Hamburger danny and his subordinates posted a review of the pinner sale today on the hali website. For all intents and purposes it appears they reviewed a different sale than Rk.com wrote about. The glib, put a happy-face reportage on what happened at rippon-boswell carves a new dimension into the yellow-journalism the rug world has come to expect from this organ and it’s off-tune grinding editor. RK.com suggests schaeffer spend less time turning the handle of hali’s hurdy-gurdy and more time realizing how off-key their tune is.
What follows is hali’s report with RK.com annotated comments in bold type. The self-congratulatory bunk on hali’s website might have the boswell’s and a few of the maltzahn’s helplessly entranced German clients, the ones who “won” the over-hyped overpriced top lots hurdy-gurdy man schaeffer writes about, tapping their feet to its um-pah-pah beat but anyone with enough experience and knowledge of Turkmen rugs and the market for them surely wasn’t moved enough to do anything other than look for some ear plugs.
“Thursday, May 20, 2004
The sale at Rippon Boswell on Saturday 15 May of 110 Turkmen rugs, bags and trappings from the Lesley and Robert Pinner Collection provided a packed saleroom (more than 250 were in attendance) with one of the liveliest afternoons at auction we have experienced in recent years, with bids flying thick and fast from all corners of the room.” Of course bids will fly thick and fast if you make stupidly low estimates and then start the lots even lower than that. Is schaeffer so full of chopped-meat that he can’t figure that out?
“This was quite unlike the lifeless and boring saleroom sessions we have come to expect at most auctions elsewhere, where typically there are few if any collectors/private buyers in attendance, the half-empty rooms being mainly populated by members of the trade watching to see if their consignments make it, with most of the significant action taking place on the telephone or via commission bids.” Wow, what a stunningly inept putdown of the rug scene. Perhaps schaeffer and hali should contemplate why this situation exists and try to do something about instead of worrying how to sell ads to those same dealers he just dissed. Plus in his own report hamburger notes the three top lots were bought by German private collectors on the phone. Are these dummies different than those who bid in the same manner at the sales schaeffer just criticized?
“But at RB it was private buyers, including major collectors from the USA, who provided a steady stream of bids, even if the top three lots were eventually sold, against stiff competition in the room, to German private collectors on the phones.” More drivel from the drivel-meister, RK.com will soon provide some more info on these American “major” collectors and which of the lots they splashed out on. But hear ye, hear ye: These major collectors are only auction buyers who are too ignorant and scared to pull the trigger and buy anything outside of the sale-room where they get the psychological support of under bidders, who are often as insecure in these respects and they are, and the public kudos of opening their wallets under public view.
“Staitistically(sic), 104 of the 110 lots sold either in the sale or immediately afterwards, yielding a gross hammer price for Robert Pinner of slightly over €600,000, some 50% above the auctioneers' admittedly cautious expectations.” Sounds good on paper but RK.com knows differently and now so do you, dear readers. Pinner probably spent almost as much, if not more, acquiring them and no-one other than a parasitic fop like schaeffer or a disingenuous stooge like maltzahn would trumpet this sale as a major success. Giving away Turkmen weavings at silly prices, 3500 euro for an early 19th century main carpet, etc, qualifies this by and large as failure not success.
“Top lot, as expected, was the Pinners'(sic) excellent Tekke animal-tree asmalyk, which fetched €120,000 (including 20% buyer's premium) against its €40,000 estimate.” A huge price, for a granted great example of the type, but does this two dimensional later day pseudo-iconic asmalyk do anything other than lay there like a disinterested frigid woman? There ain’t no movement or juice there, for all you unable to figure that out for yourselves.
“Next best was the delightful Arabachi(sic) 16-gül chuval, which made €60,000 (estimate €18,500). “ Oy, meat-head – next best in what terms? Euro value? That Arabatchi was another frigid and late after thought and delightful is not exactly the words any savant would use to characterize a Turkmen weaving. Aside from the generous use of almost lurid “bright colors”, which if you don’t know signifies a severe detachment from archaic Turkmen tradition and sensibility as well as indicating contact with outside influence, the monochromatic cookie cutter draftsmanship and lack of even one significant icon makes this what RK.com has described it as – a flashy piece of Turkmen posh. Again as we pointed out, no accounting for bad taste but as 70,000$ that’s really a hard to swallow mouthful.
