Home > Auctions worldwide >A Tekke Torba
Sat, Nov 14th, 2009 07:49:45 AM
Topic: A Tekke Torba

On October 24 Kaminski auctions of Beverly Massachussets USA sold the second part of the Bradley "family" rug collection which, when compared to the first part of their collection also sold by Kaminski and reviewed by RK (see Archive- June 26, 2005 & August 4, 2005), could only be honestly described as eminently inferior.

However, reading the as usual questionable and agenda driven 'hali-speak' that appeared on the magazine's website's review of the sale this morning, one would surely be hard pressed to realize our impression of the sale, as expressed above, was in fact the reality.

Here's what the reality benders at hali wrote:

"Across the Atlantic in New England on the same day, Kaminskis October estates auction (HALI 161, p.12) offered a group of oriental rugs, among them several smaller Turkmen pieces and some good-looking Caucasians."

"Good looking Caucasians"? Come on now, hali, is this the best you can do to describe such a sale? Where's all the alleged "rug expertise" you people are supposed to have?

RK can surely not see how making such a dumbass, ignorant and worthless one line commentary demonstrates anything but the fallacy you people are anything but over-your-head when it comes to properly describing events like the Kaminski sale, or a host of your other efforts RK could likewise denigrate.

Fact is the Caucasian rugs in the sale were at best end of the line, later genre period reproductions -- suitable as furnishing carpets -- rather than anything RK might describe as 'collectible' or heaven knows important.

In fact, all these supposed "good looking Caucasians" were not really anything but merchandise to be sold at a price -- and, after the hammer fell, many of them sold for far too much, at least that's our opinion.

But let's get to the meat of the matter that, like hali's amateurish "good looking Caucasians" comments, turns out to be more of the same.

We are talking about this:

" Star of the day was lot 49, a beautifully balanced and coloured classic Tekke six-gl torba, estimated at just $600-900, which soared to $15,525. This too, while not quite a world record for a Tekke torba of any design (that still belongs to another superb six-gl piece, from the so-called Tent Band Collection, sold at Sothebys in New York in December 1990 for $17,050, HALI 55, p.164), was well above public prices paid for such things in recent years, even including RBs Robert Pinner sale in May 2004. It was bought in the saleroom by a Massachusetts collector, reportedly bidding against the international trade on the telephone."

True, the ex Bradley collection Tekke torba, lot 49, was the best piece in the sale by far. But, considering the lack of any other notable Turkmen, Turkish, Persian or Caucasian weaving, calling this torba a "star" strikes RK as far too loose a use of that word.

True, the Bradley torba was a good one, a very good one, but we are sorry to say not a star.

lot 49, Tekke torba, ex Bradley Collection

The hali review was on terra firma in comparing it to the one RK formerly owned, which was sold by us at sotheby in 1990 along with 19 other Turkmen pieces from our pre-1990 collection.

Tekke torba, Plate 8, "Tent Band Tent Bag", ex-Cassin Collection

Comparing these two torba is an interesting exercise, especially when that comparison is done by someone with genuine expertise and not someone who, like the hali reviewer, is comfortable with spewing generalizations and obvious commentary.

Fact is the Bradley piece is not only considerably younger than the Tent Band Collection torba, and far less unique or historic, but it is not nearly as beautiful and alluring.

RK purchased the Tent Band torba in the early 1980's at one of the early John C.Edlemann auctions. The under bidder we bested was that rug creep ronnie newmann who, had he known even half as much as RK did, would not have let us carry it out of the auction for 3,750 USD.

Now then, 3,750 USD, was a very high price for a Tekke torba back then. But when the torba was a champion pre-1800 example, like the Edlemann piece was, it was a first-class bargain.

We are sorry but because RK decided sometime ago to refrain from disseminating too much information and further educating the competition for the types of weaving we collect we are not going to explain the reasons the Tent Band collection torba was far superior to the Bradley piece.

