Lot 110 the Kalman Tekke khalyk
RK has already penned some comments about maltzahns Fall Sale cataloging effort. And though wed enjoy picturing a far greater number of lots, then destroy the credibility of both the comments herr maltzahn choses fit to publish or his dating guesstimates, frankly we have no desire to waste our time or our webmasters preparing and uploading more than the few photos contained herein.
We will, however, mention a number of others without photos knowing readers can easily go to the rippon-boswell website to see for themselves if our viewpoints are far more realistic than Herr boswells.
We begin with the most publicized, the pardah Lot 176.
Lot 176 Eagle group 1 pardah
The catalog describes this weaving as a main carpet but its size belies any such idea. More probable is our contention it is a pardah, which draws its name from the Persian word (پرده) meaning " a curtain".
This type and size of Turkmen weaving was more probably used as a hanging or curtain to separate an area in the yurt for a newly married couple to have some privacy.
We do agree with the catalogs contention it is a rare weaving, as we know of only one other which was also sold by rippon-boswell in a former sale 14 years ago.
That one is earlier but unfortunately quite worn, as the wool is extremely finely spun and plied making it surely unsuited to any type of western floor traffic, a fate it must have suffered.
Purchased at the time and still in the collection as far as we know of Michael Rothberg, the price it made then was around 100,000 us dollars thanks to the spirited underbidding of Ralph and Linda Kaffel.
Compared to Rothbergs Lot 176 is decidedly younger, but not that much wed venture perhaps 50 years, the Rothberg example being late 18th century and Lot 176 early 19th century.
Please note: Anyone who believes the catalogs dating for Lot 176, a foolish 17th/18th century guesstimate, is as lost in the sauce as the sales cataloguer detlef maltzahn.
Theres an interesting story about Rothbergs piece we could tell but this is not the time and place. Readers will have to await the publication of our oft-mentioned autobiography -- itll be there.
Regardless of it being a pardah or not, it is definitely not a main carpet, it is not 17th/18th century and it is not going to sell for the catalog estimate of 42,000 euro plus commission. Wed be surprised if it makes 35,000 euro plus commission, which must be about the reserve.
In comparison the even more absurdly pitched price of 17,500 euro plus commission hung on Lot 54, a Tekke that is a main carpet, makes the 42,000 euro estimate for the pardah seem cheap.
Lot 54, a grossly over-estimated Tekke main carpet regardless of the fact it was published in a 1980 Swiss carpet collector show catalog.
Be assured reality will raise its ugly head on sale day and Lot 54 will be unsold, as will Lot 80 an even more starry eyed Tekke main carpet with an 18,000 euro plus commission estimate.
To say these estimates are over the top makes light of the nonsense Herr maltzahn apparently believes about todays market for Turkmen rugs, which is a decade and more far past wanting to purchase Tekke main carpets like these at such prices.
Speaking about Turkmen lots in the sale that are exceedingly over-valued the Yomud engsi, Lot 71, at 9,800 euro plus commission will likewise, we believe, remain unsold as will Lot 76 at 4,800 euro plus commission, a not especially interesting Tekke mafrash.
Sharing the same fate will be Lot 75, a boring squishy designed Tekke kapunuk, at 12,500 euro plus commission.
However the bell-ringer of Turkmen price ridiculousness undeniably goes to Lot 183, a Yomud asmalyk with nothing going for it other than Herr boswells enormously out to lunch 14,500 euro plus commission estimate blunder.
What could this man possibly be thinking, or is he just suffering early Alzheimers?
Provenance can be a very important ingredient in determining sales price but, when the provenance is linked to a Mr Nobody in the rug world, RK cannot possibly see why it matters.
Such is the story of the Kalman khalyk, Lot 110, shown below.
Seems Herr Kalmans sole claim to rug world fame was nothing other than years ago being a paddle waver at rippon-boswell, and his khalyk will sell on its merits, surely not his name.
At 9,000 euro plus commission it is assuredly not over-priced, but it is overly praised.
We could point out a number of features that demonstrate it is not a top piece, like the curled leaf motif being contained within variously colored serrated edged boxes that fill the white ground field.
