Why boswell placed this large silk Tabriz carpet immediately following the Engelhardt goods presents a situation RK.com questions. Since the majority of the Engelhardt lots were Persian city rugs, and ones of not exactly meritorious proportions, one would think maltzahn would have been bright enough to realize putting this rug right after those could do nothing to enhance their chances for sale. In fact, in our opinion, it severely limited them.
Here is the photo of lot 91 and you decide for yourself. By the way the estimate is 165,000 euro.
Note: For the rest of the lots in Part II, as in Part I, RK.com is publishing the lot photos along with the catalog descriptions in their entirety with our comments added in italics.
Lot 92 KARAPINAR FRAGMENT The strong patina and clear, brilliant colours suggest that this fragment of a Karapinar village rug (the top end finish has survived, probably around a third of the total length) was made before the end of the 18th century.
This is just another vacuous, flap-jawed statement by maltzahn – notice he provides not one iota evidence or explanation to support his unsupportable claim. Guess it’s just from maltzahn’s lips to God’s ears.
Let’s face facts, folks, maltzahn is not the only wacky writer to ascribe great age to rugs of this genre since other equally misguided, over-dating rug-selling-dreamers have ventured 17th and even 16th century dates for such pieces.
Comparative pieces have been published in the book on the Kirchheim Collection.
Right you are, boswell, however these are also, by and large, ridiculously over-dated. For your information, as well as for RK.com’s readers, here is a photo detail of a “yellow-rug” that actually does pre-1800.
Sooner or later RK.com will turn attention to this group of central Anatolian rugs (and their wannabe copies) and will offer up some new perspectives on dating and some possible design sources. However, for now, we will leave it to our readers to make some comparisons for themselves between this piece we are illustrating (it is the first time it has been published) and the myriad of others to already grace the pages of a number of books, like Kirchheim’s, various auction catalogs and magazine articles.
– A number of holes. Backed with canvas. 1,500 euro
Lot 99 INNICE FRAGMENT In his “standard work”, Butterweck publishes a comparative piece that he calls “Incesu”, another name for the small town of Innice in Cappadocia.
While RK agrees with boswell’s early 19th century dating we surely are not in agreement with his fishing-expedition attempt to place a nametag on this rug (even if he got it from Butterweck). We grant Innice is the name of a village in Anatolia but, alas, maltzahn’s attaching this handle we consider to be only wishful thinking.
We have chosen to illustrate this lot for no other reason than the comparison it offers to the unpublished “yellow-rug” fragment from the previous description. Compare them - the exact medallion with those four attendant corner pieces, as well as the field’s interior stars within octagons – is there any doubt these weavings maintain a strong design relationship or the this” yellow-rug” displays the model lot 99 has copied?
The two fragments are currently mounted onto backing fabric in a way that aims to complete the visual effect, but this is in fact incorrect because the pile lies in opposite directions: the piece that is now at the top actually constitutes the lower right-hand corner of the carpet, which was therefore twice as wide.
Long ago we realized maltzahn was an expert at spotting things upside down, after all don’t many of his attributions and claims presenting upside-downisms we are sure not only rub our pile in the wrong direction. 2,500 euro
Lot102 SARYK MAIN CARPET FRAGMENT The left-hand section of a Saryk main carpet with ten vertical güls and possibly originally five rows of güls. The size of the motifs, their graphic harmony and the complex border section created by reciprocal effects point to an early production date.
Sorry, detlef, but usually, and in this case as well, complex border ornamentation is a sign of later and not earlier Turkmen design convention. While Rk.com recognizes this fragment is a rare one, we surely do not see any reason to date this earlier than circa 1830.
The weaver further highlighted the design by the systematic use of white cotton.
Systematic or copious? In either event the amount of white cotton in this main carpet fragment veritably assures it was made post- and not pre-1800.
The original finishes are missing all around, low pile, the foundation is visible in places. 3,300 euro
Lot106 SALOR TRAPPING Such decorative hangings showing the kejebe design apparently adorned the flanks of wedding camels like asmalyks; they were woven by the Salor in various sizes and therefore with a varying number of primary motifs.
