Home > Archive >skinner's acor Boston sale
Sun, Apr 23rd, 2006 09:09:39 AM
Topic: skinner's acor Boston sale

We have seen the skinner catalog and will soon illustrate a few pieces from their sale with our comments.

We had previously heard the sale was better than grogan's but, frankly, after viewing both we would have to disagree with that pronouncement.

More to come, stay tuned....

Author: Sue Zimmerman Sun, Apr 23rd, 2006 09:09:39 AM

Hi Harry Krishna, I'm hearing you. You are right about me. Thank you for your help. My apologies to you and rugdom. I'm repenting. SZ

Author: Harry Krishna
Thu, Apr 20th, 2006 07:26:34 PM

Not as foolish as thinking that you aren\'t a fool. The amazing thing about JC, JBOC and SZ is that you all imagine that there are people even dumber than you are.

Author: Harry Krishna
Thu, Apr 20th, 2006 02:31:28 PM

RK Replies:

How foolish of us..


I think Sue knows who SZ is.

Author: Harry Krishna
Thu, Apr 20th, 2006 12:26:22 PM

RK Replies:

Who's SZ and who, little man, are you?


JC, SZ and JBOC all on the same page. I haven\'t laughed this much since the day the pigs ate my sister.

Author: Ashok Patel
Thu, Apr 20th, 2006 06:34:21 AM

RK Replies:

As usual, your logic is as full of holes as a pound of swiss cheese.

This is our final statement on mallett vs. Emory: There is no comparison and after you read, or even give Emory’s book a cursory, look even you might agree.

As for mallet's "unmasking" of James Mellaart? Yes, she did point out where Mellaart erred in placing certain "reconstructions" of wall-painting in shrine rooms he had declared "empty" in his original excavation reports.

Whether you know it or not, RK was the one to bring Mellaart and his information into rugdom.

We became friends with Mellaart in 1982 and spent many many hours with him discussing Near Eastern Archaeology and other pertinent matters.

Yes, we were disappointed in the lack of concern he paid to the rugworld "writings" he did -- what ended up in a German dealer's Kelim catalog and, of course, his “chapter” in the book "The Goddess from Anatolia".

The true story of what happened and how it happened around that project is a great one.

We surely know it because we were the organizer and promulgator who brought the subject of Anatolian Kelim together with Neolithic and EBA(Early Bronze Age) Anatolian archaeological findings and research.

That combination answered some questions but opened up many more than it solved.

In theory we all are still dealing with the aftermath of this push and the jury is still out, as far as any absolute decisions are concerned.

So, yes, mallet and others critiqued Mellaart's errors but, like throwing the baby out with the bath water, much important and relevant information was also scarred and tossed into the junk-bin of confusion in that process.

We are very knowledgeable about Mellaart's work and know everything he did prior to his rug world publishing, which began in 1985 is sacrosanct and unassailable – some of what was done post that time is very questionable.

So, yes, mallett did reveal errors but in myopically concentrating on those errors she, and many others, have missed the boat on the important archaeological discoveries Mellaart's excavations of Catal Huyuk and, to a less degree, Hacilar, demonstrate and prove.

We can only recommend, ashok, you and others who doubt what RK says, go get Mellaart's original excavation reports in the Journal "Anatolian Studies" or get his book "Catal Huyuk: A Neolithic Town in Anatolia", or get his survey of Near Eastern Archaeology "Neolithic of the Near East".

Any one of these will serve to impress upon any reader the great and significant contributions and discoveries James Mellaart has made, regardless of his erroneous rug world writing.


Jack you are proving my point. You have not read MMallet's book. If you were to read it you would see it is nothing like Irene's book and is not meant to be. Would we say that all Turkmen rugs are junk because they are not Persian Workshop Carpets.

In structure, dyes and design that pale in comparison to the best but they should be judged against like weaving. I am sure we would both agree that if a reasonable collector were to have only one Kilim book it would not be yours. That by and in and of its self does not declare your book useless. OK? You see this now?

Besides MMallet is the hero who unmasked that crazy Archeologist. You know the one who tells lies and makes things up to make money. What was his name Mallart or something like that. Crazy Jimmy Mallart?

