Home > Turkmen Rugs >Arabatchi Engsi: Late or Not?
Sun, Jul 10th, 2016 10:23:56 AM
Topic: Arabatchi Engsi: Late or Not?

Talk has been going around on the internet and in private about an Arabatchi engsi offered at a coming auction sale. In fact several readers have emailed RK about the sale where there are about two dozen other rugs, all them no interest to collectors.

The auctioneers, who are located outside Boston, list this engsi for 250 - 400 dollars.

A paltry price for sure, as Arabatchi engsi are not exactly common.

However, according to someone we know who has seen and examined the engsi before it was consigned to the sale, there are several synthetic and chemical dyes, among the orange and red colors it has.

RK can well believe this, as almost every one of these Arabatchi engsi we have ever seen has chemical dyes that date it to the late 19th century.

Apparently this one does as well, which end any argument and question about its age and value.

Author: John Lewis
email: john_lewis@mac.com
Sun, Jul 10th, 2016 10:23:56 AM

RK Replies:

True, true but we seriously doubt whoever bought it at the sale will be an end user.

As we wrote 'twas the bigger fool theory in practice. We're pretty sure that engsi will come around again, and it might be sooner than you think...


Does it really matter? In comparison with a daub by a contemporary "artist" it is probably good value per square foot and will cover a lot of wall.

The contemporary daub also probably only took 1 hour to produce and since the engsi took several weeks to produce, the price per input person hour is also low.

Same argument applies to a handcrafted chest of drawers from 1760 (lots of dovetails) which is probably the same price as a mass produced IKEA equivalent.

I saw a contemporary rug on sale for 10k in the FT recently. The new owner of this engsi can tell their friends all about the fascinating history of the region, the various tribes and bore them silly at the same time getting revenge for being taken to a cricket match.

Author: jc
Sat, Jul 9th, 2016 03:59:33 PM

The engsi sold for .....3,750$ plus buyer's commission of 20%.

Since our initial post, RK has seen several better pictures sent by a reader who attended the preview. We can assuredly state there is at least one synthetic dye, and this engsi is probably circa 1870-80 at the earliest.

What is it worth?

For someone with an under-developed eye and low connoisseurship to hang on the wall it surely is worth what it sold for.

This understood, it has no real historic or collecor value because it is not historic, nor would any experienced collector want to own it.

Frankly, RK believes this engsi sold on the greater fool theory. The buyer believing reselling it in a more sophisticated environment, like a major auction house carpet sale, will turn a profit.

RK is not sorry to bust that bubble, as we believe, and in fact know, it would sell for less, as the major attraction -- that greater fool theory -- has already expired.

Home   Buy/Sell at the Kazbah   Terms Of Service