This is a later style of depiction the earlier, far more beautiful, exciting, and interesting articulates the curled-leaf icon with tailpieces, or what appears to be a vine, connected to the curls undulating around, above and below them.
This is an important iconographic feature and its absence here proves fatal to anyone trying to make a case for Kalmans khalyk being a superior example.
It is in good condition a fact we are quite sure will attract some mid-range Turkmen weaving collector to go for it, but there will be no real upside to the 9K euro plus commission estimate.
In comparison a lot with real upside price draft is Lot 168, the so-called P Chodor chuval. It is diametrically opposed to those Turkmen weavings mentioned above though its bargain basement low 1,600 euro plus commission estimate is equally as ludicrous.
This lot will become a winner for the consignor and return at least another 1,000 or more euro above estimate.
So much for Herr boswells Turkmen missteps, lets now examine some others from flat-footed Herr maltzahn.
The most glaring in our mind is the preposterous 58,000 euro plus commission estimate Lot 156 has been blessed with by dancing detlef.
Besides for over-calculating its value, calling this Serab region runner Azerbijiani displays more evidence detlefs rug savvy is not increasing as he grows older.
Fact is its decreasing, and he desperately needs to start learning and quit pontificating.
Not everything in the sale is over priced, there are some very enticing estimates that will, we are sure, not stand a chance of remaining under the ensuing sale day bidding ardor which will no doubt occur.
For instance the five late Renaissance cushion covers at an unsustainably low 1,800 euro plus commission digit and almost everything consigned from the Signora Gallo collection, especially Lot 43 the large blue field ashvan design Kelleh with that silly 1,600 euro plus commission estimate.
There are a number of Suzani in the sale all carrying way generous but still somewhat realistic estimates considering todays hot as the devils breath Suzani market.
Our pick as the best is the Shakryzabs Lot 132, estimate 24,000 euro plus commission rather than the large medallion example Lot 165 at 55,000 euro plus commission, shown below, we are sure many others will prefer.
Never a lover of Suzani, RK once upon a time had a collection of them but we sold the entire bunch in 1975, as we grew increasingly disinterested in them compared to earlier flat-weaves and Turkmen pieces we began to acquire.
Plus we have never seen the great attraction for the large medallion style others covet regardless of their rarity compared to other types.
However, remember early great masterpiece Suzani of all types are rare and the large medallion ones no more so when it comes this level of comparison.
Another couple of underestimated lots that will glide past and exceed their cheapie estimates are Lot 154 the Armenian Dragon rug at 9,000 euro plus commission and the whipped but still real late Transylvanian rug, Lot 101, at a joke price of 750 euro plus commission.
By the way maltzahns dumbbell provenance of the Dragon rug to west Anatolia flies in the face of its Seichur region coloration, one non-existent in western Anatolia or anywhere else in Anatolia.
Far more likely and realistic would be placing it there in the trans-Caucasus.
Before closing we should mention the over-estimated Kerman embroidery, Lot 230, at 2,300 euro plus commission will remain unsold, as will the ugly Bird Ushak, Lot 52A, at an untenable 19,500 euro plus commission estimate.
Plus the plethora of Anatolian kelim in the sale, probably a boswell warm-up trial balloon for the coming Vok collection onslaught, will prove to be nothing but a buy-in unsold disaster. PS: the same will also happen to this segment of the Vok collection, watch and see.
Hmmm, while this qualifies as a prediction, it is not the promised one.
And now, dah dum de dum, for our aforementioned prediction: RK is quite sure boswells Fall 2014 sale will not achieve widespread success, and after the auction day dust clears it will prove to return a circa 50 percent sale percentage unless consignors agree to serious major price reductions.
It is also possible this percentage will be improved to circa 60 percent with some even more severe after sale price discounting but we all know its what happens on sale day that counts.
And that, dear rug-rangers, will show boswell and all other rug auctions need to bring top quality examples to the ever-shrinking market place and price anything less than top at far more realistic levels than in Herr maltzahns Fall 2014 catalog.