Home > Archive >bozwell's May Sale Part II
Fri, May 26th, 2006 11:47:30 AM
Topic: bozwell's May Sale Part II

Several weeks ago we wrote a short post about this sale and would now like to finish it up.

There are some interesting pieces on offer and compared to the rest of the sales this past fall and springtime we’d have to say the bozwells have put together the best of the bunch.

There are some good pieces, particularly Persian non-city pile weavings, especially one Kashgai lot 27, a wild woven mural with Egyptian iconography, a plethora of birds and a stylized interpretation of a classic 16th century flowering shrub border.

As we are not involved in this area we have not pictured it here but suggest readers check it out in the catalog or on the online website the bozwell’s maintain. It’s a gas.

We have, though, chosen two quite rare Turkmen chuvals to illustrate. The first an Yomud group chuval, lot 42, provenanced in the catalog as Abdal.

We agree with both this attempt to identify it more specifically than just Yomud and congratulate the cataloguer, or was it the consignor, who recognized this possibility.

Estimated for 9,500 euro, a price we believe will be bettered perhaps by a wide margin on sale day, this chuval is in excellent condition and was included in the famous “Blumen in der Wuste” exhibition and catalog.

By the way, that exhibition was the finest and most comprehensive display of old and historic Turkmen rugs to have ever been mounted.

In our estimation it beat, by a long shot, the Turkmen exhibition held in Washington D.C. in 1980.

Both of these shows were held in conjunction with icoc events and were, again in our opinion, along with the Barbican “Eastern Carpet in the Western World” the best efforts, post- 1970, rugdom has accomplished.

The next piece in the boswell sale, lot 75, is a beautiful Tekke chuval with aina gol.

It’s rare that a chuval of this type would interest RK but this one has got it all – condition, proportions and rarity -- the elem being the most obvious element to clue anyone into making such an assessment.

We like it, too, and the 9,500 euro estimate will also, in our estimation, be easily made.

There are a few other pieces we could have chosen for comment but our time and desire to pound away on our keyboard are, as we mentioned the other day, not a strong as they once were.

It’s a good sale, worthy of anyone’s attention, and we recommend everyone check it out.

Author: Eric Smith
Fri, May 26th, 2006 11:47:30 AM

RK Replies:

Why bother to post here if you can't read what we write and respond with more intellectual capacity than a earthworm?

Plus RK doesn't delete posts or threads. We just delete those who have outworn their welcome here. Like you have now done.

See you later.


Yeah, sure. You said: "There are some GOOD PIECES, particularly Persian non-city pile weavings, especially one Kashgai lot 27, a wild woven mural with EGYPTIAN iconography," Then: "As many know, RK is often provocative and, while our inclinations to be so might be seen by many as quirky or misplaced, there are always underlying facts, as this instance demonstrates, to support them." It seems that YOUR FACTS are, as usual, on a very shaky ground and when presented with SOLID FACTS, instead, you run away faster than Road Runner (Beep BeeP) from Wile E. Coyote. You should delete this thread, you know. It says a lot about you.

Author: Egyptian, Summerian, Persian?
Fri, May 26th, 2006 07:26:34 AM

RK Replies:

Greetings Ben:

To be perfectly honest, the design origins of this rug are of absolutely no interest to RK.


Simply put because whether they are Egyptian or Sumerian, Late Bronze Age (LBA) or any slightly later 'historic' culture, all of these are relatively late on the scale of human history and man's desire to create "art"

RK's interests focus on EBA (early Bronze Age) at the latest and, mostly, the Neolithic and Palaeolithic periods.

RK has been sucked into this discussion to answer a perfectly legitimate query posted here.

However, we care little about the rug in question, its design sources, or discussing the nits and piks of those sources.

Your question is a good one and we suggest you research it on you own.

We will be interested in your efforts and please feel free to post them here.


Hi Jack, I'm a rank amateur when it comes to art history, but I'm interested in the Egyptian connection you're making. I have a few questions.

Can't most of the motifs you bring up (side views of seated nobles, and even sun discs) be found in relatively early Summerian Art?