Author: jc
Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 07:15:46 PM

Why don't the two of you go exchange emails and take this private.

Author: I am not Cevat Just Ashok OK!!!!
email: Ashok@Not_Cevat.com
Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 02:44:32 PM

Sue I think you are Jack. He needs people to talk to and you are the only one he agrees with so you must be Jack. There is no one else who can get along with jack. Otherwise he would give you a Jack time at least sometimes. You understand now Jacksue. Your pitiful plea for information acts as if there is only one right warp. This the woll does more to determine the warp, then next is the spin. Fiber size, crimp, and elasticity are factors. By the way MMallett spins and weaves which is more than the jack has ever done. (Maybe Jack sits and spins..........but not woll) She has long periods of time in the Middle East without imbibing unlawful narcotic and controlled substances. Go ahead tell us that you were in Turkey (straight) jacksue.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are really Sue, not Jacksue then get help. See a Dr. it may not be too late.

Author: Sue Zimmerman Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 11:43:05 AM

No, Ashok/ Candy, I am not asking how to spin. If you understood anything of what I said at all you would realize that I would ask nothing of someone who thinks Marla's book is even relevant. I am asking you nothing, goof. Sue

Author: Ashok Patel
email: IHaveJackByTheBalls@WatchHimSquirm.com
Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 10:02:34 AM

RK Replies:

Emory's book is an erudite reference work.

Mallett's only a vague reflection and, basically, nothing more than an inferior carbon-copy.

And mallett's website? Nothing more than a souk to sell here pedestrian, less than airport-art weavings.

To call her a plagarizer might be too much and we have not done that.


We have stated, and do so again, mallett's book is nothing more than the classic-comic book version of Emory's seminal work.

We know mallett and our calling her ms muffins say it all as far as we are concerned.


I have both books. I read them. Do you have Mallett's book? Have you ever read it?

Author: Ashok Patel
Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 09:25:39 AM

Sue what are you asking? How to spin? Characteristics of a good warp? What? If you wish to be specific I will try to answer.

Author: Ashok Patel
Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 09:19:40 AM

RK Replies:

You have proven yourself to be an ignorant here so what's new? Your comments are worthless.

Go read Emory's book and then talk to me about what malett did on her own and what she copied from Emory.

Ignorance is bliss, ashok, go enjoy yours somewhere else.


Jack when you do not know, be quiet. You obviously have not read Mallet's book because you comments betray your ignorance. Silence will make you look smarter. Attacking things that you have not read is something that dumbass steve price would do. Please do not go down to price=clown's level.

Author: jc
Wed, Apr 19th, 2006 09:02:31 AM

The careful inspection of the catalog we have now done reveals the bozwell’s have put together the best sale when compared to what is at grogans and skinners.

There are a number of interesting lots and we are sure buyers will be thinking carefully before holding up their paddles at the acor sales in anticipation of buying on Friedrichstrasse in May.

We will pictures some lots and start this off with this chuval:

Undoubtedly produced by some Yomud group, this 4X4 16 gol chuval appears to have that special light blue some other Yomud weaving possess.

Provisionally identified as a distinct group, these weavings, done with symmetric knots, are called Karadashli and that attribution finds favor with us.

As our readership knows we prefer earlier pieces but illustrate it here solely for the appearance of those “Y” shaped designs found here in the elem panel.

These simple ‘icons’ are always found in the narrower upper elem panels on many, many Yomud, and other groups as well, chuval.

In that position, these “Y”’s have been referred to by other writers as “markers” they believe show where the bag’s fasteners would be located.

RK has always felt that definition was prosaic at best and, in fact, we have never put any credence behind it.

This chuval, which we’d date circa 1840-50, is earlier than most of those others with “Y”’s in their upper elems (they usually date to 1860-1880) and we can infer from that these “Y”’s in the lower elem panel are, perhaps, the original positioning for them and, only later, did they migrate to upper elem.

Regardless, this is a fine period example and we are sure it will find a buyer on sale day.

