MASTERPIECES OF AN AUSTRIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION There are 31 Lots.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 31 items
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    2 000 €

    Lot: 1

    Southwest Persia, 19th century
    315 x 157 cm (10’ 4” x 5’ 2”)
    Condition: very good, two small holes, few signs of use
    Warp: wool, weft: wool

    Southwest Persian kilims show mainly open fields or all-over designs, but to a lesser extent they come in banded versions as well. Colours and designs within the bands distinguish them easily from their Caucasian and northwest Persian counterparts.
    Among the striped kilim we find two subgroups. One has just bands from selvedge to selvedge; the other is framed by borders. These are almost universally reciprocal, often in dark brown or blue against white. These are sometimes accompanied by additional zigzag lines. It has been argued that this is dictated by the slit kilim technique, which wouldn’t allow long horizontal lines. It is charming to see how these zigzag lines seem to playfully interfere with the bands in the field, causing them to advance or withdraw. This group has usually elaborate elems of several colours with further zigzag motifs.
    Remarkably, this piece shows several different motifs in the bands. They follow a perfect rhythm and the colour changes are carefully placed. Especially interesting are the multicoloured dominant zigzag fields in an ‘M’ shape. In other examples of this group these are stepped triangles, which are less bold than in this piece.
    Often the stepped triangle bands alternate in direction, one from left to right, the next from right to left. In our piece all run to one side. This makes a horizontal viewpoint quite pleasing as it feels energetic and uplifting. As these kilim have been used as tent dividers or to cover up storage sacks within a home a horizontal viewpoint might have been intended by the weaver.

    Estimate: € 3000 - 5000
    2 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    2 000 €

    Lot: 2

    Southwest Persia, 19th century
    273 x 131 cm (8’ 11” x 4’ 4”)
    Condition: good, scattered low pile, selvedges partially original, some small old repairs and reweaves
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    The true character of Persia is no better expressed than in its rug-weaving tradition. The court carpets of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties established a courtly style and design repertoire in fine workshop carpets; running alongside this is another tradition of the nomadic population of Iran, their carpets made in villages for domestic consumption and representing the aesthetic expression of more ancient traditions.
    The nomadic tribes of the Fars region wove various utilitarian weavings to accompany tribal life. One of these was the Gabbeh: a loosely woven, thick-pile textile made primarily as a sleeping rug. These rugs were not considered to have any value until the 1970s, when their confident abstract expression, bold colour contrasts and primal aesthetic attracted the attention of collectors. It was then understood that the woman weavers of these rugs deserved to be recognised as artists, using wool and weave as their mode of expression.
    This carpet is a fine representation of such a tradition and shows the chromatic brilliance associated with Lurs weavers, combined with the narrative nature of the best of these highly collectible rugs. Five women and three men are shown within the safety of the diamond medallions, but with one man left outside the confines of the family unit. The changes in colour in the medallions and borders is typical of these rugs, which had been woven by the mothers and daughters together.

    Estimate: € 4000 - 7000
    2 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    800 €

    Lot: 3

    East Anatolia, 19th century
    155 x 115 cm (5’ 1” x 3’ 9”)
    Condition: used, low pile, foundation partially visible, all four sides incomplete, some tears and holes, corroded brown
    warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    This small carpet has characteristics associated with nomadic rugs from Anatolia: the wool foundation, multiple changes in the depth of colours, a mixture of motifs drawn from around Anatolian village traditions and a multitude of small filler motifs throughout the field and borders, as well as the addition of small eyes on the hooks around the medallion that transform them into birds’ heads. The light blue and light green suggest an origin in the eastern part of Anatolia.

    Estimate: € 1500 - 2200
    800 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    1 000 €

    Lot: 4

    probably France, first half 19th century
    259 x 128 cm (8’ 6” x 4’ 2”)
    Condition: very good, minor signs of wear at ends, back side partially faded
    Warp: silk, weft: silk

    This European ‘cashmere’ shawl is quite remarkable in several ways. When cashmere shawls became fashionable in Europe, especially in Napoleonic France, their designs followed closely the Indian originals. This shawl repeats that only in the fact that the centre field is undecorated.

    Even though some Indian cashmere shawls had found their way into Europe during the 18th century, as evidenced in some portraits of the time, the real cashmere craze started when the Napoleonic army came back from Egypt in 1799. Among the war booty were textiles that had been used as cummerbunds by the officers of the Mamluk army. These became instantly popular, especially when Josephine Bonaparte began sporting them in court.