As I type this, I'm looking at a photo of a Summerian stele from roughly 2300 BCE.

It depicts the moon god Nanna seated on his throne, and it looks just like the seated noble (or whatever he is) on the Bozwell Persepolis rug. Wouldn't a Summerian origin for the design be a little closer to home? Ben Mini

Author: Eric Smith
Fri, May 26th, 2006 03:52:59 AM

RK Replies:

Sir, either you don't know how to read or you are so blinded by the desire to prove whatever it is that you have fallen into the doo-doo.

You have posted here on our board before, last time as "some idiot whose IP located to Houston Texas"

We never said the rug ws the "bee's knees" but it is one of the best of the type.

Is the type historic? No

Is the rug our taste? No

So what's yer problem, Eric?

And anytime you'd like to deiscuss or debate the "finer" points of art history, we are standing on our aircraft carrier, RugKazbah.com, have our flight jacket on and say to you, or anyone else, "Bring it on".


What a BS! First, the rug is souvenir stuff for early western tourists. It should be Airport-art for you. Its design is copied from a stele in Persepolis, as you can see in Opie page 188 and 189, where the stele and a copy of "your" rug are shown. The style of the bas-relief is another matter altogether: it has origins dating back to 3000 years before, in the Sumerian and, yes, Egyptian art. But calling it Egyptian design is BS: like calling a Karabagh Chondzoresk rug a Chinese design because it sports Cloudbands! You know a little about Oriental rugs so try to stay there. You shouldn't walk on a path that certainly isn't yours: Art history! Remember, Sutor, ne ultra crepidam!

Author: James Thu, May 25th, 2006 01:19:28 AM

Thanks for the additional explanation and information on this topic. Regards, James.

Author: James
Wed, May 24th, 2006 08:45:10 PM

RK Replies:

Yes but remember you have several known, and surely some unknown, cultures between the "Persians" and the "Egyptians".

Plus because the articulation of icons within the winged design on the rug, or for that matter on the bas-relief are not as faithfully delineated as in the painted murals found in Egypt, much of the original import of that symbolism has been lost.

And, to complicate this exercise even further, we are sure, this complex icon has roots stretching back further than even the old Kingdom of "Egypt".

Tracing the designs found on a 19th century rugs is fun but usually leads to such a cul-de-sac and, quite frankly, that's why RK is not very concerned or interested in the vast majority of 19th century rugs.

You did, by asking your question stimulate us to post here some images to demonstrate our statement these rugs have Egyptian iconography and calling them by a Persian name is misplaced.

First, here is the bas-relief from Persepolis you cited:

Next is a statue from the Old Kingdom period in Egypt

During this period, from circa 2700-2575 BC to circa 2200-2150, the great stone pyramids of Meidum, Saqqara and Giza were built.

This small statue, which is 7.5 cm, portrays King Khufu (Cheops) of the 4th Dynasty. He commissioned the largest pyramid at Giza. The statue was found by Petrie at Abydos in 1903 during his excavations there and is 7.5 cm.

The next photo shows the later style of drawing which is based on the earlier model the statue above originates. It is the style the carvers at Persepolis reproduced.

In the carpet, the weavers added palm fronds which also are a frequent icon used in later Egyptian art as this mural painting shows:

Though they did not distinctly represent another important icon, the sun-disk, the weavers did intimate it in the winged scarab found in the panel above the seated figure. Here is an Egyptian version of the sun-disk placed between two seated figures that are quite reminiscent of the rugs personage:

The final photo we chose shows the Egyptian complex icon of the winged scarab and sun-disk combination that provided the model for the design the Persian weavers placed above the figure:

This magnificent pectoral shows the Sun god represented by both the scarab and the falcon, fused as one icon. Also, the scarab and the eye of Horus both are thought here to supposedly represent the Moon, which is shown as a crescent. It is constructed of gold, lapis lazuli, calcite, turquoise, and glass and was found on the mummy of Tutankhamun.

As you can see, with the proper orientation and research materials it is quite easy to trace how a design like the pseudo-Persepolis one can be traced.

RK has spent much time researching the derivation of much earlier iconography and we always like to point out how we proved a design formerly known as the”key-hole” has nothing to do with keys or holes.

