Seems RK's comments might have lit a fire under bozwell's derriere and in record time he has posted the prices realized in the last, Nov 2011, auction.
Those results show he sold 173 of the 283 lots, which on the surface surely does support his comment that the sale was the best in recent memory.
We have had a good look at what transpired and while a few lots did outstandingly well, some with good reason and others in our opinion not, frankly we are not impressed.
We have already voiced our comments on lot 150, the late, garish, end of the lineS group torba peter pap stuck his client with. Might we again say sucker-punched him with, as we are sure pap must have laid it on pretty thick to get that client to dish out 143,000 big ones (aka US dollars) for such a degenerate example.
Lot 150, end of the line S group chuval
However, if pap had any brains, real rug knowledge, or even a modicum of personal honesty, he would have had that client bid and buy lot 172 the North European Gothic tapestry fragment.
Lot 172, North German or Swiss Gothic Tapestry Fragment, sold for 87,840 euro
Granted it's not a Turk0man, as pap the turko-idiot contiuues to mis-pronounce the word, but what would you rather have....a miserably late S group torba that has about as much importance as a used chewing gum wrapper or an incredibly rare and beautiful piece of weaving history.
Clearly pap doesn't know the difference nor does he, in our opinion, have enough intelligence to steer his client to purchase a masterpiece rather than a mediocrity.
'Nuff said about pee-pee and back to the Turkmen and a couple other pieces that now have new owners thanks to boswell.
As we also wrote this sale was chock-full of low-mid range Turkmen pieces, many of which did sell but at close to fire sale prices. This is the major reason RK is not impressed with the results of the sale.
We are not going to bother to discuss many of them for what else can you say other than better to have one great piece than a box full of such examples.
Rather, we are going to illustrate two lots, numbers 8 and 9, which not only show how low those prices were but also demonstrate, once again, how myopic and short-sighted, forget blind to real understanding, the Turkmen market for collectible weaving remains.
Above lot 8, a rare chuval gol Chodor chuval; and Below lot 9, a common and somewhat droll Ertman gol Chodor chuval.
Interestingly enough RK formerly owned lot 8, circa 1983-5 ,and we sold it at that time for far more than double what it brought in boswell's sale.
And while it is surely not the best of its rarely seen type, it is a very good example - early enough, and in good enough condition, to find a place in any Turkmen collection.
So why might you ask did it do so poorly more than twenty five years later?
Well, since we are short on both time and desire we'll just mention the obvious.
Foremost is boswell's stupid and absurd dating to the second half 19th century.
RK would like to know what is wrong with boswell's, aka detlef maltzahn's, mind? Or does he really not have one.
Were this Chodor chuval, with its hybrid torba gol, a second half of the 19th century weaving it would not be rare (even turko-dope maltzahn recognized that it is) and there would be many more of them floating around.
But there aren't and this, plus other iconographic evidence like the unique elem, are irrefutable evidence this chuval is at least early 19th century and anyone who claims expertise in Turkman weaving should know this.
So much for maltzahn's belief he knows what he is talking about when it come to all things Turkmen.
Oh, well when did those in rugDUMB, like boswell, ever demonstrate anything other than dumb?
And by the way, RK did not sell it to hoffmeister, and dopey detlef should have made it clear that while it is illustrated in hoffmeister the scheister and plagiarist's first book, Turk0men Carpets from Franconia, it is in the from other collections part of the book and never belonged to hoffmeister.
Looking at lot 8 and lot 9 should provide an unmistakable comparison of a chuval worth buying with one worth avoiding.
This is not to say lot 9 is horrible and lot 8 is supreme.
No, that's not where RK's coming from, but we are saying any adept collector should raise the paddle for 8 and sit on it for 9.
And on top lot 9 sold for more than lot 8...no accounting for bad taste and lack of knowledge, now is there.
Seemingly of more interest is lot 6, the S group chuval, which made a paltry 2,074 euro.
The articulation of the design is good, however, we have heard from someone whose eyes we trust that it was a mess, with poor color and hardly any pile left to reflect the light and give that S group glow.
Lot 6 middle period S group chuval
It surely is not among the early examples of the type, and therefore without condition we agree it should not have sold for much more than it did. So you might say in this instance the market did respond correctly.
But, let's face it, rarely does the market get it right and calling attention market performance is nothing but more market nonsense.
Lot 18, 4 meter (12 plus feet), of what RK sees as a circa 1800 tentband, and not an 18th century one as boswell claimed, made a whooping 17,000 euro...way too much if you ask us.
Lot 18 Turkmen tentband fragment
Besides the overdating, we'd also disagree with maltzahn's calling it Saryk.
It's a good, but not great, example this is sure, but other than a turko-clown, who could really provenance a piece like this based on its light colors(maltzahn's words) and fine weave(aren't all old tentbands finely woven)?
Those attributes decidedly don't add up to 18th century, nor do they imply, forget substantiate, Saryk origin.
As Turkmen studies advance, particularly concerning tentbands, it is becoming more and more obvious only very few of them can be provenanced to a specific Turkmen group, and furthermore it is becoming more and more accepted there might have been certain weaving groups, perhaps not even Turkmen as RK has surmised and written in the past, who were exclusively tentband weavers.
