Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >rippon-boswell: Turkish Village Rug redux
Sat, Jun 20th, 2009 06:26:46 AM
Topic: rippon-boswell: Turkish Village Rug redux

For quite some time now RK has not commented on upcoming or completed auctions or other types of sales.

Frankly, these events are so uninteresting, droll and boring wed rather spend our time in other pursuits than spill our words of wisdom on rugDUMB.

As all of our readership knows we have spent considerable time and energy to debunk the notion the dodds/LACMA rug is 16th century, or even 17th as the museum has now publicly, and just as foolishly, recast it.

In that light we felt it necessary to comment on another Turkish rug that while not as blatant a late genre copy is equally over-rated and misunderstood.

lot 184, rippon boswell, Wiesbaden, May 23,2009
(alleged)Aksaray carpet, central Anatolia, second half 17th century
1.20 x 1.75m
est. 45,000

The catalog entry, written detlef maltzahn the owner of rippon boswell Weisbaden, is reproduced below with our comments underlined.

Again, as our astute readers know, RK has little respect for maltzahns supposed rug expertise and his catalog entries, regardless of the praise those rug-know-littles over at hali magazine recently heaped on him.

To wit and we quote hali:
the wisdom and wit of the descriptions that Detlef Maltzahn has been writing for years. In fact, for those of us who have become used to reading the arcane auction-speak of Christies, Sothebys and the like, the commentary and descriptions are didactic and enjoyable and help to encourage the reader to appreciate and enjoy the lot pictured.

This is ludicrous, as any truly knowledgeable rug connoisseur knows. And, like the hyped description of this auction hali published that is surely a reflection of rippon boswells adverts in their publication, RK can only laugh at such obvious tit-for-tat.

But this is what hali has always done, praised anyone who is an advertiser and ignored or dissed those who are not.

But RK digresses, so lets take a look a what maltzahn wrote:

"An early Central Anatolian carpet with a dark brown diamond medallion containing abstract animals arranged radially(sic) around an octagon, and accompanied by four green stars with rosettes at their centres."

This rug, like the dodds/LACMA piece, is not early in any sense of the word.

It is not in any way 1650-1700.

This is patently obvious when it is compared to genuine Turkish village rugs of that period.

It is, however, a far better example than the dodds/LACMA rug, as is every genuine Turkish village rug made prior to 1800.

Fact is this rug at rippon and the dodds/LACMA rug have a number of similarities, and it is only for this reason RK has bothered to write this commentary.

Quarter sections of analogous medallions accentuate the corners. Small, multicoloured octagons are distributed across the dark red field. The white-ground border has a rare design of eight-pointed stars and pairs of leaves.

For hali to call comments like these, or any of the others maltzahn penned about this rug or any of the others in the sale, wisdom and wit is both ridiculous and stupid.

For many years, this important carpet remained hidden in an American private collection and is previously unpublished.

Whether or not this rug remained hidden or unpublished adds nothing to its value. Calling it important is equally as meaningless.

Its perfectly balanced design, very firm weave and excellent colours suggest that it is a workshop product.

This is undoubtedly one of the most absurd and ignorant comments RK has ever read in an auction catalog.

Is maltzahn really so stupid to believe these parameters differentiate a workshop product from a genuine village, or clan, rug?

Wed have to say yes, as maltzahn like many supposed experts believes court, or even workshop, rugs are superior to those made by weavers working in non-sponsored, small-scale environments.

He, like many others we can cite, has no clue as to the superiority of genuine Turkish village rugs in comparison to workshop products like this and the dodds/LACMA piece.

Frankly, genuinely early(pre-1700) Turkish village rugs are extremely rare and hardly ever reach the marketplace. Most of the so-called examples that have are, like this rug and the dodds/LACMA one, nothing but impostors that are only workshop copies or inventions.

Ignoring this fact sets up a really pathetic situation, one that has been going on since the late 1970s and RK is sick and tired of seeing later genre copies, like this and the LACMA rug, passed off as the real mccoy.

We are even more disgusted a rug-ignorant like maltzahn can diss those genuine rugs with such stupid comments that imply workshop rugs are equal or in fact superior.

Judging by the elems with shield motifs, which are typical for the region, Central Anatolia is the only possible provenance; the precise style of the drawing and palette may point to the Aksaray region.

Those shield motifs, we will glady agree are far better articulated than the quite similar but even more degenerate ones on the elem of the dodds/LACMA rug.