That said we will mention a few of the more easily observed differences:

1.Notice how the Tent Band torbas main gol are incomplete and truncated by the side borders. This drawing style is extremely rare in Turkmen weavings, and especially so in Tekke products. It is believed by many, RK included, to demonstrate the weavers belief the torbas gol were not a static and fixed in place but rather part of a limitless and far larger universe, one that exists outside and independent of the borders which in almost all other Tekke torba define the usual confined space Turkmen weavings exhibit.

2.Notice the unique tertiary gol between the minor gol in the Tent Band example. This icon is quite reminiscent of certain similar icon found on some early Saryk weavings, particularly engsi and certain chuval.

3.Notice the Tent Band torbas far more complex and delineated main border. In fact, RK considers it to be the prototype for the more simple and two-dimensional one on the Bradley torba.

There are a number of other differences and perhaps our more astute and experienced readers will be able to determine them without our assistance.

Suffice it to say the Bradley torba was a good buy and we congratulate the new owner on his purchase.

Time is now ripe for detailed and intensive commentaries concerning not only Turkmen weavings but all other types as well. It is also time for rug journalists and pundits, like hali, to leave behind in the dust words like star which say nothing but leave an impression of importance without properly explaining why.

Also, though the 17,500 USD price paid for our torba at the aborted and highly corrupt Tent Band sale at sotheby in December1990, still is a public record it surely is not the record price paid for a Tekke torba. Far from it..

And BTW: the "Amu Darya" prayer rug sold recently in Sweden for almost 120,000 USD, which was the other piece mentioned in the hali review, is, like the Tekke torba, similar to two earlier and far more historic examples - one in the Dudin Collection in Russia and another early example of the type that was at one time offered by a now disgraced austrian dealer.

Again the prayer rug that just sold in Sweden, like the Bradley torba, is a very good example of an extremely rare type of Turkmen weaving but, also like the Bradley torba, it is really not in the same league as the other, closely related, examples we have cited.

If RK has any one bone to pick at with hali it would be their inability to properly place weavings like the Tekke torba and 'Amu Darya' prayer rug in the continuum of similar examples and, of course , within the far larger corpus of known Turkmen weavings.

Nuff said

Author: jc
Sat, Nov 14th, 2009 07:49:45 AM

Earlier this week someone told RK with great assurance the best piece in the sale, this Tekke torba, was purchased at kaminski's by runny newman.

Since RK consulted with and convinced the actual buyer to buy the piece before the sale, and then congratulated him on his purchase after the sale we can definitively state that he and not runny bought it.

But since RK knows shit happens we just called our man to make sure he and not runny has it.

So whether or not mr bullshit newman is the source of this dis-information, or the equally gender-bent and confused clown who was talking it up is, the Tekke torba was bought by our colleague and is still in his possession.

And BTW: he, in no uncertain terms, told us it will stay with him for a long time.

Author: jc
Fri, Nov 6th, 2009 12:11:14 PM

Below find pictures of the kaminski sale as it was originally advertised on Live auctioneers.com.

We have included the pages that now show the alleged "prices realized" at the kaminski sale.

RK says 'alleged' prices as we have heard quite a bit of scuttlebutt from New England dealers about what really happened at this sale.

Far be it from us, or our interest, to delve into the shenanigans frank kaminski, the auctioneer, may or may not have been up to. We will, however, examine the bogus descriptions mr kaminski allowed to be published for a majority of the rugs he sold in this sale.

But before we get into illustrating a number of the peices we would like to comment on the publicity hype mr kaminski engaged in. Supposedly, as we originally heard it from him, most of the rugs in the sale were from the Morton Bradley estate. Now, after doing some preliminary detective work it appears to us kaminski did have a few pieces from the estate but the majority of the rugs appear to have come from other consignors.

This is the first and perhaps one of the strongest factors that has led RK to not only suspect mr kaminski was doing a dennis dodds dance, and doing it simultaneously on a number of dance floors.

Here is the first lot we would like to comment on.

Kaminski called this, and a couple of other Turkmen pieces he had for sale, an "asmalyk rug".


Clearly it, and all the others kaminski hung this description on, are not asymalyk and while it is easy to forgive a non-specialist auctioneer for making such a mistake, it is not as easy to forgive the same auctioneer for a bunch of other mistakes he made.

