Now the Nagel sale has been completed, let’s take a look at how the four pieces we previewed fared.
The first, lot 8, the Borjalu Kazak made 12,000 euro less than a quarter of the price the grogan example brought.
Anyone who understands rugdom would not be surprised a better, in all respects save the flash, example, which the Nagel one was, would under perform a lesser one, which is how we see the comparison with the grogan Borjalu.
Rugdom has no real market, nor is the any chance it ever will until there are genuine and reliable parameters are established for buyers to base their decisions on.
The sale at grogan’s was hyped to the max and because his borjalu (we have been told grogan owned it personally as well as some other lots he hammered down) was sold in such an environment, and the Nagel sale was basically just an ordinary rug auction dominated by a few dealer cliques, it is no wonder the results ended up as they did.
We said we preferred the Nagel Borjalu and we still stand by that claim.
The next lot, number 9, sold for a whopping and somewhat deserved 46,000 euro.
We prefer rugs that are more original and not blatant “copies” of earlier classical models like this one. But that aside we do recognize its rarity, beautiful colors and, especially, the grace and originality of the border articulation.
Good rug, high price is all we care to say.
Lot 40, another so-called Karapinar did not sell and while inexperienced eyes might be confused when comparing it to lot 9, there was a world of difference.
We do not believe, or agree with the dating of either, and since reflecting on this piece, which we wrote was in our estimation circa 1700-1750, we’d probably have been more truthful in pegging it at circa 1750, if not even circa 1800.
To be frank, we did not like it much when we wrote the preview and not to be always seen as mr. negative, we do pull our punches at times and that was one of them.
The busy over articulated field, corner pieces and cutesy elem are the most obvious faults, but there are others and anyone with strong ETV(early Turkish village) rug expertise could as easily enumerate a host of others.
According to the Nagel it is under post sale negotiation at the 15,000 euro level which is a fair price to pay for some square meters of shiny, colorful old wool.
The final lot we previewed, lot 67, a highly unusual and wacky Ushak area rug -- a provenance we accept but do not necessarily put 100 percent credence in, as we did not handle it -- sold for 3600 euro.
Here we’d remark: Good rug, cheap price; though its true value is impossible for us to determine as its obviously challenged condition and any other concomitant hidden defects are a big unknown.
This comment raises an interesting issue we are sure might have dawned on some of our more astute readers.
RK has often made statements with absolute certainty based only on photographs, both digital and printed. This has engendered commentary from others who questioned our comments solely on the basis of: “How do you know since you have not seen it in the flesh?”
Our expertise is derived from almost 40 years of experience dealing with exclusively non-classical antique and historic rugs.
We have traveled throughout America and Europe during those years visiting almost every important collection, both private and public and our database of knowledge is equal to, or superior to, anyone alive in this area.
Plus we have attended literally thousands of auction sales, large and small, and have at times purchased weavings from photos and even b/w pictures in catalogs and even newspaper advertisements without ever having handled the merchandise.
We know when we know and, conversely, know when we only think we know.
There is a huge difference here and Nagel’s lot 67, falls into the latter category.
The uniqueness of the rug and its deteriorated condition are the reasons for this, need we say more?
In closing, we are sure had all the merch at Nagels been at grogan’ acor sale the results would have been completely different – again proving our point about the mythical ‘market’ for antique and historic non-classical rugs: It’s never the rug -- it’s the environment it is sold in that makes the price.
And that, sport fans, is the one of the two main problems rugdom has.
What’s the other? Well, we’ll leave that for the less attentive of you all to ponder, as the brighter bulbs in our audience need not spend even a moment on that one.