The dust has settled and now the pinner collection sale is history. Well, sorta, as part II of the collection will be coming up this October but for now the results of yesterdays part are in.
Was the sale a success? In a nutshell RK.com would have to answer no. Why? simply put because the consignor, robert pinner, probably paid more ten, twenty and thirty years ago for many of the pieces (in real terms let alone prices adjusted for inflation and time) and his best lots didnt perform that remarkably.
In comparison to the jonny thompson sale at sothebys some long years ago, pinners would have to be called an unqualified failure but there were a number of obvious aspects responsible for this. Like a paranoid, poker-playing jokester, jonny-boy kept his collection hidden from view, built his reputation as an expert carefully, didnt publicly offer any of the pieces he intended to sell prior to the sale, nor did he offer them privately.
While the market for Turkmen weavings has not changed much(Turkmen weavings are still highly sought after), it has moved past many of the pieces in the pinner collection. Most would have sold for more years ago but pinner was too dumb or egotistical to realize this and he is the only one to blame for the failure on that account. Another problem with Turkmen weavings pinners pieces encountered is the paucity of new collectors, if in fact there really are any. It is blatantly obvious few have been added to the rolls of those willing to splash out to acquire these weavings over the past decade or two.
You basically have the same bunch of folks who, by now, have become somewhat jaded as collectors and are increasingly hard to impress with the type of examples pinner bought. This, perhaps more than any other factor, was responsible for the ho-hum results the vast majority of the pinner collection pieces racked up, yesterday, on sale day.
The saleroom was packed but most of the seats were warmed by lookers and not bidders. The downright stupidly low estimates, which were believed by a dumkopf like maltzahn to create an emotional attachment with certain bidders or excitement amongst others, failed miserably, as RK.coms pre-sale comments said they would. The reason they did is obvious there is no real cadre of knowledgeable Turkmen carpet, or for that matter any other weaving group, collectors and low estimates on good pieces only confuses the issue. As a sales ploy it doesnt work.
Making estimates too high is equally bad but at least high estimates do attract attention and on sale day that attention can always be channeled into purchases at lower numbers a point lost on a hard-headed egotistical ponce like maltzahn.
Clearly, correct estimates are the best course but that requires the cataloguer to be aware of the real market and here once more maltzahn failed, big-time. Again RK.com believes if the catalog had been more cogently assembled, both in description and estimate, more pieces would have made better prices.
Lets take a look at the prices realized with some additional comments from RK.com on the results:-all prices do NOT include premiums these are the hammer prices- and, remember, all comments are purely RK.coms opinions, offered here only within that context and none others that might be inferred or implied
1. 19,000 either this lot was ringed or all the participants, except the buyer, were numbed into sleep by maltzahns pre-sale palaver - this was absurdly cheap and congratulations go to the astute buyer who took the prize of the pinner collection sale home for a dirt cheap price
2. 900 reasonable price for an ok piece
3. 4,000 cheap price for a mediocre example of a rare type of Turkmen weaving this was in all other respects a good buy, congrats to the buyer
4. 500 very reasonable price for an excellent example where were the other collectors? truth is there arent any real collectors as this lot and the entire pinner sale demonstrated
5. 6,500 another great buy, congratulations to the new owner you really took home the bacon with this lot as RK.com wrote this was the best Tekke carpet in the collection
6. 5,500 stupid high price for this type of chuval amateurs in the audience proved their lack of sophistication by bidding this up to 5,500 euro not the dumbest price in the sale but one of them
7. 2,100 good condition but so what maybe this buyer and under bidder, if in fact there actually was one, were really nave and inexperienced enough to believe the malarkey sienknecht and maltzahn spun in the catalogs description??
8. 20,000 high price for an ok furnishing carpet and please this is NOT one of the earliest surviving Tekke main carpets as the catalog boasts get real maltzahn and sienknecht
9. 3,500 very reasonable price for an excellent Tekke torba one of the best in the sale
10. 2,900 stupid price for a kaufhaus nothing Ugh
11. 10,000 another bad buy in RK.coms opinion and pre-1800? Bull turds this chuval is mid 19th century at best and it aint beautiful just overpriced big time
12. 600 great buy just think what would you rather have 16 torba like this or one chuval like number 11?
