Thr rippon-boswell November 2014 sale just finished and according to what we saw on the livauctioneers results page for the auction only 136 lots out of the 263 on offer sold.
This is a 51.7% sold rate, right around the figure RK predicted.
A number of the better, higher priced, lots failed to sell and there were few if any upside surprises.
This is the first rippon sale to offer online bidding that was done through the liveauctioneers.com website.
We have seen a number of sales on their platform but we have yet to see any with the rather strange type of auctioneer management of the online sales window supplied by liveauctioneers to their auction partners like rippon-boswell and shown on their website.
The auctioneer creates the bidding information that is then transmitted to prospective bidders and watchers through this window.
We did notice on far more than just a couple of lots the way rippon-boswell jumped the bidding for online bidders who wanted to participate, as the two screenshots below of lot 160, a Borjalu Kazak, show.
The upper shows the bidding in progress where the high bid on the floor(and in theory for online bidders) was 8,200 euro.
But as you can see 14,000 euro was the bid rippon boswell was asking from any online bidder.
This is obviously the reserve maltzahn was rather stupidly trying to trick online bidders into entering, when a bid of 8,300-8,500 euro would/should have been accepted.
If this happened only once or twice RK could put it down to either genuine error or unfamiliarity with the software.
But since this happened with a number of lots among the 60 or so we watched, it clearly was an attempt to, as we wrote above, trick online bidders.
RK has commented before on detlef maltzahns penchant to play every trick in the book to increase his auction sales and prices.
This little ploy with liveauctioneers platform is his latest.
In the end this sale was exactly as we predicted -- poor, with hardly any of the Anatolian or Caucasian kelim finding buyers or even bids; cheap mediocre rugs going for cheap prices when they did sell but many did not; medium somewhat better pieces were also a hard go not selling well; and a goodly number of the expensive lots failed to sell at all.
One that did, the eagle-group 1 pardah, sold for 50,000 euro plus commission, perhaps the only surprise in the sale for us, and our pre-sale commentary.
No doubt the last few boswell sales have been weak and poor, this one falling squarely into the same mold.
As an aside, RK was speaking to a rug friend the other day who expressed the thought maltzahn has lost money on his last few sales.
We don't really know if this is true or not, but one thing is sure: The last few sales show either maltzahn must locate higher quality merchandise the present day shrinking market will find more enticing or he has to find something else besides rugs to sell because this sale was no winner and we sincerely doubt it produced any appreciable profit.