So far there is no proof large, rectangular kejebe panels like this one, and the others maltzahn relates it to, were used as asmalyk adornment for the Turkmen bride’s wedding litter. It is for this very reason Rk has remained unconvinced of this attribution, even though it has been accepted almost universally by Turkmen rug fanciers.
A first-rate example as regards drawing and palette, this certainly very old piece
Rk agree this one is an early one – the tall and extremely well-proportioned drawing of the kejebe niches are enough to convince us of that fact.
belongs to the two-gül type, whereas the example from the Pinner Collection sold by us in May represented the type with just one gül. – Cut and incomplete sides, reduced at the top and bottom, many old repairs. 12,000 euro
Lot 107 KÜTAHYA
Calling this rug Kutahya, after the well-known town in Anatolia, again strikes us as maltzahn fishing for a provenance. RK.com is no stranger to proposing new ideas to Oriental Rug studies but we recognize the necessity for supplying positive proof. In cases where that is not possible, we think forwarding a theory requires at least a good explanation, unlike mr. boswell who seems to equate his “feelings” with facts.
The symmetrical design of this rare carpet shows a wide rectangle in the centre, a central diamond and four squares of equal size, colour and ornamentation in the corners of the field; the latter is framed by a wide, blue-black lattice surround. In its austere layout, the design is reminiscent of a floor plan or garden plan. Very beautiful, harmonious palette.
We also like this rug and would prefer relating its design to the several groups of Kazaks with five spot or 2-1-2 medallion design layouts. This central Anatolian rug, the descriptive tag we’d prefer, is an interesting one and it should find a home at somewhere around the estimate.
– Replaced selvedges, various expertly repiled areas, now in good condition. 9,500 euro
Lot 116 KARAPINAR The niche carpets of this group are usually attributed to Karapinar.
Yes, boswell, there are a number of rugs with similar ascending niches and some might really have been produced in Konya. But they often differ technically and do not have the uniformity of weave you tout as a fact.
The ascending design of stepped interlocking arches is evidently a symbol of a transition process; this seems to justify interpreting this piece as a prayer rug.
The jury is still out on that one, counselor. Let’s remember a mirhab on a rug does not necessarily equate with it having been originally used prayer and multiple niche format rugs like this one have never been proven to have been originally intended for prayer.
Most of the surviving examples are small formats. Longer formats are very rare. Due to its delicate colours and the architectural appearance of its niche repeat, the Karapinar on sale here seems to be older than most of the small pieces, and older than the Halevim niche carpet sold first by us and then by Christie’s.
Rk would like to emphasize the word “seems” here.
However, it is probably not older than one of the carpets in the Kirchheim Collection (as yet unpublished).
Oy, there maltzahn, why mention an unpublished rug, particularly in this type of comparison, if you are not going to allow your readers the chance to see it and, therefore, decide for themselves. RK sees this as one more instance where you expect, quite foolishly in our opinion, your readers to have complete faith in your prose about which we are sure many others harbor doubts .
– Restored and repiled areas, corroded brown, creases, small tears, low spots in the pile. 19,500 euro
Lot Nr: 127 TEKKE KAPUNUK A Tekke kapunuk displaying light colours, a very fine weave and a lively design full of small variations. Similar to the kapunuk in the St. Petersburg Dudin Collection and to the example exhibited in the Basel Museum in 1980, the curled leaves have been stylised to a box shape here.
Dating this piece to circa 1800, which is how it is described in the catalog, is a bit over optimistic. We would prefer ca. 1830-40 but estimating it to sell for 6,500 is even more questionable. Lot 127 is not a best of type kapunnuk but it definitely is an excellent early, but not 18th century or even circa 1800, example and it will, we believe, sell for quite a bit more than boswell has indicated. Our association of finer knotting in Tekke weaving as a sign of mid-later period, and not early period work, remains salient here regardless of maltzahn’s trying to pull that rabbit out of his homburg.
– Original finishes all around, high pile but heavy moth damage, quite a number of holes and damaged areas in the pile. 6,500 euro
Stay tuned for Part III where a number of remaining lots and their catalog entries will be critiqued.