Home > Auctions worldwide >rippon boswell 6/15 sale: a major step down
Sun, Jun 14th, 2015 02:50:31 AM
Topic: rippon boswell 6/15 sale: a major step down

RK was just informed rippon-boswell's much awaited June sale catalog is now online and what a giant step down it is from the Vok sale.

RK suspected maltzahn would have trouble getting great pieces, and our suspicions have been proven in spades.

There is not one outstanding or notable lot in the sale and we are sure this sale cannot return more than 40-50% percentage of sold lots.

Prices are all over the board, some very reasonable, others surely not so. But regardless of the estimates or reserves selling mediocre weavings in today full to the brim auction marketplace is not an easy thing to do.

The Vok sale proved rippon can, with the right material, attract buyers for antique furnishing/decorative rugs, kelim and carpets. But if maltzahn thinks there will be carry-over from that sale to this one he is whistling the wrong tune, and doing so way off key.

As is now our modus operandi of late we will not comment about any lots on offer but we will, should we find it pertinent, do a post-sale review. However, this sale is so weak and short on interesting pieces-- in fact there are none -- we sincerely doubt we will post much of one, if at all.

One last comment: Some have asked us why we have stopped doing pre-sale reviews. Basically we have been consulting with certain private buyers, selling our expertise to them to assure they will not bid on and buy lesser examples and/or pay too much for the better ones.

Should you be interested in our help please do email:


Better to spend a little before a sale to get proper guidance than spend alot more at the sale only later to regret it.

Author: jc
Sun, Jun 14th, 2015 02:50:31 AM

Well, well, seems RK lit a fire under herr maltzahn's butt, or is it just placed a bee in his bonnet, and Glory Be the bidding history on the star Kazak and small rug we pictured now shows the "bids".

This really makes us wonder what might have happened had RK not brought this to everyone's attention? And even more so if this is actually what happened.

RK did not watch the entire sale so we did not see these two lots sell.

But if any readers did attend the sale in person, or watch the bidding online for these two lots, we would like to know if maltzahn's recounting the bid history on liveauctioneers is actaully what went down.

We also question would maltzahn have rectified this had we not brought it to everyone's attention?

And if so when might he have gotten around to doing it?

For those of us who remember maltzahn's foot-dragging approach to posting the sales results of his auctions prior to the past two sales streamed on liveauctioneers.com, we would have to believe he probably would not have done anything immediately, and it is debatable whether or not he would have ever.

But all that is conjecture, the fact these two bid histories were so quickly changed surely isn't.

RK is glad to have herr maltzahn as an attentive reader and hope he learns much besides when RK takes him to task for his errors.

Author: jc
Sat, Jun 13th, 2015 10:29:42 AM

As we predicted rippon boswell's spring sale had no spring to it. In fact it was the flop we expected with a bleak 40.4% sale percentage.

One thing is sure, greedy herr maltzahn made a day's pay but in doing so made himself look just like the greedy creep we know him to be.

RK has watched at least 60 sales live on liveauctioneers.com and their platform is excellent and the after sale results are immediately reported and very efficiently tell the story of how the bidding for each lot went.

But once again, and this is a 2 for 2 as this is only the second sale liveauctioneers has hosted for rippon-boswell, maltzahn's saleroom maneuvering becomes blatantly obvious.

For instance notice how the bidding went for these two lots, which by the way were probably the most interesting in the sale, and that's not saying much.

The first an early enough (none of these sought after trophy we have ever seen is earlier than late 18th century) Star Kazak, Lot 154, with a well done design and apparently rich colors sold for 26,000 euro plus 25% commission according to the report.

But when you look at the bid history part of that report it says "lot passed no bid history".

Lot 160, a personable and cute small rug, which by the way appears to us to have a dab of fuschine in a small area of the lower left side where we have made a black circle and where you can see some violet color peeking out among an area of yellow knots, reports the same bid history -- "lot passed no bids" -- but is again reported as sold for 10,000 euro plus 25% commission.

We did not bother to check how many more times this questionable reporting, which by the way is under the sole and complete control of the auctioneer, appears in the results.

One thing is sure streaming his sale on liveauctioneers.com has exposed maltzahn's long apparent penchant to play his bidders in every way possible, and these machinations are now more obvious than ever.

We'd be curious how he will explain the confusing results for the two lots we mention and would suggest some RK readers email him to try and find out.

Lately, auction after auction demonstrates the same pattern, mediocre rugs are not selling anymore, almost regardless of price. And down right crappy ones not at all no matter the price.

And yes one more thing -- exceptional examples, regardless of condition issues, rarely appear and when they do they healthily exceed expectations.

Author: jc
Thu, Jun 11th, 2015 06:42:02 AM

Saturday's sale at rippon-boswell has created as much excitement and interest as an offer of free used chewing gum might elicit.

RK is positive the results will be as dismal as the number of takers for that chewing gum.

Only a greedy intellecturally challenged auctioneer like maltzahn would schedule such a sale sandwiched between last month's highly successful Vok collection Part 1 sale and the coming Part 2 this fall.

RK has always questioned maltzahn's knowledge of carpets and now we can add to that his business acumen.

Look for around a 50% sale rate with bottom of the barrel pricing similar to that skinners and grogan auctions are accustomed to returning.

They, of course, invariably score considerably higher percentage sold than the coming rippon sale has any chance to achieve.

Wishing rippon-boswell and maltzahn "Good Luck" probably is as futile as a big "Bon Voyage" to passengers on the Titanic...

Author: jc
Wed, May 20th, 2015 02:02:13 PM

We intended to title this thread "From the sublime to the ridiculous" but decided against it for several reasons.

Primarily because the Vok sale was anything but sublime and the spring sale not really ridiculous.

It is a definite the Vok auction will go down in rug collecting history, but until the final hammers have fallen on the second and third installments its epithet remains an unknown.

The suzani were by and large among the top tier and a few masterpieces for sure.

Readers know RK is not enamoured by these flashy urbanized creations because since the girl who did the embroidery, or supposedly did as the story goes, did not do the designing herself.

This was done by someone else who was hired for their ability and expertise to draw the pattern for her to follow.

Does this take away from their beauty? Well not really, but it does take these 'virgin quilts' as RK liked to call them and place them in a workshop-type melieu.

Frankly, they have nothing to say to anyone who is looking for more than a pretty face.

And while there's nothing wrong with that it calls into question to those who might ry to make a case for suzani being something more.

And the rather late and boring kelim in the Vok sale were also not able to scale any heights beyond kelim as furnishing accessory status.

So there was nothing sublime in the Vok sale.

RK is hard to please; in our orientation, which dear readers who have been faithful followers know, RK looks for more in the weavings we appreciate and admire.

Spiritual, challenging, larger than life, monumental and stimulating are just a few of those qualities that makes us stand up and take notice.

Workshop products are never able to generate these attributes because they always have a mechanical, predictable visual with no underlying intrigue or suspense.

To produce such weavings took a weaver who was indelibly and directly connected with what we have written about before and can define as cultural history.

It took generations and centuries to develop, interpret and refine the visual iconography weavers steeped in this type of tradition manifested to produce the masterpieces that are in all senses of the word sublime.

We could go on to further explain this phenomenon of archetypal, masterpiece Turkmen, Anatolian and transCaucasian weavings, but words can never replicate what they represent.

Let us end with this observation: When RK leafs through the Vok catalog nothing comes close to ringing that bell we always hear when viewing such weavings.

And as important as that is for us, it is even more important for RK to communicate it to those who might not understand why they come away with the feeling something is missing when viewing a collection like Vok's.

And if you do, don't worry, you are doing something right.

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