The fact someone, and an under bidder, pushed the price of lot 14, the cutesy soumak bag we pictured and commented about earlier, to 23,000$ including premium comes as little surprise.
For those who might doubt the veracity of our opinion, or feel we are off-base, perhaps comparing it with another bag, one that is illustrated on the Weaving Art Museum website, might prove our point more readily.
Below we picture lot 14 with a soumak bag that is capable of demonstrating the archetypal version for many of the features the bag at grogan’s displays:
No cutesy little critters there or larger, but equally as two dimensional, “animals” like those we see above and below the medallion in grogan’s piece.
In fact, those larger critters have an almost comical aire about them that RK finds totally disinteresting.
This is not soumak bag class101, and RK is not going to spoon-fed the myriad of reasons that tell us the grogan bag is derived from aspects lifted from the one at the right.
We will however point interested readers to examine the subtle but quite different versions of this very specific central medallion, as well as the four somewhat abstract-style animals in each of the medallions four corners.
To us it is obvious, and quite clear, the grogan example is a pastiche; an assemblage of some not so well-remembered icons the Weaving Art Museum bag far more adequately expresses.
In truth we do not like the grogan bag but we do recognize how its fine weave and what we’d characterize as amateur-status iconography can, and did, light up the eyes of those who are not as well equipped to determine where a soumak bag like grogan’s fits on the continuum of similar examples.
It’s a much better than average bag but it is not a great one, nor is it a masterpiece.
Furthermore we did, some years ago, post a discussion called “Cute Animals Don’t A Great Soumak Make” and we suggest readers who are interested in soumak bags read it. It is the last post in the “Flatweaves Topic Area”.