The next piece, which is another piece that is not in our preferred age period, is this Borjalu Kazak:

It too is unusual, as RK does not remember seeing another Borjalu area Kazak with a Sewan design.

We like this rug, which we’d date to circa 1840, although we prefer ones that are circa 1800 or earlier. There are a few of those illustrated in the literature and we suggest readers compare them to see the nuances of difference that separate them.

The bozwell example is full of life, has good proportions and is a very credible attempt to re-create the classic Sewan Kazak design.

We believe this rug will also find a new home after the auction.

The third and final piece we will look at today is this handsome Senneh Prayer kelim:

This piece also is no world beater but it is a very excellent example of a very rare group of slit-tapestry weavings.

Again, comparing it to the champions, like the great Jenkin’s example in the Washington DC textile museum, makes it pale but, when viewed on its own, this piece has enough rarity and pizzazz to make it shine.

We like it and absolutely respect the excellent design and weaving skill required to complete such a kelim.

We expect we are not its only admirers and expect it, too, will be in someone’s shopping cart when bozwell puts the hammer down on it in May.

That’s all we have time for today but keep checking back as we will be updating this, the grogan and skinner threads as well, as time permits.

Author: Sue Zimmerman Tue, Apr 18th, 2006 05:02:05 PM

Hi Jack, I'm working on yarn design formulas, yarn structures, things which are mostly still in the "lost" bin of rug studies and shouldn't be. Irene Emory can't help me with that unless she was an expert yarn spinner. If Marla just plagiarized Irene's book then Irene was probably as totally clueless in matters of fiber preparation and spinning as Marla is on those MOST important topics. In any case spinning yarn to exact specifications is a very technically specialized subject which doesn't lend itself to cursory explanations in books on other topics. Especially warp yarns. Even with the expert spinners I've learned from, what they say, while instructing, is far less instructive than watching what they are doing with their hands while they talk. These things would not be noticed by even beginning spinners because there are a lot of very subtle subtleties and tensioning involved of the type, and just as important to know about, as those that are involved when you know you have turned two pages instead of one in a densely written book with very thin paper. In other words the loss of these skills would be far easier for a weaving culture to lose than most other structural features and will have a tale to tell. That is what I intend to find out about. I'm not interested in going over known structural ground. Sue

Author: Sue Zimmerman
Tue, Apr 18th, 2006 08:06:54 AM

RK Replies:

The bible on structural analysis is "The Primary Structures of Fabrics" written by Irene Emory.

We'd suggest you getting a copy of that asap.

The classic comic book version you might have heard about over in clownland, written by marla mallet, is nowhere as comprehensive or well-researched. In fact, it was basically nothing more than plagarism as far as RK is concerned.


Thank you! Structural analysis is a project I've been working towards, for a few years now, by learning how to prepare fiber, spin, ply, and design yarns to specifications. I think I'm up to figuring out what is needed to be figured out about it now and am going to start that project soon. It will be a fun summer if the universe doesn't have other plans for me, which it usually does, and so I will probably be the first one on my block to hire domestic help to free up time to scour fleece. That's what I'm in the process of doing now. I prefer to working smart to working hard so really good structural analysis info will be very helpful. Sue

Author: Sue Zimmerman
Mon, Apr 17th, 2006 09:05:02 AM

RK Replies:

Not being a Belouchophile or anything close we'd have to suggest you look elsewhere for that information.

Your interest in structural analyses is commendable and we'd like to help so, perhaps, we will locate a reference or two for you sometime soon.


Hi RK, Do you know of any book that includes at least one Belouch rug of the type you would consider significant that also includes comprehensive structural analysis? If such a book exists I would very much appreciate knowing about it. I would particularly like to know of a book with a Belouch example which includes a "Curled Leaf" or other scrolled/spiraling motifs. Sue

Author: jc
Sun, Apr 16th, 2006 01:27:15 PM

As our faithful readers know, RK is not a fan of Belouch weavings.

Our thoughts on this subject have been expounded here on RugKazbah before and there is no need to revisit them now. Readers who wish can use our new search engine to locate them should our mention here need clarification.