This is especially pertinent since kaminski took out a full page ad in hali and hyped his sale to the roof.

Besides for the Tekke torba we already wrote about, everything else in kaminski's sale was either a mediocre to piss-poor example of its type or an outright late genre period reproduction presented as the real thing.

However, mr kaminski was not the only person hyping his sale -- let's remember the hali review which characterized his sale as having some "good looking Caucasians" , was equally as guilty and perhaps even more so as the hali reviewer should have known most of those "Caucasians" were either garbage examples or outright deceptions.

Here are two of the genuinely old Caucasians in the sale. Suffice it to say there were a couple of others but they, too, were as revolting as the two below so we are not going to bother to publish them here:


If that Kazak was not bad enough to sink the hali reviewer's dumbass praise check out this "shirvan" no self respecting dog would even bother to pee on:


RK could illustrate a couple of other late airport-art "caucasians" but why bother as they are a worthless as the two above.

But as bad as these two are the majority of the alleged "good looking Caucasians" were worse, as they are outright late genre period reproductions and the fact mr kaminski did not figure that out implies he is either too stupid to understand a fake from the real thing or too dishonest to tell the truth.

Frankly, no pun intended, we could care less the reason frank kaminski tried to bullshit the rug world -- reality is he failed completely and those bozos over at hali are equally as culpable.

Here is the "star kazak" kaminski tried to float as antique -- its nothing but a reproduction and a pretty crappy one at that.


Here's another kaminski called a "Russian Shirvan" and while we admit the rug might have been made in Russia we sincerely doubt it was made in Shirvan or deserves to be called anything but a late genre period reproduction:


Here another, this one described by kaminski as "antique Caucasian"


The next one, which kaminski called a "19th century shirvan" is nothing but another blatant reproduction:

The next, called an "antique Lori Pomback" is, you guessed it, nothing but another misleading description hung on a late genre period reproduction of a Lori Pembak:


This lot, which sold for $7,000.oo is a bit better than some of the others but, it too, is nothing but a late genre period reproduction worth considerably less than what it sold for.


Next, described by kaminski as "antique Russian fachrola" is not antique by any means, but while it does have the design of a Fachrolo Kazakit has no other attributes to properly ascribe it as "antique" or a "Fachrola":


This one, described as a "antique Russian rug" also ain't antique or a genuine rug in the sewan design:


Lord knows mr frank kaminski is not the first auctioneer to hype crapola rugs as "antique", nor is this the first time hali's stupid comments were obviously influenced by their penchant to "protect" their advertisers and in-group members from proper reportage.

Time is a wastin' while rugDUMB snores and allows charlatans and mountebanks like frank kaminski and his dumbo facilitators over at hali to escape critique and rebuke.

Fact is mr fank kaminski is either so dumb and stupid that he can't tell a bunch of late, genre period reproduction rugs from the real thing or just too damn dishonest to present the truth.

You all can go fuss over kaminski's real position but as far as we are concerned mr kaminski is nothing but a cheat and a pretty stupid and ignorant one at that.

Author: jc
Wed, Nov 4th, 2009 10:51:12 AM

For an number of reasons RK has decided to comment on the supposed, according to hali, "good looking Caucasians" in the kaminski sale.

Frankly, almost every one of them appears to us to be fake, late genre period reproduction. It is clear we are not the only one to hold this opinion -- too bad the rug know-littles over at hali were too ignorant to know a fake, late genre period reproduction when they see it.

Or was their reportage, once again, colored by the fact kaminski took out a full page in the latest hali, and hali wants his continued business more than they want to speak truth?

As far as we are concerned the latter and not the former is the reason hali avoided the issue of their genuineness and passed over the issue like it wasn't even there.

This is typical for hali and rugDUMB -- to turn a blind eye to the truth anytime it differs from, or discounts, the party line of hidden agendas that rule the roost in rugDUMB.

We knew kaminski's "good looking Caucasians" were suspect and highly questionable from the beginning but did not want to open a can of worms by expressing our opinion.

However, as we mentioned above, a number of reasons encouraged us to now express our opinion and we will, asap, post a few examples to support our contention.

Stay tuned...

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