    A sea blockade was in place during the wars with the rest of Europe, preventing the import of shawls or cashmere wool. Heroic efforts were undertaken to get them via the land route and the import of cashmere goats. These were unsuccessful and the French weavers started a production based on what material was available, such as silk and cotton. In 1804 Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a loom that could be powered, and was capable of much more detailed motifs; it proved ideal for weaving shawls with complex designs.
    The shawls of the time had a white inner field with boteh designs on either end and narrow side borders. The latter, having the same pattern as the lower and upper end borders, were sewn on, which simplified the weaving process. In our example you see a slight colour difference. As all coloured threads need to float from selvedge to selvedge during weaving, they were shorn afterwards to reduce the weight of the shawl.
    The blue ground is very rare for the period, as is the design, which is very European. It reminds us of the designs by Amédée Couder, who introduced architectural forms into the design repertoire, especially in his most famous works, the Nau Ruz or the Isfahan shawl. These were woven in the 1830s. The flower shrubs in the white fields of our shawl are inspired by early Indian shawls, but are also related to an earlier French design by Ternaux, who had woven some of the earliest European shawls. The example shown in Monique Levi-Strauss “Cashmere: A French Passion, 2013” on p. 122 is said to have been among a group of twelve delivered to the Emperor Napoleon in 1812.
    It is interesting to note the designer of the shawl putting a subtle reference to oriental shawls right in the centre of the flower shrubs of the otherwise very European patterns. The white and red striped ‘Vase’ form here is related to Persian fabrics in Kani (shawl) technique, in which small motifs in narrow strips are shown.

    Estimate: € 2000 - 3000
    1 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    1 500 €

    Lot: 5

    Algeria, 18th century
    262 x 40 cm (8’ 7” x 1’ 4”)
    Condition: good according to age, some abrasions and small lacking party, slightly stained, minor small holes
    Silk on cotton

    Tanchifas were used as head and shoulder cloths by Algerian women. Modestly covering hair or the shoulders they nevertheless communicated beauty and exuberance in form and colour. They were worn mostly on high occasions such as birth, circumcision ceremonies, marriages and religious feasts.

    Algerian embroideries mainly come in long narrow strips. If they have a white centre they are head and shoulder cloths. Others are folded and sewn together to form a bonnet, while in a third type several strips would be sewn together to create large curtains and room dividers. (See the other example in this sale.)
    Regardless of design and function there are mainly two distinctive groups within Algerian embroideries. In one group, of which this is part, the larger motifs are embroidered in vivid blues and red tones. In the other these motifs are embroidered in various shades of aubergine and purple, using a different stich which allows the creation of small squares to fill the entire space. A much smaller third group is characterised by naturalistic flowering vines, very European in style, similar to some found in Ottoman anteris of the time.
    Inspiration for the motifs came from silks and velvets from Renaissance Italy and from Ottoman Turkey. Interestingly some of the designs are taken from large Ottoman embroideries which in return are interpretations of Italian models. This can be observed in this piece very well, where the main flower motifs are closely related to Ottoman embroideries as well as some Greek examples. But the inspiration for these came from Italian sources, especially 15th-century velvets with large-scale pomegranate designs.
    An example with a similar design can be found in the Musée du quai Branly, formerly the Musée des Arts d’'Africe et d'’Oceanie, inv. No. 76-2-1. That piece appears less colourful than ours, but makes up for it with a generous use of silver and gold metal thread. See Broderie d'’Alger: Florilège de Soie, Institute de Monde Arabe 1992.

    Estimate: € 3000 - 4000

    1 500 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    1 500 €

    Lot: 6

    Algeria, 18th century
    297 x 38 cm (9’ 9” x 1’ 3”)
    Condition: very good according to age, minor signs of wear, slightly stained
    Silk on cotton

    This rare and impressive embroidery was made to form part of a curtain or room divider. The excellent condition and colour freshness of this piece suggests that it was never used as such. In 18th-century Algiers several lengths of this kind of embroidery would have been sewn together, interspersed with coloured silks or lace, to form larger hangings. As the ground weave of the embroidery would allow air and light to come through they were ideal to conceal parts of the interior of the house or curtain off the inner courtyards and gardens.

    Algerian embroideries can be divided into two main groups. Those in one group have bright red and blue colouring; in the other group these designs are drawn with a checkerboard design in purple. Motifs are inspired by Ottoman and Italian textiles. See also the discussion of the other Algerian embroidery in this sale.

