The results of what RK has called the Dispersal Part One of the J. Fell and b. andonian under-the-bed accumulations went quite well considering:
1.the rug market and that for just about everything else that is not oil, a precious, or rare earth metal is depressed
2.the quality of the pieces on offer was not exceptional and such examples can be located in the inventories of the best rug dealers of America, England, Germany or Italy
3.and the quality of the few best of what sothebys was selling was, compared to other known examples of their types, not extraordinary, forget about superior
All that said auction does create auction fever and many buyers, nave or seasoned, will pony up their cash at a sale far more readily and easily than they will in any other buying/selling venue.
The results viewed as a whole show decorative late, but not chemical dye tainted, rugs in exceptional condition sell for big money, as the three best performing lots pictured below demonstrate.
So-called in the catalog west Anatolian rug, lot 48, sold for $110,500 with premium against a 40-60,000 guesstimate
So-called Lesghi long rug, lot 58, sold for $80,500 against a 30-35,000 guesstimate
So-called Yomud Main Carpet, lot 134, sold for $46,875 against a 20-30,000 guesstimate
A few comments:
The west Anatolian rug is stupidly overpriced, as we see it an early 19th century example and not the late 18th century guess the catalog tried to advance.
The over-designed, and too many, borders with their horror vacui infill, as well as the lifeless upper and lower panels, and field, all point to a later date.
This is a textbook rug that is destined for the floor of a wealthy person's home or office. It is surely not a collector rug that has any magic or charm to it.
And the price, as a piece of furniture, is not overly expensive but as a piece of art or carpet history it definitely is.
We are sure a dealer bought it and has already sold it to a waiting client, who has been told the rug is far more than something to walk over on the way to the terrace.
The Lesghi runner is again nothing but shiny wool destined for the floor.
The depiction of the famous Lesghi stars is OK and good enough but compared to the best of the type it pales.
Here the weaver was not infected with the horror vacui designers disease but the lack of genius secondary ornamentation in the field shows this rug to be a rote copied effort that lacks the brilliance the best of the second half 19th century Caucasian rugs can reach.
The Yomud Main Carpet, far better to be called a multi-gol rug, is a rare rug for sure but the presence of those kepsi gol, remember RK has never seen a weaving with a kepsi gol we like, and the flattened and lifeless, might we call them pseudo-C gol, demonstrate this MC is a rather mediocre example of the desirable multi-gol type.
The price it sold for definitely reflects this, as had it been a champion the price would have been doubled or more.
Collecting rugs, or anything else, is a pastime for most collectors and a passion for far, far fewer.
But for the best collectors it is an intense activity, a search for the best and most important examples.
These collectors are not satisfied with having a piece, they want and need only the bestand they are willing to wait, and wait a long time, to get it.
The instant gratification buying a rug like lot 134 provides is one such a collector avoids like the plague.
For this type of collector knows as time goes on owning such a piece will not provide the electric excitement owning the best does.
And, in fact, as time goes on owning it will only be a bring-down and disappointment.
Because it will always disappoint when compared to the best, and that comparison will always be in the back of the mind's eye for such a viewer.
Need we say this is RKs collecting mentality and, dont doubt or forget, the one that is behind every word we write or speak about historic oriental rugs.