Home > Archive >rippon-boswell Autumn '04 Sale Part III
Author:jc
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Wed, Nov 17th, 2004 12:05:42 PM
Topic: rippon-boswell Autumn '04 Sale Part III

Lot Nr: 128 YASTIK Brüggemann & Böhmer published a related yastik, also a white-ground example, of this rare group with the palmette design.
Twenty years ago these yastik really were rare but since then quite a few have hit the marketplace. This one belongs to one of the less frequently encountered groups - notice the unusual main border occasionally seen on Mudjur rugs.
The design is seen more frequently on a red or orange ground than a white one.
We’d agree with boswells statement if he put in the qualifier “on later examples” next to the red or orange reference, as most of the early ones almost exclusively are on a white field.
This small jewel of Turkish folk art has colours of outstanding quality and wonderful wool, making it a “first among equals”.
Rk would beg to differ with maltzahn on that, as we find the drawing to be a bit crude and the ornaments a bit too closely spaced. This piece has the look of a copy made in the mid-19th century to us. We do not feel it is a exemplary nor as old as the catalog implies.(The presence of those 10 large, bulky rosettes in the field and border are the most obvious proof of this for us.)
Very well preserved considering its age, small repairs, slight traces of wear. 9,500 euro

lot Nr: 134 AKSARAY
Another pull the attribution out of the hat by maltzahn. We are not even sure this rug was made in central Anatolia, let alone placing it specifically to a particular village – especially one that is rarely referred to as a rug producing one.
Central medallion compositions are among the oldest Anatolian carpet designs. Here a large, light blue star containing a red box dominates the dark brown field. Three offset diamonds have been placed at both ends as “satellite motifs” to balance the composition.
This arrangement appears to us to be nothing more than a broadened version of the traditional 2-1-2 pattern, regardless of boswell’s ET analogy.
The notched outline bulging out into the corners reveals the origin of this composition – like others, it is derived from the ancient Anatolian animal pelt rugs.
Whoa, Nellie – maltzahn’s gone off the deep end again.
Judging by its colours and the coarse weave using brown weft shoots, this rare piece was made in Cappadocia, perhaps in the surroundings of Aksaray.
Basing this attribution on presence of brown wefting, in our opinion, is ludicrous, like much of maltzahn’s stupid cataloging we have debunked here and in the past.
– The black-brown corroded sections have been partially rewoven, various areas of expert repiling, now in good condition for an Anatolian carpet of its age.
Dating this to the 18 century, as boswell has done, is probably not far off the mark but we’d prefer ca. 1840.
22,000 euro

Lot Nr: 148 SHAHSAVAN KHORJIN This rare, completely preserved sumakh double bag of the Shahsavan depicts one of the archetypal tribal motifs, the so-called turtle design, which symbolises ancient cosmological concepts.
Hardy Ha Ha. Please tell us, mr boswell, what a turtle has to do with cosmology? To continue to refer to soumak bags of this type as “beetle-bags” ala windbag wendle, or “turtles” as you do, is amazingly lame. In the book “Kelim Soumak Carpet and Cloth” the prototype for this group was illustrated and we publish it here for reference.
Compare them and see why for yourself.

Wertime’s recent research confirms that these weavings were made in the region between the south Caucasian Moghan Steppe and the Savalan Mountains in the Persian part of Azerbaijan.
Nonsense, boswell. This “research” confirms nothing about any soumak bag’s provenance. Well at least not really old ones – weretime’s assertions are based on, at best, information about late 19th century (and mostly 20th century) soumak bag weaving. Anyone who believes such research can help to explain pre-mid-19th century ones is dreaming.
A comparison with published bags displaying the turtle motif shows great design stability and hardly any colour variations: the tradition was so strong that it did not occur to the weavers to deviate from the design.
And what, dear boswell, is so noteworthy about this? Don’t many other weavings have this same reliance on a traditional design and color scheme? Oh yeah, we forgot that your cataloging is only aimed at making the goods seem more important, not to really deal with the many issues each genuine weaving raises.
– Damage in the lower left-hand corner, in astonishingly good overall condition, heavily patinated.
We are not very impressed with this lot – its flaccid drawing, monotonous coloration and wonky central medallion aspects - and will be surprised if it sells at all, let alone for the schatzpreis of 7,800 euro.