    Algeria was under Ottoman rule of varying degrees from 1516 to 1830 when the French took over. The takeover was bloody and took forty-five years to complete. Nearly one third of the indigenous population were killed by war and diseases. This is one of the reasons that Algerian embroideries are usually dated from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century. Looking back from the other end of time we haven’t come across embroideries with artificial dyestuffs, and the general appearance of the textiles suggests a date before the mid-19th century as well. The materials used, the colours, the weave of the ground fabric and the decorations are in tune with the wider corpus of early Mediterranean embroideries.

    The French orientalist Jean Michel de Venture de Paradis wrote in 1789 about the fashion to dress and furnish with ‘Les ceintures de soie souple en or et argent’ but he points out that they were exported all over the Levant as well. He describes their employment as furnishing fabrics and their ubiquitous use in ‘des habitat des femmes’.

    We don’t know how far back these embroideries go. Leo Africanus and other authors mention silks in the Levant but there is no clear description. Another source talks about a decline in the first half of the 18th century.

    Within the time frame from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th, some authors date the group with dominant blue and red coloured motifs older than the purple group – but they are inconsistent in this regard when dating the pieces published in their books.

    Estimate: € 3000 - 4000
    1 500 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    6 000 €

    Lot: 7

    West Anatolia, 18th century
    292 x 152 cm (9’ 7” x 5’)
    Condition: very good according to age, scattered small old repairs
    Warp: wool, weft: wool

    This wonderful kilim was first published by Yanni Petsopoulos in “Kilims, 1979”. It belongs to a small group of weavings that form a bridge between the Ottoman court tent kilim and nomadic and village flatweaves. They are more colourful than the Ottoman kilims but use their motifs. Unlike the nomadic pieces they are woven in one piece.

    The group can be divided into two subgroups. One has a field surrounded by borders and is usually wider; the other, like our example, is organised in bands and is narrower. Both are woven in wool on wool and are not especially fine, but the first group is looser than the second. Following the six examples published in Kilims, another piece appeared in Werner Brüggemann, “Yayla, 1993”, plate 33.

    The motifs of the blue and red strips are shown as outer-end borders in a piece at the Vak?flar museum in Istanbul (Belkis Balp?nar/Udo Hirsch, Flatweaves, 1982, plate 120). In this kilim the main border shows the same pattern as the dividing strips in our piece.

    Petsopoulos notes that this piece is probably the oldest of the second group. The flowers of the blue and red strips travel upwards, except the uppermost one, and are all connected by the centre stem. It has been suggested that therefore the kilim should be viewed horizontally and might have used as a tent divider or hanging in a house.

    A comparable example was in the Vok collection (Ignazio Vok, Anatolia, 1997, No. 1), and is less colourful but with a wider range of motifs in the strips. As in our piece it showed the peculiar ‘dot’ filling of the background, which gives the design a certain three-dimensional quality.

    A prayer kilim in the Berlin Museum (Friedrich Spuhler, Die Orientteppiche im Museum für islamische Kunst Berlin, 1991, p. 290) shows the same ‘dot’ feature and more clearly defined tulip and carnation motifs. The outer minor border is the same as the ‘odd one out’ strip at the bottom of our kilim.
    The designs of these kilim group go back to the Ottoman court kilim. They can also in part be found in Kula and Gördes rugs; this, as well as the colour range, makes an attribution to western Anatolia likely. Our piece here has light blue warps, a feature that can be found in some of the pile weavings as well.
    A faint reminiscence of the carnation and tulip strip design can be found in a later kilim published in Ulrich Türck/Dietmar Pelz, “Anatolische Kelim in Schloß Lembeck, 1995”, Pl. 12.

    Estimate: € 12000 - 20000
    6 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    4 000 €

    Lot: 8

    Northwest Persia, 19th century
    182 x 121 cm (6’ x 4’)
    Condition: very good according to age, both upper edges restored, scattered small old repairs
    Warp: wool, weft: wool

    This lovely, colourful example of the rare prayer kilims presents three different textile designs. Cashmere textiles, either from India or from Persia, were highly prized items within Qajar society. Therefore, it is no surprise to find their designs in equally fine luxury city kilims from Senne and its surrounding areas.

