Home > JC'S Corner >Auction returns Tent Band Sale torba to market
Author:jc
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Sat, Jan 26th, 2013 07:15:18 AM
Topic: Auction returns Tent Band Sale torba to market

Twenty-two years is a pretty long time. That’s how long it has been since RK’s disastrous “Tent Band Collection” sale at sotheby, NY which took place in December 1990.

The Turkmen market has come a long way since then. But, and we say this from knowledge and not hubris, it still has an even longer way to go.

RK has been an avatar in the field since at least 1975 and anyone who says different is nothing but ignorant or a liar.

But one of the sorest spots in our carpet collecting history was our decision to sell part of our Turkmen collection at a sotheby NY oriental carpet sale.

We are not going to recount the unexpurgated tale, and it’s a doozy of intrigue and deceit, sotheby included.

But we will mention an acute need of funds was the reason. This need was prompted by a famous collector reneging on an already negotiated sale and tricking us into letting him rip up the sixty five thousand dollar plus check he had given us two weeks previously.

Supposedly he was going to pay us but ….. AHHH, the deceit of the deceitful and dishonest knows no bounds.

To make a long story short RK then also trusted sotheby’s and bill ruprecht, another mistake we even more dearly paid for.

And everyone knows the results: 10 of the 20 pieces sold and sold for peanuts – all to people we knew and some of who had made far higher offers in private for some of the pieces.

We mention this to demonstrate the increased knowledge now present in Turkmen rug collecting circles.

Lot 148, an ancient and rarer than rare Saryk kejebe torba we formerly owned and offered for sale at sotheby in 1990 where it did NOT sell, just sold in rippon-boswell’s Nov. 2012 sale.



this Saryk torba, lot 148, sold for 19,500 Euro PLUS commission after a very active bidding war between seven telephone bidders.

A few months after the sotheby sale, RK received a letter from a collector who asked if the Saryk kejebe torba would be available for purchase. And then some time later we met with the collector and traded him the Saryk torba for something else we wanted.

He had it for all those years, and on his recent death it somehow ended up with boswell.

RK is sure several of the seven phone bidders vying for it at rippon-boswell were on the scene in 1990 and could have bought it then.

But they didn’t and sat on their paddles.

By the way, the price paid at boswells was very reasonable, and whoever got it did extremely well for themselves.

Just for grins here is what john taylor, who recently became an internet rug “pundit" of questionable skills, had to say about the Saryk kejebe torba after the sotheby sale.

This appeared in oriental rug review, a now defunct rug newspaper taylor used to write for:

The Cassin collection - Plates 1 to 20 - concerns itself stubbornly with exceptions to the rule with tribal runs, one- of-a-kinds, occasional belly-flops. The Saryk kejebe, an old and ugly piece, compares poorly to its Salor confreres.

For the record let RK disabuse taylor, or anyone else who agrees with him, of the notion there were "belly-flops" in the Tend Band Collection sale.

Rather, the only bellyflops were idiots like him who knew little to nothing about Turkmen rugs flapping their jaws or a host of "buyers" who were equally as ignorant and inexperienced.

By the way there were other reviews of the sale which echoed taylor’s dumbs comments. They, too, are still equally as wrong now as they were then.

Author: jc
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Sat, Jan 26th, 2013 07:15:18 AM

Some years before we acquired the Saryk kejebe torba we already owned several “S” group kejebe torba, both with and without similar but later the complex medallions like it has.

We no longer own any of them, but the one we liked the best was this:

“S” group kejebe torba; 18th century; ex-RK collection; published Tent Band Tent Bag: Classic Turkmen Weaving; 1990

This torba was not only very rare, outstandingly beautiful and in relatively good condition(missing both side border) but it belongs to an extremely small group of “S” group pieces with very unusual coloration and wool.

Someday RK plans to do an extensive review of our research of non-main carpet(MC) “S” group weavings and will discuss the various clusters/types.

One reason we haven’t is our long on the record position “S” group examples are not very interesting stylistically, made in town or city workshops and are not very old. The MCs even more so.

Most we would date post 1800.

Over the decades we have owned several MC and more than a few chuval and torba. All eventually sold to breathless others who believe them to be the height of Turkmen weaving.

They surely are not if one is looking for historic archetypal Turkmen weavings – RK’s bailiwick.

They are, when in excellent condition and among the early and not the later editions, outstandingly beautiful with their super saturated coloration and shiny as a piece of gold in the sun wool.

RK has never fallen for the “myths” surrounding the preeminence of the Salor, and regardless of their alleged importance we find their weavings, and that includes almost all the non-MC’s, iconographically derivative and somewhat boring.

They lack the mystery prototypic Turkmen weavings display, something again that is our main interest.

Unlike the Saryk kejebe, which did not sell in the Sotheby 1990 Tent Band Collection sale, this “S” group torba did, though its result, like all the others, was disappointing to say the least.

Were it to come back onto the market today, like all the other pieces that did sell or were sold shortly after the sale, it would sell for many times what it brought then.

It was a best of type, like some of the other 20 pieces in the Tent Band Collection, and we can definitively say we are extremely sorry we trusted sotheby and that douchebag stiff bill ruprecht to fulfill his promise of creating a large audience of buyers.

There were only 5 buyers for the ten Tent Band Collection pieces that sold.

And guess what: They were all RK’s associates, and in some cases they purchased pieces in the sale for much less than they had offered us in private years before.

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