13. 900 another great buy
14. 1,900 very reasonable price for an ok Tekke small rug
15. 650 very reasonable price for this fragment which will undoubtedly go into the munkcrazy patchwork, as RK.com suspected
16. 2,000 cheap price for a lot of wool did maltzahn give the buyer a pair of sunglasses?
17. 5,000 stupid cheap price for a rare main carpet proving there are basically no real collectors for Turkmen main rugs, just talkers
18. 1,800 by comparison to the previous lot this situation, no real collectors, becomes painfully clear this is a piece of junk worth not 1/3 but rather 1/30th of that lots price wake up people
19. 6,000 reasonable price for an excellent 19th century Tekke torba
20. 14,500 ahhhh, the stamp collector mentality come to the fore this is not circa 1800 as the catalog tries to float but rather mid-19th the field is ugly and the elem, obviously the reason for this stupid high price, is a fooler it lacks the proportions one should expect in an early piece and is, in the end, but a reflection of the magic early 19th century and older Turkmen weaving convey a looser as far as RK.com is concerned
21. 1,000 ok price for an ok little mafrash
22. 1100 that extra 100 euro bought a lot more here than in the previous lot this is a far better buy and in RK.coms estimation one of the better ones in the sale
23. 4,000 nice mid-century asmalyk for a somewhat high, in comparison to others in the sale, but justifiable price
24. 25,000 Rk.com said it all in the preview of the sale in our opinion this was waste of money for an over-hyped not especially noteworthy or beautiful ensi
25. 3,400 stupid high price for a nothing special piece of airport art
26. 6,000 see lot 19 and comments in the pre-sale preview
27. 900 cheap? study piece with a cute border
28. 3,000 H_E_L_L_O were all you supposed collectors who ventured to Weisbaden or bought the catalog asleep at the wheel when this lot hit the block? You idiots, this was a no-brainer excellent main carpet for the same price real junk sold for..wake up dummies this was an outstanding main carpet and even if you dont want to collect it there was money to be made another of the few great buys from the pinner hoard
29. 1,600 camels, schammels who cares its an ugly chuval but a good buy for your farmyard
30. 1,300 interesting for the price, especially compared to some of the losers others paid equally as much or more for
31. 1,300 ok buy
32. 2,200 this chuval was a far better purchase than lot 20, 0r 11 ..congrats to an astute buyer
33. unsold as RK.com predictedsorry maltzahn and sienknecht but your verbosity obviously convinced no-one of this carpets importance Why? because its not important and respect for pinners taste and supposed knowledge went down with the ship on this one as it did with his animal-tree ensi as well
34. 2,400 so what piece for too much money
35. 2,800 good buy, congrats to the new owner this piece destroys lot 34 in every respect
36. 3,300 good condition but so what.poor buy compared to what could have been bought on sale day for the same amount
37. 6,500 probably unsold and rightly so
38. 2,900 good buythis was the best ensi in the sale and while its not a world beater it is a highly credible example
39. 1,200 nice mid-19th century mafrash for a reasonable price
40. 1,700 ok buy, but in reality looks older than it was
41. 2,200 cheap price for a goodish ok asmalyk
42. 2,200 rare secondary gols and excellent drawing in the main border, good buy
43. 575 ok buy for a rare first period fragment of Saryk weaving
44. 2,200 a mediocre piece for a strong price compared to others in this sale
45. 1,400 no comments are necessary here
46. 1300 ditto
47. 1,100 rarer design than most ok-bash but so what, its ugly
48. 1,200 these frags are beautiful and a much better buy than the previous three lots or many others in the 1000 euro range at this sale
49. 4,800 overpriced at this sale or any other for that mattermoney not well spent in Rk.coms opinion
50. 4,700 high price for an ok size snippet of a good Salor main carpet
51. 50,000 perhaps the dumbest buy in the sale its pretty but, like a blonde with a silicone enhanced large chest that everyone looks at, there is nothing else there to keep you interested a late Arabatchi piece of posh weaving the two dimensionality of the draftsmanship and the almost garish coloration might dazzle the uninitiated but not the cognoscenti flashy but no soul
Ok, dear readers, thats enough for todays installment of the pinner sale review. Stay tuned for the second half with the rest of the prices and Rk.coms comments.