    The main field in the head-and-shoulder mihrab shows botehs on a blue ground, such as we can find in depictions of costumes in Qajar paintings from the end of the 18th century onwards. In most Sehna kilims, as in our piece, the botehs turn to one side, but sometimes they march in different directions. (See HALI 115, p. 111.)

    In the spandrel above we see strips related to Persian kani weaving, which were used not only for clothing but also in the Naksi embroidered trouser ends of the Zoroastrian community. The third textile design is found in the red-and-white border that provides an almost exact representation of Persian cashmere weave, with small flowers in narrow strips.

    A similar prayer kilim but with the reverse arrangement of the field and spandrel designs was sold in Wiesbaden as part of the Vok collection (R&B, Vok collection Selection 3, p. 97). That example had the same main border, while the minor borders were once again flower meanders but this time on a white ground. It differed in the shape of the mihrab as it belonged to the smaller subgroup in which the head-and-shoulder mihrab is replaced by a simple pyramid shape.

    The Kurdish weavers of Senne and its surrounding areas managed to produce the finest and most elaborate weavings among Persian kilims. Their refined city taste counterpoints wonderfully the nomad weavings of the southern Caucasus.

    Published: Rippon Boswell, 13 November 1993, Lot 142.

    Estimate: € 8000 - 14000

    4 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    3 000 €

    Lot: 9

    Northwest Persia, early 19th century
    162 x 117 cm (5’ 4” x 3’ 10”)
    Condition: very good according to age, two small repairs in the field, left bottom edge slightly damaged
    Warp: cotton, weft: wool

    Prayer kilims are rare in Persia; quite the opposite pertains in Turkey. But white-ground examples are even rarer. This exquisite example shows flower heads organised diagonally, thus emphasising the direction of the mihrab. In his article in HALI 70 about Kurdish carpet designs, Albert Levi showed a white-ground example and compared the flowerhead with a compartment rug shown on the cover of the magazine. These he traces back to the earlier garden carpets.

    In his article in HALI 115 (p. 107), Walter Kintsch states that Senneh kilim were made from the end of the 18th century on. He counts the flowerhead design as the oldest in the group. Only a handful of white-ground examples are known. The Ballard/Jenkins prayer kilim has, within the head and shoulder arch, the same diagonal arrangement of flowers. Another example was recently sold as part of the Vok collection (R&B Vok Selection 3, p. 151). This has the same motifs in field and spandrel, but they are slightly less successful.

    Our kilim has, as in the Jenkins example, a night blue spandrel. But where the Jenkins example shows the same design as the field we see a loose arrangement of flower stems, not dissimilar to the prayer kilim exhibited in Seattle (HALI 62, p. 100) as part of the Burns collection. Even closer related but on a white ground were the spandrels of a prayer kilim we had in our auction on 19 November 2016.

    Minor borders and outer border are the same as in the Ballard/Jenkins example, but the flower meander on red ground gives this piece an especially expressive frame. The colours are strong, and even the subtle changes in the diagonal pattern of the main field are well accentuated.

    Estimate: € 6000 - 10000
    3 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    3 000 €

    Lot: 10

    West Persia, 19th century
    196 x 131 cm (6’ 5” x 4’ 4”)
    Condition: very good, corroded light green, upper end slightly incomplete, lower kilim end slightly damaged
    Warp: cotton, weft: cotton, pile: wool

    The Arak area of west Persia benefited greatly from the carpet revival period of the second half of the 19th century.
    The best-quality workshops found new elegant expressions of fashionable patterns. In particular the Ferahan region began to produce high-quality carpets with deep indigo grounds and light green borders; these became highly associated with the British nobility and country house chic.
    This fine and well-preserved example has that light green in its border; it contains copper oxide and therefore oxidises and corrodes the wool over time, giving the border a slightly sculpted effect. The blue ground pattern is referred to as the mustafi in Farsi and is an interpretation of French scrolling floral designs popular at the time.
    However, as is always the case in the most characterful carpets from this region, the weaver has managed to include small anthropomorphic and zoomorphic elements that at first inspection look like small birds or stray blossoms.

