Home > Auctions worldwide >rippon-boswell results - epilogue
Wed, Jun 22nd, 2011 09:58:18 AM
Topic: rippon-boswell results - epilogue

The results of the rip-on boswell sale have been posted and there are a couple of prices worth RKs mention.

The first is the 13,420 euro ($19,300) the dubious and questionable soumak bag, lot 138, made.

Lot 138, dated in the catalog as First half 19th century but RK claims is a NEW REPRODUCTION and FAKE

As PT Barnum said Theres a sucker born every minute and obviously two of them, or only one and the chandelier, were in boswells chamber on auction day.

For starters, and there are other equally as questionable points we could cite, we have never seen a soumak bag, and we have seen thousands over the years, that is splayed inwards at the top and bottom.

Usually if there is any splaying it is outwards, as these bag were used to carry things and in doing so it is gravitationally impossible for any bag to exhibit the inward mis-shaping lot 138 has.

We should also mention a reader emailed us about another soumak bag with this design, so it is not unique as the catalog entry implied.

Soumak khorjin exhibited in the collectors show at the 2006 Boston acor

In fact RK wrote about this soumak in April of 2006, and here is the URL for those of you who wish to read our comments.


Regrettably we did not remember it, or even having written about it, but seeing the picture again did bring back some vague memories about this soumak and how we liked it.

As the pictures evidences, it is not splayed in any direction, which is far more the case than having any splaying, especially splaying inwards which is totally unknown.

That reader asked if it was not possible the boswell bag was a somewhat later, but still genuine, soumak weaving?

Although we will readily grant it might be possible, we have now had the opportunity to view the high-resolution photo of the acor bag we made at the time and are still sure boswells is a repro and not just an example of a later, or revival, edition.

We could spend many words on trying to prove our position but, as do not have the time or inclination to do so, we will just say this last comment.

Not only have we never seen a soumak bag that is concave at the top and bottom but we have never seen one that was not one of a pair that followed another so exactly as the boswell example follows the acor one. And there is no chance it is the pair to the acor one.

So, other than that, anything is possible but after much thought and comparison we going to stick to our original opinion bowells is a copy and not the real thing.

And a pretty expensive copy if you ask us.

Another expensive weaving was this Tekke MC, lot 173.
lot 173

While RK recognizes this is a pretty nice Tekke MC we cannot in any way countenance the Ca. 1800 or earlier dating boswell wrote in the catalog.

There is not one feature of this Tekke MC that says to us such a date is plausible but clearly someone thought enough of it to push the successful bidder to a pocket-emptying 51,240 euro ($73,700). Or was it the chandelier, again?

Anyway, we believe this is a record price for a Tekke MC.

But someone needs to tell boswell spacious and generous do not an early Tekke MC make.

Those words are the most over-used and erroneous descriptive tags turko-neophytes hang on weavings they think are early.

Sorry, boys, but these terms do not in any way hold positive and often, as in this case, not only are they used incorrectly but even if they werent there are still a number of mid-19th century Turkmen rugs that, like this one, might be spacious and generous but still not circa 1800 early.

Lastly, RK would like to mention a Turkmen weaving that in all likelihood was circa 1800 or earlier but sold for what we believe was a very, very reasonable price.

Beshir khan rug, lot 281

RK has criticized boswell and others for hanging the engsi tag on rugs that clearly do not exhibit the significant iconographic attributes of engsi.

In fact, boswell is one of the biggest transgressors, and we are really surprised he missed the opportunity to call lot 281 an engsi.

Rather he deemed it to be a small-format rug and covered his butt by saying it is one of those weavings whose purpose cannot be determined with certainty. It may have been a sitting rug for a family patriarch or a door rug

Well, he did not miss the opportunity entirely, now did he.

And please tell us, mr boswell, what pre-mid-19th century Turkmen rugs purpose can be determined with any certainty?

We liked this rug and did not buy it for only one reason: We dont collect rugs like this but did we the 2,684 euro ($3,850) price would have been much higher.

Someone got the bargain of the sale and we congratulate the new owner.

In closing, a rug like the Tekke MC, which sold for 70 plus thousand dollars, is not really overpriced as a furnishing rug, but as a collector piece it surely is.

And the $3,850 the Beshir made can only demonstrate how splayed and distorted the collector market truly is.regardless of what a number of turko-pundits might say.

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