Lot Nr: 152 KARAPINAR This rural type, formerly unknown in western collections as it was not exported at the time of production, has been attributed to Karapinar ever since May Beattie discovered some later examples in the city’s mosque and published her famous article in Oriental Art.
Is boswell’s describing the circumstance of production for this pieces as “rural” anything more than trying to distract readers from coming to the conclusion that rather than rural he should be saying “late”? And we also question his conclusion about why they are supposedly “unknown in western collections”? Where did this one and the several other we have seen over the last decade or so come from? Immaculate conception?
The number of early examples dated to the 16th/17th centuries is very small: a fragment in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (two medallions); a fragment in the Vakiflar Museum, Istanbul (one medallion); a fragment published by Herrmann (one medallion, now in the Wher Collection, exhibited at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, in 1989); a fragment in the Wolf Collection, New York (published in Atlantic Collections); and the long, apparently complete carpet with three medallions in the Washington Textile Museum (incomprehensibly dated to the 19th century).
We know of others and, in fact, have written about them and the ones boswell cites in a series of posts on RK.com. See “Karapinar: Facts and Myths” in the Turkish Rugs section of the discussion board, particularly Part IV.
Stylistically and with regard to the field and border designs, the last-mentioned example is closest to our piece, which is also complete, albeit heavily damaged, and has four medallions.
Perhaps the 19th century date for the TM’s is closer to fact than maltzahn realizes.
Woven in glorious colours on a brown ground (like the Vakiflar fragment), the field design of our piece is entirely modelled on Ottoman court patterns, although these were adapted to a geometric, almost kilim-like style: tulips, carnations, hyacinths and pomegranates adorn adriatic blue and salmon-red lattice-like branches and crosses of flowers.
Another mouthful of blah blah - is this the best boswell can muster? We like this rug, its generous proportions and seemingly glorious coloration but seriously doubt it is circa 1600, as we would date it to 1750 or thereabouts. Compare it to the other s that are of that period and you too will question boswell’s guesstimate. It’s a rare piece but it will not, in our opinion, make the 90,000 euro and we’d suggest 30-35,000 might be more like it.
Holes at the sides, various repiled and repaired areas. 90,000 euro Lot Nr: 169 SALOR KAPUNUK Salor kapunuks – pile-woven door surrounds that were only put up at special ceremonial occasions – are among the rarest Turkmen collector’s pieces. Only seven examples were known before, and now this previously unpublished piece has been added to the group as number eight. The generous design layout of this kapunuk, with only five curled leaves in the vertical flaps and a narrow single-stripe border, suggests an early date in the 18th century.
Not so quick there, detlef. What you state is a “generous design layout” we’d prefer to characterize as a later version of the classical one. The drawing here, like that found on many mid-period Turkmen weavings, has a cookie-cutter quality to it, implying to us that this piece was definitely made after the classic period of Salor weaving. It ain’t older than that in our estimation. That said we like it and recognize how rare it is.
It is all the more surprising that the piece is in such good condition, with fresh, almost unpatinated colours including a bright vermilion and shimmering ruby-red silk.
What’s really surprising here is boswell’s inability to understand the reason it is in such good nik is because it isn’t classic but rather a later version – made after the fact and never used. Again these are signs that even a turko-dunce like boswell should be hip to. Tisk Tisk
– Several insignificant repairs, the kilim finishes at the top and bottom are missing. 9,000 euro
This estimate is downright dumb in light of the glowing description and over optimistic dating boswell penned – clearly even he doesn’t believe his own hype.

