silly provenances rather than present their offerings in a more accurate and truthful light.