“Not to everyone's taste, although undoubtedly rare and important, was the rather dark and brooding Saryk kejebe design trapping, which rose over a €19,500 estimate to sell for €54,000.” So far the only piece that was worth the price it realized but hamburger, a Turkmen know-nothing, wouldn’t be expected to know that. How do we know schaeffer is a Turkmen ignoramus? He gives himself away by his brushing this piece aside with an “although undoubtedly important” instead of clear statement of this kejebe’s value and import. And by the way Pluto, the dark brooding look is only the result of its being indelibly stained as this kejebe formerly had the glowing colors real Turkmen weaving possesses and not the phony flash-in-the-pan coloring that late Arabatchi chuval you and a few other sophomoric posers drooled all over.
“Next highest prices were realised by two Salor pieces: €33,600 was paid by an English collector in the room for a fantastic fragmented Memling-gül torba (estimate €12,000), while a busy American buyer paid only slightly less, €32,400, for a small kejebe design trapping(sic) (estimate €15,000). “ More about that busy American buyer soon.
“The immaculate Tekke animal-tree ensi, perhaps lacking somewhat in colour, went on the phome (sic) to the USA for €30,000 (estimate €29,500),Never one to miss a chance to maintain rugdom’s outdated myths, danny-boy’s obsequious curtsy to this old-school relic reveals his lack of discernment. Calling something “immaculate”( is hamburger referring to its conception?) and then six words later describing it as “somewhat lacking in color” does nothing other than, at best, make any thinking reader shake his head in wonder. Wake up schaeffer the reason for this somewhat lacking in color is the fact it is worn to the knot heads in many areas, on top of the fact later Tekke ensi like this one, animal tree or not, ALWAYS have such monotonous coloration. “while two of the Tekke main carpets each fetched €24,000, close to or slightly below estimate.”
“The very beautiful tekke embroidered asmalyk did well, selling for a well-earned €22,800 (estimate €8,000).” Hey dunce, a hammer price of 19,000 euro only looks good against the stupid 8,000 euro estimate. A five sided asmalyk in the Thompson sale (also lot number 1 – was boswell trying to cast the same spell that rang the cash register for jonny by making pinner’s lot 1 also), was not nearly as old, archaic or BEAUTIFUL, as pinner’s and while it made only $5,000 that was 11 years ago and interest in embroideries of all types(witness the kaitag and suzani fixations) has blossomed and zoomed since then. Plus pinner’s was so much better than thompson’s it demanded doing far better considering the foolishly exorbitant prices a closeted client of maltzahn’s from southern Germany has paid for other asmalyks of far lesser import.
“All but one of the myriad small pieces – chuvals, torbas, kaps, kapunuks and khalyks – sold, some slightly below or at estimate, others for substantially more.” Again a greasy, ketchup dripping blackslap from schaeffer for those results only bestows a future dry-cleaning bill for the recipient.
”Among these were a number of rare and particularly beautiful examples, several of which their new owners will rightly consider to have been very good buys indeed.” Hey danny, doesn’t that mean poor sick old pinner didn’t get the right price for his pieces? Or were you too busy chewing to figure that one out.
“Congratulations are due to the Maltzahns and to Robert Pinner's many friends for working so hard and effectively to make this sale a success.”
Perhaps poor old pinner is too drugged and bed-sore to realize what a shafting he got but one thing is sure maltzahn paid the rent and made plenty on pinner’s undoubted losses. And pinner’s “friends” who worked so hard…really now. Those same friends have been for the past year carrying pinner’s best and most worthy pieces out his back door for cheap cash and carry prices.
I surely regret not my decision, made in 1984, to never speak to pinner again even if it prevented me from owing his best pieces for the desperate fire-sale prices he's allowed those “friends” to bamboozle him out of. Shame Shame sienknecht et al.