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email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Tue, Apr 3rd, 2007 11:16:13 PM
Topic: London Spring Sales

RK had a chance this weekend to view a couple of the London Carpet Sale catalogs. From what we saw, it will be pretty slim picking for anyone who is in the market for anything historic.

In fact, there was not one lot we'd call even an almost, let alone a humdinger. Of course, we are speaking of non-classical weavings: Turkmen, Caucasian, or Turkish.

Over the next days we will be doing some more looking and should we uncover anything special we will be sure to note that here.

Also, if any reader has spied something we missed, we'd surely appreciate hearing about it.

Author: CK
Tue, Apr 3rd, 2007 11:16:13 PM

Mister, Wake up!

Author: C.K.
Tue, Apr 3rd, 2007 06:55:27 PM

RK Replies:



So, if you had money you would buy them isn't it?

Author: Kore-eda Hirokazu
Tue, Apr 3rd, 2007 11:29:06 AM

RK Replies:

Ok then, next time we see one can we ask you for a loan??

PS: hey there,littleman, we positively know it is you. How are things going at cevatkanig.com? Selling out of 17th century Shah Abbas main rugs??===============================

Hi Jack, You can not afford to buy any of them that is why you don't buy them.

Author: jc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Mon, Apr 2nd, 2007 11:33:48 AM

For the moment we have decided to post two additional photos of rugs in the sale rather than flesh out the comparison we breeched in our last post here.

Reading the claptrap some easily influenced, or is it just rug challenged, hali correspondent wrote in their last Hali News (which is sent to everyone on their e-mailing list) about these two pieces in the sale, once again left us with that stranger in a strange land feeling. This frequently happens when we compare our unbiased views with theirs. We know it is not only their inability to do anything other than push the status quo of what is politically correct in rugdom but, more likely, it is their limited knowledge of historic rugs, of any ilk mind you, that is the main cause of our ennui with their reportage.

Regardless of the reasons they called this “Polonaise” rug, the first of the two lots that concerns us here, “A further highlight” of the sale and “…an exceptional 17th century silk and metal-thread ‘Polonaise’ rug, from Isfahan", we don’t buy them. Neither do we think any “Polonaise” is actually worth, in comparison to other values in the rug world, the 150,000-250,000 pound estimate this one carries.”

We believe all “Polonaise” rugs are nothing more than luxury pieces of airport-art. We have never seen one with anything original about it – their motifs and overall iconographies just artist inspired copies of better, more beautiful ones done in wool.

Please remember, rug fans, the best Classical rugs, at least in our opinion, have wool warp, silk weft and wool pile.

Why anyone would consider these silk-piled monstrosities beautiful or important at this date and time is beyond us.

Sure sure, we know and saw the Blau example sell for the similar pant-full of lucre Chrisities and hali expect this one to make.

However, we could not be vocal enough about how these Polonaise pieces will soon be looked at in the same way as those in the know now consider Ghiordes and Kula prayer rugs.

Remember these, too, used to be the darlings of rugdom elite and sold for highly exorbitant prices; whereas now they are basically consider totally unimportant in the larger scheme of all thing rugwise.

We have no doubt some punters will battle to own Christie’s “Polonaise” but really now: Would you want to stare at this everyday behind your desk or TV?

Another overpriced and over-lauded rug type is what are now considered to be 16th and 17th century Ispahan main carpets, like the two Christies will be offering.

Frankly, we class almost all of these with “Polonaise” rugs and are not afraid to attach them with our by now quite famous airport-art label.

The better and more important of the two according to Christies, not to say more highly estimated, we found to be as boring as a re-run of “The Modern Farmer”.

We have instead chosen to illustrate the less “important” of the two(in Christies eyes, that is), which at least has some of what we’d call beautiful elements, like the large, pseudo-saz leaves and undulating cloudbands:

It is lot 50 and carries a slightly more reasonable 80,000-120,000 pound estimate than its larger and supposedly earlier16th century sister at 200,000-300,000 pounds.

Perhaps the likes of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet will be lining up to buy this piece, or the “Polonaise”, and place it on the floor under their dining-room tables? RK doesn’t think anyone else, especially any real collector, would be interested.

By the way, one could say RK believes Ispahan rugs like these, or the “Polonaise”, are in reality nothing more than the Dobag rugs of their former time period.

We also ask why anyone, who claims expertise in historic rugs, would even bother to glorify them at the expense of other far more worthy weavings that still go unheralded every day.

Granted the tenuous Imperial connections rugs like Christie’s can boast might influence those who are rug-ignorant but anyone who knows the score surely finds them, as we said, boring and nothing more than rote, expensive floor covering.

More to come on Christie’s sale, stay tuned

Author: jc
Sat, Mar 31st, 2007 03:04:44 PM

Beyond any shadow of a doubt the best of the London Spring sales is at Christie’s King Street.

William Robinson, who by the way gets a five star rating from RK as the best of the rug department heads at any major auction house, has assembled an excellent sale considering the dearth of interesting pieces other auctions, not only those in London, have presented of late.

However, that said, nothing really interests RK here; there are no major masterpieces of the types of weaving we buy, ie. non classical and historic.

There is one lot, number 15, a sumak main rug that is our choice for best of sale honors:

This rug is a champion and while we did not handle it to see if there are any tell-tale synthetic dyes present, we’ll take Robinson’s word for the fact there aren’t any. He dates it circa 1800.

We are, although, a bit suspicious as several other examples of this rare type we have seen did, in fact, contain a synthetic dye or two.

These dyes were of the fugitive type and, frankly, because few people are able to identify them, they can often pass unnoticed by less than very skilled eyes.

This example, which carries a hefty 10,000-12,0000 pound estimate, looks to us to be early enough to have a traditional color palette and were it a khorjin face and not a main carpet RK would be in the running to own it.

But we do not collect large examples of sumak weaving, so, doubt we will be booking our flight to old jolly old London-town for this one.

We have no more time to post today but will, in the near future, turn our, as always, steel-eyed gaze at some of the other lots Christies will be offering up on April 16, the date this sale will happen.

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