Lot Nr: 170 SALOR CHUVAL An early Salor chuval showing three complete primary güls, balky star secondary motifs, a brown-ground kochak hook border and a floral elem.
We’re with you, this Salor is earlier than the Kapunnuk but it, too, is not comparable with the really old chuvals with this type of turreted gol.
A high proportion of completely corroded ruby-red silk sections produces relief-like effects. As is characteristic of the best Salor bags, the elements of the field design do not touch the border zone but are placed at a marked distance.
Since when was this convention associated with only early Salors? Many other groups, during their early weaving periods did exactly the same thing. Always trying to guild the lily, isn’t he that rascal boswell!
A chuval from the Wiedersperg Collection in the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum is closely related. – Pile in good condition, cut sides, replaced selvedges, several old repiled areas; the colours have faded slightly.
These Salor gol Salor chuvals have never excited us but we are willing to admit one day a really early one (so far none has appeared) might (that is if there really were any made that pre-date those already known).
25,000 euro

Lot 152: KURDISH KELLEH circa 1800 The mina khani design will be familiar to any carpet connoisseur, although usually in its later variations (e.g. workshop pieces made in Varamin, Tehran or Tabriz).
This version of the mina khani design is so far above almost any other we know of that referring to them while speaking of it is silly. This is a wonderful carpet and we like it as much, or more, than any other lot we have mentioned. It’s a great thing. Period.
Judging by its structure and palette, this archaic Kurdish carpet in the traditional kelleh format was produced in the Kolyai region around Songhor, and here we see the design in its most beautiful form: on a much larger scale, full of verve, lively and with finely graded hues.
We agree with boswell but definitely question the validity of his attribution to Kolyai (Songhor) and wonder where he got this idea?
An ogival central medallion filled with a cross of flowers is superimposed, and quartered sections of corresponding medallions in the corners complete the composition. In Persian carpets, green-ground main borders are always an indication of considerable age.
Sure looks blue to us?
– Obvious signs of age and wear; the outer border is probably missing all around. 3,600 euro
After that spiel, not to mention the sterling quality of this lot, this estimate is absurd.

Lot Nr.: 183 TEKKE KAP Reduced all around, frayed in places and with moth damage in the pile, this small woven Tekke masterpiece regrettably comes to us in greatly damaged condition.
In reality the condition here is not great but it is surely not as wrecked as boswell is making it out to be (the color, one of the most important criteria is not damaged).
It is one of the earliest reference pieces of this sought-after type, with excellently drawn motifs, a balanced composition and the finest colours.
All this being the case why then did maltzahn just finish dissing this piece to death?
A kap in the book of the 1980 Basel exhibition is comparable in condition and age. 2,400 euro
The prices these kap sometimes bring are remarkable. Earlier this year this piece:

was sold by pee-pee peter pap at the “tribal show” in San Francisco. Supposedly pap extracted a bit more than $20,000 from a gentleman who has collected textiles, but not rugs, for years under the advise of his “expert, and ex-LA County Museum curator turned dealer/consultant, mary khalenberg. Too bad he relied on her judgment (was she in on the take RK.com wonders), not to mention on that of the seller. It’s a good piece (not nearly the best of type) but the price he paid is (and will be forever in our estimation)!

Lot Nr: 185 KONYA 16th century This is another example of boswell’s absurd penchant to over-date. We feel this rug is mid-late 18th at best.
This early central medallion carpet, probably made in the area around Konya judging by its structure, wool and palette, has no direct parallel in publications.
RK is inclined to place this rugs production area further east on the basis of the dark field border and designs therein.
Its composition of a shield-shaped red field whose notched and protruding outline is reminiscent of older animal pelt carpets,
Oy, here he goes again with those animal pelts. Jeezz, can’t boswell realize they have nothing to do with this traditional solution? Could he really believe all the double-niche rugs with this design were made for hunting magic or some such dopey idea? Don’t let us rain on your parade but really now, detlef, this ain’t 16th and those ain’t animal pelts – trust us on that.
and a hexagonal central motif, resembles West Anatolian small-medallion Ushaks; however, while the latter usually appear disciplined and harmonious, this Central Anatolian carpet is striking because of its dynamic appearance and the radiance of its colours.
Did he forget to mention how undisciplined and monotonous this one is? The answer is yes with a capital Y. And by the way it’s not striking nor is it dynamic in, what we are sure is just not, our estimation
The yellow and red hook formations with scrolls at the ends appear to be highly abstract representations of animals.
More animal hunt-magic dreaming from the great white hunter of Friedrichstrasse 45.
The large gül spreading in the green medallion may also hold zoomorphic elements.
We think boswell is destined for the zoo, or funny-farm, if he keeps this up.
Two wide blue gables frame the shield form. The diverging field design is held together by the yellow outline: it prevents the corner spandrels from separating from the centre, as seen in most later carpets with a similar composition.
Shame detlef’s arguments don’t hold together as well.
The design of the trefoils in the elems and the archaic secondary borders containing bands of “S”-shapes suggest that the piece was made as early as the 16th century.
This might have sounded good as it rolled around in boswell’s head but on paper it is sorely lacking in validity. Rk likes the minor borders but knows they can be found in as well in 18th century Anatolian rugs and besides there is not one genuine 16th century rug that has them paired as we see here. Again this is a long-post 16th century design style and surely doesn’t prove this lot is so early.
– Several repiled areas, reselvedged, very good overall condition. 160,000
Hey now we get it. Boswell’s waxing on was only to try and convince someone, anyone, this rug is worth 160,000 euro. We think the boswells will be waiting a long time, a very long time, for that to happen.

