As far as RK is concerned the most interesting lot in the broido "collection" was lot 20, a so-called Yomud engsi.
lot 20, Nagel Auction, now ex-broido “collection”
Described in the catalog as having “luminescent” coloring, which did not appear so to us when we viewed; it was, nevertheless, the most interesting and “important” engsi in broido’s “collection”.
Guesstimated at 600 euro it sold for double that at 1200 euro plus premium.
None of the over-hyped engsi broido “collected” preformed well on the auction block and there is little wonder why – they were not early or rare enough to overcome well-put buyer reticence to purchase the trashed condition they all exhibited.
A word about condition: When a Turkmen rug is early, or so perceived, its condition is no longer something to keep it from bringing a healthy price at auction these days, as lot 162, the heavily pee-stained asmalyk, proved.
This is as it should be because genuinely early, pre-19th century, or rare textbook later examples are rarely offered or discovered these days.
Anyway, the engsi in the broido group were not in that class and were mostly boring examples of well-known types where a number of earlier examples are now known, published or in collections.
This was, however, not the case with lot 20 and RK wishes to congratulate the astute buyer who picked it up for a very reasonable price.
Since most of you know RK is after early Turkmen rugs you might question why we did not buy it?
We already own a much earlier example of the type, and in fact it is one of the earliest engsi we have ever seen or purchased.
Over the years we have published several details of it on the Weaving Art Museum and here on RugKazbah.com as well.
So, for those turko-scouts who might be interested in seeing a detail so you might find the others, here goes.
Detail; ancient Turkmen engsi, unpublished, RK Collection
While ours has visually similar “ring” icon field quadrants and double ‘tree’ icon elem in fact it is a horse of a different color as the materials, dyes and proportions are absolutely not relatable.
Then, of course, the iconography in the borders, particularly in the horizontal and vertical center cross of our engsi, demonstrate how archaic period weaving differ, and blow away, their later copies.
RK knows only a very small number of engsi with ‘ring’ icon quadrants and, discounting ours, broido’s lot 20 is, so far, the next best one to have yet appeared.
This group of engsi might well be Karadashli but who really knows as the Turkmen name game is one RK eschews and is not very interested in participating.
Again, the fact lot 20, the best engsi of the broido bunch, sold for ˝ of the highest price paid for another one is but further proof of RK’s denouncement of today’s hot-to-trot Turkmen ‘collectors' and their penchant to open their wallets without realizing what they are splurging out on is often fool’s-gold.
And likewise examples of Turkmen weaving they have overlooked are ones that if they knew more would surely make them look twice, and even a third time, as lot 20 surely could have done.
Should time permit we will comment on several other results for the Turkmen pieces in the Nagel sale.