    Estimate: € 6000 - 9000
    3 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    10 000 €

    Lot: 11

    West Anatolia, first half 18th century
    219 x 162 cm (7’ 2” x 5’ 4”)
    Condition: very good according to age, corroded brown, outer side border missing, pile low in places, some old repairs
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    This rare and unusual west Anatolian ‘Bergama’ variant, possibly from the first half of the 18th century, is of the arch, column and tulip panel type often associated with lightly later Central Anatolian ‘Ladik’ rugs, as well as the more conventional 18th century West Anatolian ‘coupled-column’ genre.
    The design is bilaterally symmetrical around the centre of the rug, and the confidently drawn abstracted columns, with their scattering of double hooked motifs in blue on an ivory ground, stand out in strong contrast to the red ground of the six niches that they frame. Although many design features, in particular the well-balanced rosette border and the ‘Ladik’ tulip panels might suggest a Central Anatolian origin, the colours point to Western Turkey.
    The rug was acquired at Rippon Boswell in 1998 (HALI 101, p. 133). It closely resembles an arguably slightly later rug (one of the very few Turkish rugs with an in-woven date) in the Joseph V. McMullan Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Joseph V. McMullan, Islamic Carpets, 1965, pl. 92).
    Together with the McMullan rug and an example sold by Lefevre in London in February 1980, it is arguably best of type in this design group, later examples of which can be stiff and unappealing. Its intense colours closely match those of the squarer McMullan rug, which is dated 1182 AH (1768 CE). The Lefevre rug, while equal in draughtsmanship, had a more subdued palette and was dated to the mid-19th century.
    A comparable fourth example (dated c. 1800) from the collection of Van Cortland Manor in Historic Hudson Valley was offered by Sotheby’s New York in December 1991, but that was cut and reduced through the centre, eliminating the central panel.

    Estimate: € 20000 - 30000
    10 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    30 000 €

    Lot: 12

    Egypt, 16th century
    212 x 139 cm (6’ 11” x 4’ 7”)
    Condition: very good according to age, both ends restored (1,5 - 2 cm), outer small border (1 cm) restored, small reweaves in the field
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    This beautiful 16th-century Cairene Ottoman court workshop rug, with a small circular centre medallion in yellow and pale green outlined in pale blue, was formerly in the Freiherr von Tucher Collection, Vienna (before World War I). It was exhibited in Munich in 1910, when it was illustrated by Friedrich Sarre/ F.R. Martin in „Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in München 1910“. It came to its present owner via a series of European collections and auctions including Jean Lefevre’s last Brompton Road sale in May 1984 (HALI 6/3, p. 328) and, most recently, Rippon Boswell in November 2001 (HALI 121, p. 133).

    The dating of Cairene Ottoman rugs is still uncertain, since it is unlikely that Cairo’s carpet workshops converted at a stroke from weaving Mamluk carpets to Ottoman floral designs when the Ottomans took the city in 1517. There is evidence that carpets with Mamluk designs were woven quite late in the 16th century, and it is quite possible that at least some, perhaps many, of the ‘Ottoman’ floral carpets were commissioned from the internationally known Cairo workshops before the Ottoman conquest.
    This medallion is central to three different design systems: one has linked palmettes at the cardinal directions, with rosettes in the diagonal positions. The second and third form extended 4:1 compositions, with quarter medallions in the corners of the field, and miniature versions of the medallion between the centre and the corners. The main border is particularly fine, with large yellow pomegranates framed by complex tendrils and separated by upright tulips. Finely drawn plants form the corner designs.
    The rug has been restored, and as a result it is not completely clear whether it is the same rug, or an identical pair woven with considerable precision from the same cartoon, to that sold at auction in New York in 1928 from the Estate of Judge Elbert H. Gary. This was later exhibited in Milan in 1999, when it was illustrated by Concaro and Levi in “Sovrani Tappeti, Il tappeto orientale dal XV al XIX”. Other Cairene Ottoman rugs of the period are known to have been made in pairs, and in at least one instance three identical versions are known.

    Estimate: € 60000 - 90000
    30 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    10 000 €