Author: jc
email: jack@rugkazbah.com
Wed, Nov 17th, 2004 12:05:42 PM

A "review" of this sale has recently appeared on the hali website and, once again, after reading it RK.com felt like a stranger in a strange land. What is going on at hali? Even a rug-dimwit like hamburger danny should be able to discern the difference between a "karapinar" that is16th century and one, like rippon's offering, that is just masquerading as one.

Here is part of hali's review with some comments from RK.com added in italics:
"The second half of the sale, 132 lots, represents the auctioneer's 'normal' autumn offering of collectible rugs and textiles and contains a number of remarkable and unusual collectable pieces."
There is absolutely not one lot in this sale that is remarkable. In fact the only remarkable thing is schaeffer and hali's thinking there is. Would hali bestow such esteem on these offerings if the boswell's didn't buy big advertising space? Rk.com knows the answer to that one and you, dear readers, should also.

"There is a large number of Anatolian pre-1800 rugs in the sale including lot 152, a huge fragment of a central Anatolian Karapinar carpet which measures 1.42 x 5.30m (4'8" x 14'9") and estimated at €90,000."
As we have noted this rug is not 16th century but, whether it is or not, the 90,000 euro estimate is not on either. So RK.com predicts it will not sell and probably won't even get any bids over 20,000 euro. Well bids that boswell doesn't pull off the back wall or chandeliers.

"It is rare to see a single Karapinar in an auction but Rippon Boswell have managed to secure another five Karapinar pile rugs."
As far as Rk.com is concerned this gaggle of "karapinars" is about as remarkable as a tray of 5 Wimpy burger with catsup and mustard, which by the way would be in line with schaeffer's expertise than writing about historic Turkish rugs.

"There are also a good number of other pre-1800 Turkish rugs from other areas of Anatolia including lot 185, a medallion Konya carpet dating from the 16th century, estimated at €160,000."
Again hamburger danny and hali had better take off those rose-glasses and see things as they really are. None of these Anatolian rugs are what they have cracked them up to be. Period.

"In terms of Turkmens there are four good four Salor trappings including a rare Kapunuk, lot 169 estimated at €9,000, as well as a Tekke main carpet with a curled leaf border, lot 181 one of only a handful of this type known."
In light of the lack of real quality most of the lots in this sale suffer from and considering the often far to optimistic estimates they carry, the Salor Kappunuk, at 9000 euro, is a true bargain and remarkable rarity.

Guess schaeffer and hali were too busy counting the advertising revenues, or maybe worrying about the lack of them, to have spent enough time to compose a "review" that can be read as anything more than a paid advertisement for this sale.

Rk.com would admonish them with a hearty Tisk Tisk but since this has been their modus operandi for so long we wont even bother. But we will comment of the following words which end hali’s review:
”Indeed the overall quality of the pieces in the sale form the catalogue looks high and leads us to propose that this may be one of the best sales that the auctioneer have put together recently.”

Ahh, what spielmanship – remember the good salesman’s goods on offer today are always superior to what he sold yesterday. If not how could he possibly convince you to buy more??

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