Should you, or any of other readers, be interested this information is online in the “Archaeology and Anatolian Kelims” exhibition on the Weaving Art Museum website, Plate One.

For those new readers the Weaving Art Museum is located at:


and the specific page we referenced is:



Thanks for your reply and explanation.

I agree with you that it is an interesting rug, with an interesting mix of design elements and styles.

I looked up some information on Persepolis and there is a picture of a bas-relief from which the scene in this rug seems to be an almost direct copy. In particular, the "eagle-king" design at the top looks to be very similar to one found on that ancient sculpture in Persepolis.

I'm not sure how to post a picture of it here, but this is a URL to the close-up picture of the eagle on the bas-relief. http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/IMAGES/PER/CH/4C12_4.html.

I don't know anything about Egyptian or Persian ancient history, but are you indicating that this eagle-king design was adopted by the ancient Persians from the Egyptians?

Thanks again, James.

Author: James
Wed, May 24th, 2006 01:57:41 PM

We were wondering if anyone would ask us about that, so let us explain.

Here is a picture of the rug in question, lot 27:

Rugs of this type are not common and this one appears to us to be one of the best of the group, we particularly like the provincial drawing of the flowering plants in the main border.

But, of course, it is the large throne and royal figure with many attendants that fills the field that furnishes the most conspicuous element of these rugs.

While we are not sure if Opie was the first to note the similarity they have to one of the bas-reliefs from Persepolis, these rugs have inherited that moniker whenever they do occasionally appear on the market.

The site of Parsa, known in English as Persepolis, is located in the province of Fars, Iran and allegedly was the location of throne of Jamshid, a mythical King of Iran.

We have seen a few others over the years and none of them, in our estimation, had the class this one exudes.

That said, we hope our readers don’t think we got all sticky and gooey over this rug, as our predilections surely are miles away.

However, the folksy charm of the cutesy chickens that lay beside the field and share its snow-white field are pretty hard to resist, even for us.

But back to your query.

Since the large winged figure that fills the upper panel above the throne is not exactly Persian, but rather quite Egyptian, and the entire rest of the white field also carries a stylistic interpretation of classic Egyptian iconography, we have always thought referring to this group of rugs as Persepolis, i.e. Persian, is misleading.

So, to make a short story even shorter, we would rather say Egyptian motif rather than hang the word Persepolis on them.

As many know, RK is often provocative and, while our inclinations to be so might be seen by many as quirky or misplaced, there are always underlying facts, as this instance demonstrates, to support them.



I am a complete novice and not a rug collector per se.

However, I was interested to see your reference to Egyptian iconography on the Rippon and Boswell Qashqai (lot 27).

There is a very similar rug in James Opie's book which indicates that the scene depicted is taken from a bas-relief in the ruins of the ancient Persian city of Persepolis.

More precisely, it is said to be from the council hall.

Were you referring to the scene itself, or other design elements on the rug as being of Egyptian origin?

Thanks and regards, James.

Author: jc
Tue, May 23rd, 2006 10:48:11 AM

We have heard from several attendees to the bozwell's sale and, from those initial reports, it appears it was not a very strong sale for them.

Regardless of the fact their merch was better than any other sale this Spring in terms of quantity of "interesting" pieces, most of those were far from stellar quality.

Apparently the audience sussed that and spent most of the time sitting on their paddles.

We will soon have some more info on what brought what and will post those results here later.

We do know the Abdal Chuval we pictured sold for a well deserved 12,000 euro and the wacky Kashgai, also pictured, for 18,000, which was quite a bargain for the new owner and, we are sure, a disappointment for the old one.

Many of the fragments the sale began with sold well and we have learned they belonged to G. Kabish, who surely doesn't need the money now.

There are allegedly a number of unsold pieces presently under negotiation, according to bozwell, and the publication of the sale’s prices realized awaits the outcome of those talks -- clearly there were enough to prevent bozwell from doing that now, as he doesn't want to show how many were, in fact, passed over on sale day.

Home   Buy/Sell at the Kazbah   Terms Of Service