    Lot: 13

    East Anatolia, late 17th century
    203 x 147 cm (6’ 8” x 4’ 10”)
    Condition: very good according to age, heavily corroded brown, pile low in places, scattered small old repairs, selvedges partially rebound, original lower kilim end
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    This late 17th century Sarkisla rug was bought from Rippon Boswell in 2000 (HALI 112, p. 147). The use of offset knotting, typical of rugs from the east Anatolian town of Sarkisla, southwest of Sivas, allows for steep diagonals, with cleaner outlines than the stepped effect created by the more usual Turkish knot.
    Ralph Yohe observed a very similar pattern in a rug found in the town’s Great Mosque (HALI 2/1, 1979). Robert Chenciner also photographed some of the oldest examples kept there, thereby establishing the common attribution (Robert Chenciner, Dragons, Padlocks and Tamerlane’s Balls: A Material-Cultural Memoir of Textiles, Art, Metals and Myths, 2012, p. 48–57).
    Older examples, from the early 17th century, show an earlier stage of design development. While the red-ground pieces have generally been attributed to the 18th century, a wonderful rare yellow-ground example with the same pattern and border, attributed to the 17th, is published in “Heinrich Kirchheim, Orient Stars, 1993”, Pl. 214.
    A probable design precursor, an East Anatolian rug from the Ulu Mosque in Divrigi, is now in the Vakiflar Museum in Istanbul (Belkis Balpinar & Udo Hirsch, Vakiflar Museum Istanbul, Carpets 1988, pl. 63). Displaying the same tile pattern of polygons with totemic motifs, it is described as having a Caucasian influence and being difficult to date.

    Estimate: € 20000 - 30000

    10 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    15 000 €

    Lot: 14

    Central Anatolia, circa 1700
    215 x 148 cm (7’ 1” x 4’ 10”)
    Condition: very good according to age, pile low in places, selvedges rebound, both ends original, left outer border partially restored, some old repairs in the field
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    Once in the collection of New York collector and dealer Ronnie Newman, this rug represents a village interpretation of the small medallion Ushak style but within the milieu of Konya weaving style.

    This is reflected in the lappets at the end of the rug which are related to the panels seen on velvet Catma yastiks from the period, and the palette and weave confirm the broad Konya attribution. Many of the elements are familiar from village and workshop rugs from the 16th century onwards but there are no directly comparable pieces in the literature. The closest analogy is in “Heinrich Kirchheim, Orient Stars, 1993”, pl. 176, dated to 17th century or earlier.
    The layout of the field is an interesting indicator of age in that the field is farmed by a white minor border under which the field colour extends rather than limited, a feature that is associated with rugs from the 16th century.
    The joy of the village workshops production is shown in the subtle variations in the design and act as a signature of Konya area production: the hooks in white and yellow are unknown in formal workshop rugs as are the minor borders which are related to decoration used on tribal bedding bags used throughout the region, the field has curled motifs that are interpretations of the elaborate cloudbands and arabesques found on the earliest and highest quality small medallion Ushaks.
    It is also interesting to note that the rug has the deep aubergine associated with the region and early rugs and that the central medallion is on green ground but with an elaborate blue medallion, this colour being achieved by overdyeing the blue with the yellow.

    Estimate: € 30000 - 50000
    15 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    15 000 €

    Lot: 15

    Caucasus, late 18th century / early 19th century
    351 x 190 cm (11’ 6” x 6’ 3”)
    Condition: good, pile low in places, corroded brown, both kilim ends partially restored, selvedges mostly original, scattered old repairs
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    The development of the classical Caucasian ‘Dragon’ carpet design was said by Charles Grant Ellis to have begun in Shirvan or Karabagh in the late 17th century (Early Caucasian Rugs, 1976). Connoisseurs tend to associate such Dragon carpets with 17th- and 18th-century Caucasian production. However, there is also evidence for 19th-century production of large carpets with this pattern.

    The present rug belongs to a series of at least six published pile carpets with a version of the classical design for which both attribution and dating remain controversial, but which, to a greater or lesser degree, are close in their articulation of the design to the angularity of 19th-century Dragon sumakh covers.

    All are oddities. The first, exhibited by Kailash Gallery at TEFAF Maastricht in the 80’s, seemed to be a Kurdish version of a 17th-century Caucasian dragon carpet, with many of the structural features associated with more conventional Kurdish rugs (HALI 38, p. 26). The second, sold by Rippon Boswell in 1991 (HALI 58, p. 158) was anomalous in structure and colour, and the closest parallels seemed to be with West Anatolian weavings. A third, closer to the Dragon sumakh design, was with Bausback (HALI 61, p. 61), a fourth with Mirzakhanian (HALI 63, p. 25, assigned to Anatolia), and a fifth, very similar, was sold as East Anatolian by Christie’s (HALI 69, p. 146).
    Then there is this rug, which was acquired at Rippon Boswell in Wiesbaden in 1993 (HALI 70, p. 140). Of the six, it is the closest pile version of a Dragon sumakh and there is no real reason why it should be considered nearly a century earlier. A 19th-century dating seems just as likely as an 18th, and does not in any way affect its quality or interest.
    For an intriguing if speculative reinterpretation of the source of the still-enigmatic Dragon and related floral carpets see John T. Wertime and Richard E. Wright, ‘The Tabriz Hypothesis’, in Asian Art: The Second Hali Annual, 1995, p. 30–53.