They, like the monotonous red field color, poor proportions and two-dimensional drawing, are some of the similarities these two rugs share.

The rippon rug is a better copy than the dodds/LACMA rug but so what it is still a copy and if anyone doubts what RK says we will be glad to flesh out our position should maltzahn, or the rugs new or old owner, write in to RugKabah and agree to debate us.

We are not going to spend more time proving our position unless he, or the owner of the rug, cares to try and prove us wrong.

The four-and-one medallion design was a favourite theme in Central Anatolia, and is seen in many variations. Several examples date back as far as the 15th century. Since early Anatolian carpets not produced at the courts often survive in fragmented form only, or in a state of heavy damage, the good condition of this carpet is remarkable. Sides cut and new cords attached. Remnants of the red kilim finishes have been preserved at both ends. An old repair at the centre of the medallion, the brown is heavily corroded.

RK has no further comments as the paragraph above is nothing but dumb opinion and blatant hype to try and convince someone to buy this rug.

Surely it is not as horrible a copy as the dodds/LACMA rug and had maltzahn called it circa 1800, which by the way is where we would date it, we would not feel it necessary to critique his position.

But by calling it pre-1700 he, like dopey dennis the liar, thief and cheat dodds and many other supposed rug-experts, demonstrates how little he/they know about genuine Turkish village rugs.

In closing it is understandable why carpet-bagging salesmen like maltzahn and dodds, as well as others like michael, little lord, franses, over-hype their wares.

What is even more remarkable is halis praise and support.

Perhaps one day rugDUMB will wake up from its slumber and not only critique such bogus claims but hold those who make them responsible.

Forty five thousand euro is not too much for a rug of this ilk, what is too much is calling it important and dating it circa 1650.

Lets all remember LACMA paid 250,000 dollars for a rug that is inferior on every count.

And as a word of caution to mr maltzahn should he decide to debate RK on this rugs merits, or lack of them as we see it.

Be prepared, mr maltzahn, to present a far better analysis to support your contentions, for if you dont RK will embarrass you and make further chopped-meat of your alleged standing as a rug-expert.

Author: anonymouse
email: [email protected]
Wed, Jun 3rd, 2009 03:46:07 PM

First off which rug are you referring to?

Second, if you expect RK to take you seriously we require you identify yourself, either by email to us or by properly listing your name, and not our initials should you post here again.

If you cannot comply then get lost and go answer your own questions...===================================

You are too kind, this is a complete new thing. Do you know of any examples with the white border motif?

Author: jc
Sun, May 31st, 2009 07:10:27 AM

We have just seen the "official" list of prices realized and in fact the alleged "Aksaray" rug sold for 85,400 euro, which includes the buyer's premium, and not 70,000 as we reported earlier.

Therefore, we are sending an additional 15,400 heartfelt condolences to the new owner...

One additional comment on the sale.

This concerns the embroidered Tekke asmalyk that was, according to us, the best lot in the sale.

lot 185 Tekke Asmalyk
sold for 46,360 euro

While this, too, is a very high price at least it is warranted.

This embroidered Tekke asmalyk is a champion and RK wishes to send our congratulations to the new owner.

Paying a high, or even an extremely high, price for collector rug is not a foolish pastime when it is as worthwhile an example as this asmalyk.

However, shelling out beaucoup dinero, like 84600 euro ($120,644.00), for a somewhat photogenic but decidedly later genre Turkish Village rug, like boswell's "Aksaray", is nothing but a rug-ignorant sucker's game -- a fool's paradise in RK's opinion.

Author: jc
Tue, May 26th, 2009 10:56:08 AM

Well, seems like PT Barnum's ole "There's a sucker born every minuite" aphorism is right on.

As we have heard it, the alleged "Aksaray" rug sold for 70,000 euro.

In RK's opinion that's way, way too much for this at best circa 1800 weaving.

Regardless of its age or condition it's still, as we see it, nothing but a later genre copy...a pastiche if you will of some genuine early features found in Turkish Village rugs.

It is not the real thing, and we stand both on our opinion and our offer to flesh out our position in detail, ie prove what we say, should mr maltzahn, the new or the old owner of the rug wish to debate it with us.

We are here and ready to demonstrate our position -- will maltzahn or the happy seller or the new "proud" owner step up and accept our offer?

Frankly we highly doubt they will....

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