Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >December, 2007, Sales:Part II
Tue, Dec 4th, 2007 10:27:57 PM
Topic: December, 2007, Sales:Part II

There is another December, 2007, sale worth mentioning -- rippon-boswell in Germany.

In fact, this sale in our opinion is the pick of the litter and we will, asap, post some comments and photos of the rugs RK feels deserve mention.

We will, also, finish up of reviews of the grogan and sotheby sales as well.

Stay tuned

Author: JEB
Tue, Dec 4th, 2007 10:27:57 PM

RK Replies:

Only an idiot is "amused" at publishing a 6-800$ estimate in a catalog and then seeing the lot sell for almost 50,000$.

Sorry but such dumb acts, which are typical for rugdom, do nothing but reinforce the public perception rug dealers are all charlatans and the rug world is based on nothing more concrete than "the rug is mine and it is better than yours only for that reason".

After more than 4 decades of watching BS crapola like this, and hearing similar lame excuses for it, the only thing we can say is time is running out to establish real perimeters to judge and value antique oriental rugs.

Surely the nincompoop "expert" at skinners has alot to learn. And, turst us on this one, he's not the only one.


I have my own concerns about the rug appraiser at Skinners, but he did not apprise the circa 1700 rug for $600 to $800. I asked him about it, and his story was that a family was consigning many non-rug items to Skinners, and while the (non-rug) appraiser was there he was asked for an estimate for two of their rugs. He had no idea what he was looking at, and provided the rather low estimate. The Skinners rug appraiser felt no need to revise the estimate, instead deciding the consigners should be pleasantly surprised. He was amused by the price range as well.

Author: jc
Mon, Dec 3rd, 2007 04:08:29 PM

Before mentioning the happenings at the bozwell sale, we must comment on the results of the skinner, Boston, sale of December 2, 2007.

Honestly, we looked over the catalog and did not see one lot worth mentioning; hence the lack of our previewing it here on RugKazbah.com. However, in our haste we overlooked lot 117, an unusual, late 17th/early 18th century, so-called Cairene rug.

This small, 4 foot by 5 foot, carpet belongs to a group of rugs which still have, not in our opinion at least, been properly researched.

Being urban atelier, workshop, production, they hold little interest or intrigue for us but there are some examples which, unlike this one at skinners, do interest us peripherally as well as having a place in oriental rug history.

But, these are few and far between, and are much earlier than the skinner example, which is late but "decorative" -- it surely is nothing historic.

The skinner piece sold for 49,000$ with premium against a stupid and ridiculously published estimate of 600-800$.

The expert of the department, who is now cataloging for skinners, got the name right and was close to the date(17th century was written in the catalog) and how he was so far off on the price tells a lot about not only his rug savvy but also the marketplace which allows such gaffs to go unnoticed and without response.

Like we said, the sale was full of boring, historically uninteresting, rugs meant best for keeping ones footsies warm on cold evenings. And, from the looks of the results, a lot of formerly bare, cold floors will now be covered in wooly “decorative” splendor thanks to this skinner sale.

Fact is, dear readers, RK has heard this was the record sale skinner’s rug department has ever pulled off.

Could this show market strength or just the usual bidder frenzy at auction and cold-shoulders elsewhere rugs are sold.

Most dealers we speak to tell us biz is very slow but, looking at recent auction results, we'd have to say the lack of confidence necessary for buyers to purchase rugs outside of a saleroom is still an issue rugdom needs to address, and address without further delay.

OK, then, nuff said about skinners and their sale, now on to our initial comments about rippon-bozwell's sale.

The Mughal prayer rug sold, we have been told, for 340,000 euro (that's a bit more than 500,000$).

This morning we were speaking to one of our colleagues who agreed with us about the fallacies conveyed in the bozwell catalog entry and elsewhere these Mughal prayer rugs have been reviewed.

Both of us, and others as well, do not buy the now well known thesis about these rugs and, in fact, we'd venture to say that sooner or later that thesis will have to be severely overhauled or discarded.

However, we all know when ideas become entrenched in rugdom, it is very hard to change them and we are sure that will be the case here.

As for the rest of the sale, we have heard the results were spotty, some surprises and some disappointments.

We will, asap, picture some other lots - we actually had intended to do this prior to the sale but timing prevented us - and discuss them and their results.

Author: jc
Fri, Nov 30th, 2007 06:15:07 PM

The sale put together by mr bozwell, the one remaining member of the rippon-boswell team now that his partner is longer with us, is one of the best in many years.

There’s no incredible “star” lot; rather this sale has a notably higher than usual quality of goods on offer in many of the areas antique oriental rug collectors gravitate.

Mr bozwell has assembled some “collector” pieces worthy of the name, but if there is one star lot in his eyes is it most assuredly the Mughal prayer rug, lot 133:

Estimated at 170,000 euro (about 260,000 dollars) and catalogued circa 1700, which we’d venture to guess is a bit optimistic, we have to say rugs like this are not exactly RK’s meat and potatoes.

However, having seen a couple of other examples of this group over the years in the flesh, we’d have to say as pretty as bozwell’s example is, it is not the best or even one of the best of this type.

Regardless, it is a rare bird and that quality alone might just make it take flight under the hammer and sell for the estimate or more.

That said, we could also see it not making the estimate, since the euro is presently very strong, especially against the dollar.

We’d also like to mention we do not believe much of the rug-lore, especially as it has been expounded in the long catalog description, that surrounds these mille-fleur prayer rugs.

This one, and the group as a whole, are all beautifully crafted objects but, in our eyes, rather soulless in essence and rote in execution.

We do not have much time today to spend on this review but we would like to mention one other lot before signing off, lot 229:

Called “Yomud” by the cataloguer, a job mr bozwell does himself, and dated “2nd half 19th century”, it carries a 1,400 euro estimate.

While RK will gladly concede the torba is surely a Yomud group weaving, it is surely not an ordinary one and probably would be better described as being Karadashli.

But regardless of how much mr bozwell believes he knows about Turkmen weavings, we do not agree for his inabilities to really identify them properly, as he has done both here and other times in the past, needs no further discussion on our part.

It is clear to RK this handsome, rare and extremely well executed Turkmen torba is nowhere near 2nd half 19th century. We’d date it circa 1800.

As for the pittance of an estimate – 1,400 euro?

Well, we cannot dun bozwell for that, considering how often auctioneers underestimate their goods to stimulate buyer interest.

Such a ploy is often unnecessary, particularly with a piece that is as beautiful, unusual and in good condition as this torba, and bozwell should know better.

We’d be glad to wager this lot will at least double the estimate and we would not be surprised to see it make an even higher multiple of that figure.

Great Turkmen weavings have a je ne sais quoi about them that is impossible to describe.

Perhaps, it is the rhythmic blend of color and contrast that dazzles the mind’s eye. Or is it the deep glow ancient dyeing techniques and amazing wool quality that combine to mesmerize ones feelings of touch and sight?

Long ago RK fell under their spell; one the best and most archaic examples of Turkmen weaving all exude. And, although we have tried to analyze this fascination, we have never found that inestimable quality, or is it qualities, that cause this reaction.

Regardless, this torba has got it and we are sure many others will, and probably have already, fallen under its spell.

Watch it soar on sale day.

We will continue this review and those of the grogan and Sotheby sales asap; stay tuned.

Home   Buy/Sell at the Kazbah   Terms Of Service