    Estimate: € 30000 - 50000
    15 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    10 000 €

    Lot: 16

    Southwest Caucasus, 18th century
    204 x 123 cm (6’ 8” x 4’)
    Condition: good, pile low in places, foundation partially visible, scattered small old repairs and reweaves, selvedges partially original but slightly damaged
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    One of the most instantly recognisable of the rugs in this Austrian consignment is this 18th-century ‘S’-bordered red-ground southwest Caucasian (early ‘Kazak’) star-medallion and cartouche rug.
    It was formerly with Eberhart Herrmann (Seltene Orientteppiche VI, 1984, No. 20), then Heinrich Kirchheim (Orient Stars, 1993, p. 5), and then acquired by the present Austrian consignor at Rippon Boswell in 1999 (HALI 108, p. 125).
    If this carpet is truly ‘unique’, as suggested in the caption in Orient Stars (pl. 5), it is by virtue of its ground colour rather than its design. It is clearly related to a group of contemporaneous white-ground carpets (see HALI 87, 1996, p. 156), which share many design features, among them pl. 7 in Raoul Tschebull’s “Kazak: Carpets of the Caucasus, 1971”, which has two similar eight-pointed medallions above and below a large central octagon.
    A Kazak in the Anton Danker Collection (Meisterstücke orientalischer Knüpfkunst, 1966, pl. 42) features a central star medallion surrounded by small subsidiary motifs very similar to those of the present rug, as does a fragment of another very similar rug (Murray Eiland, Oriental rugs from Pacific Collections, 1990, pl. 172, HALI 59, p. 87).
    The field of the present rug is more sparsely decorated than in the comparison pieces, and the bold ‘S’ border is very similar to that of another Orient Stars piece, the ‘Flames’ carpet acquired in Konya, originally attributed to Anatolia, but now considered perhaps to be a rare example of early Caucasian village weaving (HALI 82, p. 111).

    Estimate: € 20000 - 30000

    10 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    10 000 €

    Lot: 17

    Southwest Anatolia, 17th century
    182 x 131 cm (6’ x 4’ 4”)
    Condition: good according to age, pile low in places, one small repair at upper center, selvedges partially slightly damaged, no other restorations
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    This elegant red-ground ‘coupled-column’ prayer rug (the coupled-column description was first used by May Beattie, in a 1968 article in the magazine Oriental Art), belongs to one of the many different genres of 17th and 18th century small-format rugs.

    Mainly west Anatolian, they are loosely and somewhat conveniently grouped under the ‘Transylvanian’ label, because so many of them have been preserved in the German Saxon churches of the region. The layout of these rugs has an architectural character, with permutations including two single columns, or two paired (coupled) columns or, most frequently as here, single columns flanking double columns, creating a tripartite field that is surmounted by a triple-gable.
    Above the triple gable the ivory spandrels contain sickle-leaf forms that are almost zoomorphic in their stylisation, as well as many other familiar elements of the Ottoman floral repertoire. The field is surrounded by a particularly well-conceived border of hexagonal cartouches containing radiating carnation sprays.
    The rug is in very good condition with original selvedges intact. On the basis of structural and chromatic correspondences with certain later (19th-century) Dazg?r? rugs from the Menderes valley region, it has been suggested that it was woven further south than the more usual attribution of such rugs to Ushak region workshops in Gördes or Kula.
    The Transylvanian collections catalogued by Ionescu (Stefano Ionescu, Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, 2005) contain three closely similar pieces, cat. No 204–206, all in the Black Church, Bra?ov. The present rug was acquired at Rippon Boswell in Wiesbaden in 1997.

    Estimate: € 20000 - 30000
    10 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    3 000 €

    Lot: 18

    West Anatolia, late 18th / early 19th century
    145 x 130 cm (4’ 9” x 4’ 3”)
    Condition: very good, original kilim ends, some small old repairs, selvedges partially rebound
    Warp: two colored wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    Until quite recently, rugs such as this late 18th- to early 19th century west Anatolian medallion rug, with their distinctive rosette borders and flowerheads surrounding the nested quatrefoil central medallion, were conventionally attributed to the Bergama region.