Exactly who made these long, impressive and iconic weavings, and where, remain two of many unknown 64,000 dollar Turkmen questions.
But subtleties like these are lost on turko-clods, like maltzahn, who continue to trod the well-worn, and should RK say worn out, path of similar belief that have no substance or reality.
As the old saying goes: Fools know it all, wise men ask questions.
Lot 19, a Tekke engsi,which sold for a respectable 9,150 euro, proves the market for engsi, something RK credits ourself for stimulating, is alive and well.
And although lot 19 is surely no champion in any department, it is a respectable, good looking and somewhat unusual, though rather two dimensional and predictable, weaving.
Detail, Lot 19 middle period Tekke engsi with somewhat rare form of the Ashik tree elem
Anything but predictable is lot 56, a nice hunk of fragment from an early Spanish pile carpet, which also sold well making 19,520 euro under baswell's hammer.
RK might quibble with the 15th century date he hung on it, preferring perhaps to come down on the conservative side and say late16th/ early 17th, as the rather degenerate version of a kufic border belies any possibility, at least in our opinion, it might be as early as maltzahn claims.
Lot 56 early Spanish pile carpet fragment with unusual iconography
What is unquestionable is the unusual appearance of 6 pointed stars and the synak like icon seen in the field lozenges. Perhaps these, particularly the synak-like icon, are what drove two buyers to make the strong result?
Another fragment, lot 68, one end of a large cross-stitch, so-called Caucasian embroidery, also sold well, making 4,514 euro.
However, unlike the Spanish rug which has truly interesting iconography, here only already well known patterns, and might we say degenerate versions at that, are present.
Lot 68, cross-stitch so-called Caucasian embroidery early 18th century
But, after all, embroideries like this are rare, and always highly contested when they come to auction, so perhaps, again, the market got it right.
Another examples of Caucasian weaving, lot 143, a sumak khorjin front did, for its type, far better than the previous lot and sold for a strong 5,490 euro.
Lot 143 soumak khorjin front RK suspects might be of more recent production than boswell catalog claims
For some time soumak khorjins, again RK credit ourself with stimulating the market for these small and densely packed with iconographic power weavings, have preformed well at auction and this example proves the point.
However, like some others that have crossed the block at rippon-boswell, RK has our doubts about exactly how old this example is, regardless of the fact it is illustrated in bertram frauenknecht's book, where a similar date to boswell's appeared.
As far as RK is concerned frauenknecht's ability to know what he is selling, or is it just to tell the truth about, is questionable.
And although we have not actually seen lot 143 in the flesh and are making these comments solely on the basis of the excellent picture on boswell's website, we have serious doubts this soumak is a period piece.
There are just too many, and in our mind even one questionable aspect is enough, points of reference here that have led us to such a conclusion.
Perhaps this is why this sumak, with its strong visual and well defined animal pattern in the field, did not preform better?
Lot 152, a complete tendband and the last lot we will discuss, did remarkably well selling for 28,060 euro.
Lot 152 completeTurkmen tentband
Again we sincerely question maltzahn calling it Saryk, as there is, once again, not one demonstrable piece of evidence, or even clue, to support such a claim.
What is more certain is the fact the animal train it has in several panels was the reason for two bidders to go to the mattress and kite the price to almost 35,000 dollars.
The rippon boswell auction house has always been a place where certain rugs have done especially well, selling for more than they would had they appeared elsewhere.
This is undoubtedly due to the fact maltzahn and company have some clients who not only trust their expertise but trust the honesty of the auction above others.
Recently RK was privy to a very interesting first hand account and while we are not at liberty to mention the specifics we do feel it pertinent to recount the gist of the story.
The person who told us this story is a client and friend of maltzahn's for many years, as well as someone we also know for a long time and trust.
The story revolves around a certain item this person was interested in purchasing, and when viewing it (it was not at this sale but an earlier one some years ago) a discussion about its price took place with maltzahn.
Now here is the punch-line: When the person mentioned the price he was willing to go to, maltzahn replied he would not get it, as he already had a much higher left bid for it, and then mentioned what that bid was.
Now this is completely unprofessional, but maltzahn even went further and said he, the client and friend, could bid up to that price if he wanted to with no chance of getting it.
In other words maltzahn was fishing for the person to be a shill bidder, or at least that is how it appeared to the person who told RK the story.
The person in question then went to the auction and did not bid on the piece but guess what? It sold for exactly the price of the left bid maltzahn had mentioned. And here is the clinker, the underbidder was a telephone bidder that suddenly appeared.
RK knows auctioneers often pull bids off the ceiling and back-wall, so if that is what maltzahn did it is not something terribly unusual or unheard of.
But to tell a collector about a left bid from another collector surely is not something we have ever heard about. But worse was maltzahn's tacitly fishing for that collector to become a shill bidder for the house, something that is way past unprofessional and nothing but sleazy.
Moral of the story: emptor caveat when buying at auction, whether at rippon-boswell or any other....