A few words about two lots in the small selection of rugs and carpets included with the upcoming Christie London Islamic Art Sale.
Christie, London; lot 241; Oct.24, 2019
Perhaps the ugliest, allegedly early carpet without any substantitive provenance since the Fostat rug was sold by michael franses to the deYoung museum decades ago, will appear at this christie sale in London, lot 241.
He couldn't have done it without the help of his 'partner in crime' cathryn cootner. After all franses had been peddling it for sometime to any and everyone without succes until cootner facilitated the deal with the deYoung.
That dastardly duo of franses and cathryn, "must buy", cootner were responsible for off-loading that miserably unattractive so-called Fostat piece of woven garbage that now sleep in the basement of the deYoung museum. Besides its decidedly ghasty appearance, the Fostst rugs supposed provenance -- Fostat, burial ground of Cairo, Egypt -- is equally as nebulous.
Lot 241 at Christies runs a close second in our opinion. Estimated at a nose-bleeding price of $48,840 to $74,760 this monstrosity will never sell unless Christies gets Stevie Wonder to wave his checkbook. Yessh, even those gullible jalabba-wearing Middle Eastern collectors are smart enough to run, not walk, to the exits when this thing hits the block.
Christies catalog calls it "Mongolian probably 14th century" but this guesstimate is no more valid than spinning the rug provenance wheel of fortune.
Dollars to donut-holes it is passed without even catching one bid.
Christie, London; lot 257; Oct.24, 2019
Another blooper in our estimation, this one of a completely different type, is lot 257. Called Konya in the catalog RK could not disagree more. Granted we have not seen it in person but the pics are good enough to deduce red weft. Now then sport fans when have you ever seen a Konya rug with red wefts?
Also the catalog mentions the long, fleecy wool, which is another non-starter for such an attribution.
If we had to guess we'd opine it is a Melas area rug made in the first half of the 19th century. But since it is unlike anything we have ever seen, besides its overall design which is a well-known one, our thoughts about it are offered solely for our own amusement.
The rug's authenticity has been questioned by some internet pundits, and while RK does not agree with the catalog's late 17th/early 18th century dating we will bet those dollars against donut-holes this rug is not a recent fake.
How old it is, and where and who made it we cannot say any more than the above.
We can say while it is pretty it has no guts and most assuredy is not a village or town rug, but rather a city commercial workshop product.
The design is stiff and one-dimensional, both death knell indications it is not a 300 year old Anatolian village/town weaving.
But it is pretty and we believe it will sell on that basis alone. The estimate is somewhat reasonable for a supposed artwork of this type, $18,690 - $31,150.
RK remains amazed people who have been in this game for decades still cannot tell the difference between later genre period copies like this and the real thing. The now infamous dennis dodds/LACMA bogus bellini, and a plethora of rugs michael franses has been associated with and peddling for decades, like those he tried to off-load on Gunther Raps, immediately come to mind.