Home > Archive >sotheby Fall Sale Review
Tue, Jan 10th, 2006 08:20:23 AM
Topic: sotheby Fall Sale Review

Our preview mentioned we would share our thoughts about the sumak bag with our readers post sale and now that it has sold we will do just that.

First off, it made $8,000 hammer price without the buyer’s premium added, which was the low end of the estimate. What do we think about its performance?

Well let's just say it typifies the lack of real expertise and knowledge that moves the market for antique rugs.

Compared to the bag that sold a rippon-bozwell a few weeks ago it was far superior in every respect save condition.

We wrote about that piece here on RK.com and are sure most readers remember our comments, it is not necessary to repeat them here.

The sotheby's example did not, in our opinion, have fuschine, as one of our respondents claimed. That bright crimson color, which appeared in the center of the "cross" was most likely a cochineal derivative and was not fuschine. However, there was, in our estimation, the presence of indigo sulphonic just outside where that cochineal color was placed.

Now then we did not take samples and have dye testing done and these thoughts are based solely on our extensive familiarity with the range of colors found in antique rugs, not anything scientific. That said we are sure enough about our statements to make them publicly.

Regardless of the sources of those dyestuffs this bag was the best example of this particular “type” of “cross” bag.

It was not, mind you, the best example of the type overall, just the best of its particular type.

Along with the comments we made about the ripon-bozwell piece we included what we feel is the kingpin, archetype example of these bags and we suggest readers go back and look at it again for comparison.

The $8,000 dollar hammer price the sotheby's example, lot 4, made today was a bargain and we congratulate the astute buyer who picked it off.

The collector rug market is totally full of BS and this is just one more example of its stupidity and fallibility.

There is no real market for antique Oriental rugs and anyone who thinks there is should carefully examine the facts and not fiction that such a thought implies.

Sumak bags with silk wefts are few and far between and even though the drawing was not the best and the color equally unexceptional, all in all lot 4 was a pretty impressive and very rare piece.

As one can infer from our comments about the market, all we can say is the market has spoken but it said nothing but gibberish. "Nuff said about lot 4.

We will mention a few other prices that have now been made:,

lot 1, the tiny and cute Kashgai bag was bought in

lot 3, the colorful Jaff bag made $3,750 hammer price

lot 65 a mediocre example of a Beshir "prayer" rug was bought in. By the way we didn't see it in the preview so we are not able to say anything about its authenticity, which we might say we harbor some doubts about

lot 69, perhaps the best Kazak in the sale, though it is condition challenged, sold for $8,000 hammer price. Again we did not see in on the 10th floor preview and when we asked several others who attended the preview they said they didn't see it either. Was there something going on under the table here?

And finally lot 70, a "star kazak" sold for $12,500 hammer price. This was, in our estimation, ridiculously low and it was not, as one of our respondents claimed "...a miserable example...". While it wasn't a great one and appeared to have extensive repiling (was the whole rug repiled?) it was pretty and surely worth more than it made. Had we spent the time, or had the desire, to pour over it with a microscope and some other investigative tools we could flatly say what was the extent of the repiling or if it was, in fact, a newly minted example. But we didn't and anything more positive about this piece is not possible for us to say. However if it was a repro job, who ever did it, lost out big time.

That's it for our covering this sale, though we might revisit it on these pages after lot 224 passes the auction block.

Author: jc
Tue, Jan 10th, 2006 08:20:23 AM

If the 'preview' that appeared on hali's website wasn't a sugar-coated bon-bon then we do not know how anyone could help but getting their fingers even stickier reading the 'review' they just published.

Written by Aaron Nejad, who used to have a rug shopppe in London, this happy-face, all is well in rugdom, piece almost made us call our optician to have our vision checked.

We did a careful walk-around during the preview of the sale and, quite honestly, reported our impressions here on RK.com.

However, anyone comparing our take to what hali has presented would have to believe something is seriously wrong here. We second that and know ye well what's wrong ain't with RK.com.

For example, setting off a fireworks of praise for that rote and stiff basically colorless ‘Polonaise’, no matter who its former owners might have been, strikes us as vapid and hollow.

After all owning a rug the Duke of Saxony or even Henry the VIII once shuffled over, or perhaps never even saw (let’s face facts those castles are pretty big, especially when you have several of them) is, in the final analysis, pretty meaningless. As far as we are concerned buying a rug like that ‘Polonaise’ just because it has a so-called ‘distinguished’ provenance (how much do you think that rug would have made without it?) carries little ‘cred’ or import. Too bad hali and their reviewer were bowled over but those English always did love those titles.

We could make mince-meat (another British favorite) of the rest of Nejad’s agenda-driven report but why bother? After all, no matter who writes these missives that appear in hali or on the website, they always are the same gratuitous thank-you to those who advertise in the magazine – a situation RK feels needs to be changed, and fast.

Author: jc
Fri, Dec 16th, 2005 06:49:34 PM

Lot 224, that magnificent so-called NorthWest Persian gallery carpet, sold for $10,000 hammer price.

Yeeshhh,t that price you could have cut it up into pillows and made out like a bandit.

Heartiest congrats to the intelligent buyer who stuck that paddle in the air and tsk, tsk shame on you all who sat on yours.

Again this proves our point -- there is no real market for antique rugs, only one supposed by big-mouthed know-littles who work for hali, etc, etc.

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