    However, according to the American collector Brian Morehouse (HALI 121, 2002, p. 101-–07), weavings of this type should be classified as products of the Menderes River valley in southwestern Anatolia which includes the towns of Kiraz, Çal, Denizli and Dazgiri.
    The design derives from one of the principal 17th/18th century ‘Transylvanian’ rug designs which, in the 19th century and perhaps in the 18th, was used to decorate rugs of different formats, such as a runner illustrated by Werner Brüggemann and Harald Böhmer in “Rugs of the Peasants and Nomads of Anatolia, 1991” (pl. 65).
    The present lot was advertised by Ronnie Newman in HALI 48 (1989, p. 9) and sold at Rippon Boswell in 1994 (HALI 79, p. 143). It is quite similar to two dated rugs. The first of these, sold at Sotheby’s in London in April 1997 (HALI 93, p. 125), was dated 1188 (1774 CE), and the second, which appeared at Rippon Boswell in November 2006, was dated 1263 (1847 CE).

    Estimate: € 6000 - 10000

    3 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    10 000 €

    Lot: 19

    West Anatolia, late 17th century
    172 x 127 cm (5’ 8” x 4’ 2”)
    Condition: good according to age, pile low in places, corroded brown, some small repairs and reweaves, both kilim ends oridinal, selvedges mostly original
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    This splendid little late 17th-century ‘Transylvanian’ prayer rug, with a serrated leaf and carnation spandrel design above the stepped, undecorated beige prayer niche, is in immaculate condition.

    An independent border system separates the red field from the wide and richly decorated pale yellow primary border, in which a sickle leaf, hyacinth and tulip floral spray meander holds alternating eight-lobed rosettes and pine-cone palmettes.
    The rug also has a very interesting back showing prominent diagonal ‘lazy lines’, one of the best demonstrations possible of this technical weaving refinement (see HALI 129, p. 15), which can also be seen from the front at the lower end of the open field.
    The rug was bought at Rippon Boswell in May 2003 (HALI 130, p. 123), when it was stated in the catalogue to be from Melas, though some experts would assign it further north to Gördes. In its combination of design features, including minor border patterns, it most closely resembles three of the prayer rugs illustrated by Stefano Ionescu in “Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, 2005”, No. 171, in the Superior Consistory, Sibiu; No. 172, in the Black Church, Brasov; and No. 176, also in Brasov, all of which Ionescu dates to the second half of the 17th century.

    Estimate: € 20000 - 30000

    10 000 €
  • Startpreis / Startingbid

    10 000 €

    Lot: 20

    West Anatolia, 17th century
    158 x 120 cm (5’ 2” x 3’ 11”)
    Condition: very good according to age, corroded brown, both ends slightly incomplete, original selvedge but slightly damaged at right side, minor small repairs, very good pile
    Warp: wool, weft: wool, pile: wool

    Standing in a direct line of descent from the ‘small-medallion’ or ‘double-niche’ Ushak rugs of the 16th century, these double-niche ‘Transylvanian’ rugs were woven during the 17th century in western Anatolia for the European export market. They are not especially rare, but few if any can match this superb cartouche-bordered rug, in near perfect condition, which was bought at Rippon Boswell in 1997 (HALI 94, p. 132), having previously been offered at Sotheby’s in New York in 1992.
    Only double-niche rugs of this design – symmetrical on the vertical axis and with the characteristic cartouche border and four rosettes at the corners of the field – were (together with the related prayer rugs) granted the ‘Transylvanian’ label in Emil Schmutzler’s 1933 classification of the rugs that survived in the churches of the region (Emil Schmutzler, Altorientalische Teppiche in Siebenbürgen, 1933).
    More recently, Stefano Ionescu (Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, 2005), has divided the rugs found in Romanian churches and museums into four different design groups, the numerically largest being those with variations on the double-niche design.
    Conventional wisdom has it that rugs such as this ‘second phase’ example, with the cartouche-only border, post-date those with the more elaborate eight-pointed star and cartouche variant. Irrespective of whether it was made in the first or second half of the century, one rarely sees a Transylvanian rug in such pristine condition at auction.
    The texture of the pile and its fresh bright colours remain almost as they were when it came off the loom. Even the edges are intact. Such a rug, which has been kept away from light and wear for more than three centuries, is a rare document showing us how it looked when it was woven.

    Estimate: € 20000 - 30000

    10 000 €
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