We cite this because there is, included in the skinner sale, a rather unusual Belouch Prayer rug and it is the reason for our, once again, making that Belouch caveat:

This prayer rug is quite a rare type. In fact, there is no other similar one illustrated in any of the publications we have in our extensive library, where some but not every book on Belouch rugs are represented.

However, last month, a similar one appeared for sale on Ebay:

The Ebay example appears to us to be quite a bit better, older and more interesting than the skinner piece.

To be honest, we were considering bidding on the Ebay Belouch but missed the end of the auction by about several hours and, unfortunately, did not leave a bid beforehand. C’est la vie, when you snooze you lose -- and we lost it to another, more diligent, bidder.

Anyway, when we first saw the Ebay piece, a day or two before the auction was to end we did some checking and could not find any similar example.

Based on that fact and the archaic quality of the drawing -- particularly that complex “lattice” in the field and unique main border – we were pushed into contemplating its purchase.

We missed it and would like to now take this opportunity to congratulate the buyer and, should he read this, we would like to have him email us so we could discuss this piece and some others, of different design types, we know about with him.

Genuinely old (pre-1900) Belouch weavings are rare and the Ebay example falls into the that small, august, grouping.

Par for the course, the skinner one is way too far down the totem pole. It is a nothing more than late derivative of the Ebay piece and, naturally, we are not interested in it.

But compared to the other Belouch offerings at skinners, we’d opine someone else surely will be, as it’s not a bad prayer rug – just not good enough or old enough to turn us into a buyer.

Once again, if the new owner of the Ebay Belouch will contact us by email (rk@rugkazbah.com) we’d like to share some info he surely should want to be aware of.

Author: matthias wohlgemuth
email: wohlgemuth@arces.ch
Sun, Apr 16th, 2006 10:30:40 AM

RK Replies:

Greetings Matthias: Yes, we have seen the picture and what appears to be another of skinner's cataloging errors.

We have heard from a few readers, who saw the piece before it got into the sale, the piece in question is late and has poor colors.

We cannot confirm this, as we have not personally seen it.

This coming week, when the preview is open, we will undoubtedly view and then be able to determine if that is true or not.


Hi Jack,

What about your comments concerning lot 185 ("Ersari torba") in the Skinner sale? That's the one I wanna be informed about - having the "prototype" in mind which used to be yours... thanks, best regards, Matthias

Author: jc
Sat, Apr 15th, 2006 01:14:44 PM

The skinner sale has already been tattooed with the epithet “over priced dealer goods”, which, on the surface, appears to be right on.

The sale at grogan’s, which might have the same number of trade consigners as skinners, has avoided a similar ‘curse’ by having the opposite type of estimates—ones that are too low.

RK has commented on the vagaries of auction price estimates and would someday like to see an auction with properly set estimates. But that hope is clearly another bit of wishful thinking and the two sales held in conjunction with the acor/Boston event are both marred, in our estimation, by their erratic and unfounded estimates.

That said there are also far too many misattributions and erroneous dating guesstimates for us to do anything other than criticize the cataloguers who put these sales on paper.

The skinner sale is almost twice as large as grogan's but the presence of more is not necessarily better and, in this case, that proverb hangs true.

Most of the rugs at skinners, in fact almost all of them in our opinion, are either late, not great, mediocre examples or musts to avoid. Let’s start off this preview with the worst of those musts to avoid.

The first is lot 148 a Manister Prayer rug – winner of RK’s worst rug at any major rug auction in the past two decades:

Man is this one gruesome rug and RK challenges anyone to send in a pic of a rug from an auction they think is even worse.

Manister is a Turkish village where a number of later 19th century rugs, often pseudo-prayer rugs like this one, were woven.

While those weavings can hardly compete with others from other locations woven during this sunset period of Turkish Village weaving, a few of them are interesting. But not this one by a long shot.

In fact, it is one of the ugliest rugs RK has ever seen and surely the worst example of a prayer rug published on this site.

We wouldn’t let our dog sleep on this atrocity and might even think twice about putting it, as a liner, in the girlfriend’s kitty-litter box.

It is an atrocious, ghastly mess and the $1,500-2,000 estimate an insult, as far as we are concerned.

