(We planned to put this short review of the Nagel sale online yesterday but the DNS issue that took RugKazbah offline for 12 hours prevent our finishing it up. So without further ado here it is)
The Nagel sale, which took place on April 27, 2006, was a large one 334 lots of rugs, textiles and books.
Like other sales lately, there were nary few somewhat important collector rugs, the rest being mostly flotsam and jetsam collector and decorative ones, as far as we are concerned.
We had a good look at the catalog and therefore chose the following four lots for illustration and comment.
The first is this Borjalu Kazak, lot 8:
Selling just a few days after the grogan example brought a ridiculous 25 times its price the Nagel piece made 2000 euro, about $2600, against the $60,000 the grogan achieved.
Frankly, since both of these Kazak were equally as damaged, after comparing the photos, side-by-side, we have to say we prefer the Nagels:
There are basically two styles of Borjalu, the square ones, like the Nagel, and the longer than wide ones, like the grogan. Of the two, we definitely prefer the square, as it supercharges the effect of the exciting and famous Borjalu main border.
Viewing these two side-by-side provides convincing proof of this fact.
There are a number of other reasons, besides the overall proportions, we prefer the Nagel Borjalu
1. better coloration and more colors
2. notice the curvature the weaver of the Nagel example used to articulate the main borders hooks and compare them to the far more angular ones in the grogan piece. The inclusion of that curvature allows the border to move visually and to flowwith more grace and style.
3. While a plain, undecorated field might work well with the main and minor borders of some rug types --like we see in the best Talish weavings it definitely doesnt do that with a Borjalu.
We are sure if grogans Borjalu had a field decorated as well as the Nagel pieces was done, it, too, might have benefited from that addition.
Regardless of these and other fine points documenting our preference for it, the grogan piece brought a stupidly high price and, conversely, the Nagel example brought a foolishly low one.
Again, typically erratic auction results, like these, demonstrate RKs belief there is no real market for genuinely old (forget real historic) rugs and weavings.
Lot 9, called Anatolian circa 1500 in the catalog is the next piece we decided to illustrate:
Now here is a rug, which by the way did not sell in the sale but is presently under negotiation, to hang the Karapinar moniker on and, quite surprisingly, we were shocked it wasnt so attributed.
While this cruddy picture doesnt do, what we see as highly saturated coloration, justice it surely does make us think that judgment is accurate. And, while we have never liked the somewhat funky and amorphous drawing style rugs of this ilk often employ, we do occasionally and, when the example is early enough like this one is, find it to be not too detrimental to the over all picture.
We like the interpretation the weaver has done to the classic Ushak medallion, the ubiquitous field corners and floral inspired main and minor border structures.
Granted the condition is rather challenged, and the 1500 date mostly probably quite over-stated (wed prefer circa 1700-1750 as far more likely).
Rugs like this dont grow on trees, at least not in our backyard, and its result, unsold in the sale but under negotiation presently, also goes a long way to support our there is no real market for genuinely old, and historic, rugs.
The next piece, which was called a Karapinar in the catalog is lot 40
It was dated circa 1700 and, once again, wed have preferred 1700-1750.
This piece is just a bit too busy for such an early date. Nevertheless, this main rug carried a 30,000 euro estimate (about $37,000), which was way way too much, and it remained unsold.
Comparing this rug and the previous, we would have to say neither demonstrates the virtues RK seeks in an Early Turkish Village Rug. But a rug like it, too, doesnt grow on trees and, perhaps, if the estimate was more reflective of those virtues, or the lack of them as wed be wont to decry, say in the $10-12,000 range, this rug might have found a buyer. Face facts, fans, at almost $40,000 there was little chance for that happening.
The fourth and last piece we chose was lot 67 a highly unique Ushak area square rug:
About 9 foot by 12 foot this decorative weaving will, most probably, never grace a floor again because of its severely distressed condition. However, that said, we would not be surprised if the enterprising buyer, who paid a rather high price to get it --7000 euro isnt intending to send it straight off the Turkey and have it replied.
Dated circa 1750, which is right on as far as we are concerned, we intend to watch out for this rugs making another auction appearance sometime in the near future after all those Turkish repair guys have been known to do a turn-around repair job like this in record time.