Perhaps our selecting the cover lot:

as one to avoid might confuse some readers who want to believe skinner’s expert’s judgment that this is an exemplary weaving. It is not and we sincerely suggest anyone who might harbor such thoughts to forget about serious rug collecting.

This rather diminutive prayer rug, which carries a date of “1864”, typifies the lack of design quality, color and proportions almost all post 1850 Caucasian rugs demonstrate.

We like nothing about this little late pseudo-prayer rug and the $10,000-12,000 estimate is nothing but hype and nonsense.

It is not as bad as the Manister but, in our estimation, runs a close second.

Another piece the cataloguer hopes someone will fall for is lot 60, a “Kazak” prayer rug:

Like the cover lot, this prayer rug is a pastiche, and a not very good one at that. It is probably a very late, end of the line, Karachov, and while there are horses for courses, this nag couldn’t win the Podunk stakes, let alone the Kentucky Derby.

There is nothing we like about this rug, the misshapen wonky drawing, the lack-luster coloration and rote, meaningless drawing go miles to support our opinion.

Granted the estimate, $3,000-5,000, is more realistic than the cover lot but it, too, is way overpriced and we doubt it will be in anyone’s shopping cart next Saturday on sale day.

Ladik prayer rugs are, as a group, perhaps the most elegant and well drawn of all the 18-19th century Turkish urban-made prayer rugs.

But looking at the miserable example the dead-eyed skinner’s rug department dredged up one would be wont to know this unless one was well versed in Turkish prayer rugs.

Again, we’d have to remark there is nothing we like about this rug and the $2,500-3,500 estimate it carries is wishful thinking at best.

RK should also add our dislike of Ladik prayer rugs that, like this example, put the “tulip” flower panel below the mirhab and not above it.

We do not for a minute believe this is the way it should be and have never seen a Ladik with this turned-around feature we like.

Obviously, this one at skinners doesn’t do the trick and we will be surprised if there is even one real bid for it on sale day.

As Johnny-Rotten of the Sex Pistols groaned: “It’s ‘orrible”.

There is a well-defined group of supposed “Chodor Prayer” rugs RK has never believed are anything other than airport-art and one of these is in the skinner sale:

We have seen and handled a number of these over the years, though, we must say,we have never been moved to buy one.

And you can bet the farm skinner’s piece will definitely not make us reach for our back pocket next week.

The purpose for the stair-step upper portion, which is the defining characteristic of this group, has never been explained with any conviction and to us it appears to be nothing more than “quaint” affectation.

This example is not one of the worst but neither is it one of the best and while the $7,000-9,000 estimate is somewhat in line with asking prices others of this group have carried, the reality of this one reaching that price is, in our estimation, virtually non-existent.

Again, skinner’s cataloguer is reaching for top shelf prices while providing second-rate or less merchandise. Will this fly on sale day? We say not and look for many bought in lots at skinners.

We will try to look at some other lots that are not musts to avoid later if time permits but we would like to end this installment with a rug we do like:

Called a “Kazak” in the catalog, which is a good guess, we’d prefer calling it Kurdish from perhaps the Moghan area.

While any exact location for the production of this rug, or any assignation to a particular group, is impossible, Kazak is definitely something it ain’t – not in weave, coloration or materials.

Granted we have not handled it as yet but know enough to be sure of our estimation.

While this is clearly a mid-19th century rug, it is, to our eyes, an excellent one.

Exciting design, good proportions, harmonious coloration and rarity all combine to make it an exemplary weaving for this period.

And the border, which for us is the best part, is very reminiscent of a reverse soumak we collected many years ago and now illustrated in the Weaving Art Museum’s soumak exhibition:

The soumak is some long generations older than the skinner rug and the subtle differences in the expression of that border design hint at this age differential.

The skinner rug is lot 32 and it carries a $2,500-3,500 estimate that strikes us a bit low – we expect this rug to do better on sale day, as it is one of the few pieces in either skinner or the grogan sale that deserve to be lauded.

That’s it for now and while we have picked out some other pieces from skinners sale to comment on, time does not permit our doing that now.

Stay tuned for more…

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