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Major Autumn Auction

Saturday 3rd December 2016 at 3 p.m.

241 Lots
  • The Wollheim Collection

    Over forty years ago, Senta and Dietrich Wollheim assembled a highly individual collection of antique oriental rugs. Its beginnings date back to Dietrich Wollheim‘s fascination with ancient civilisations in Mesopotamia; the couple‘s initial purchases at auction during the early Sixties tended to be incidental acquisitions. It was not long, however, before they were captivated by the wealth of forms and colours seen in these sophisticated works of textile art. They found support in their immediate environment: art historians in their circle and art dealers well-known at the time, such as Ulrich Schürmann who became a close friend, provided basic knowledge and explained the iconography as well as the context of designs and motifs, pointing them in the right direction. It was due to Senta‘s determination that their increasing expertise led them to study the subject on an almost professional level. Then again, the highly diverse objects in the collection illustrate the always idiosyncratic and spontaneous nature of their approach. Their items had to meet their very own ideas of beauty and collectibility; a special aura was a decisive factor in purchasing decisions. On the other hand, they did not consider the condition of a piece to be a major criterion. In that respect the two collectors were far ahead of their time. Ancient treasures such as the small-format Mamluk rug, the Anatolian dragon rug or the early Aksaray village rug presenting two huge octagons inspired the Wollheims not only due to their specific aesthetics, but also because they recognised their historic significance. They made their last purchases in 1976. Since then, the collection as a whole has remained in family ownership, with the exception of a very few sales – such as the Star Ushak seen in the “Milestones” publication by Moshe Tabibnia, which was auctioned by Rippon Boswell in 2001. It is being returned to the market only now, after the death of both collectors.

    Dietrich Wollheim Dietrich Wollheim (1924 – 2014) grew up on Lake Constance. Both his parents as well as many of his forebears were physicians. Towards the end of World War II he was interned in the Balkans as a young signal officer, a period which made a great impression on him and left him with many memories. On returning to Germany he studied medicine in Freiburg, Zurich and Munich, initiating an institutional career. Circumstances saw him then taking over his parents’ surgery after all in the late Fifties, and with hindsight he was better suited to this kind of work. Committed and always ready for action as befits a country doctor, he still found opportunities for devoting himself to his second passion, archaeology. Through excavations and research he became an expert for finds from the Roman period, in particular utilitarian pottery. In his eyes, collecting was the natural result of a romantic search for the magic of bygone eras and civilisations. He did not apply restrictions as a matter of principle. Together with fossils, rare stones, prehistoric artefacts, early coins, Arabic manuscripts and Asian art, he also began to acquire antique carpets.

    Senta Wollheim Senta Wollheim (1929 – 2015), also from a family of physicians, spent her childhood in Lusatia but was obliged to flee while still an adolescent. Having lost everything, she ended up in Hamburg, soon working as a journalist and photographer. Several years later she took a drama course in Munich. This is where she met her future husband Dietrich, became a mother, and somewhat reluctantly moved from the city to the countryside. In the late Sixties, when her children and her work in the surgery became less demanding, her cultural preferences came to the fore again. With remarkable assiduousness and restless energy, she compiled an impressive collection within a short space of time; in addition to a fascination for the objects themselves she was probably motivated by a desire for a more cosmopolitan pursuit. Next to Oriental carpets she also focused on Chinese porcelain, in particular objects from the early Ming period. Her specialist library grew all the time. She constantly travelled, visiting museums, conferences and auctions all over Europe. She expanded her knowledge through lively exchanges with renowned specialists and became a well-known player on the scene whose opinion was valued. Purchases were made from the top names as well as lesser-known dealers or directly from collectors. Thus it is not surprising that the collection includes a large number of previously unpublished objects. For somewhat elusive reasons, Senta’s collecting activities ended abruptly after ten years. From that point onwards she lived in seclusion, her art treasures only saw the light of day from time to time, and she focused largely on music.

    Note: Lotnumbers 1 through 57 = The Wollheim Collection

    • Lot1
    • OriginCentral Asia, West Turkestan
    • Dimensions44 x 103 cm
    • AgeFirst half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR1,000.00
    Only a very few torbas of this rare group have been published to date. One example is illustrated in Loges, a second one was sold by us and a fragment published by Elmby. – In the brown-red field, large flowering trees are arranged into three horizontal rows, with only a section of a fourth row visible at the top. Their large palmette-shaped crowns with sprawling feathered outlines constitute the most striking feature. Each palmette is topped by a delicate steel-blue stem bearing three white blossoms. According to recent insights, the torba may be attributed to the pseudo-Chodor group. It is very finely woven in an asymmetric knot open to the right and slightly depressed. – Signs of age and wear, moth damage, the back has not survived. Several areas of slight red discolouration in the white sections were probably caused by external factors.

    Literature:
    LOGES, WERNER, Turkmenische Teppiche. Munich 1978, no. 55 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 55, 18th November 2000, # 28 *** ELMBY, HANS, Antikke Turkmenske Tæpper III. Copenhagen 1996, no. 31

    • Lot2
    • OriginCentral Asia, West Turkestan
    • Dimensions86 x 120 cm
    • AgeMid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR1,300.00
    This large Saryk chuval displays twelve primary güls and chemche secondary designs in a dark red field. The main border contains diagonal crosses and hooked diamonds; the wide elem is hermetically covered in a dense design of small trees. The white sections seen in the quarters of the primary güls are woven in white cotton, silk is not present. – Cut and newly overcast all around, the kilim back is missing. Several major repairs, pile in good condition.
    • Lot3
    • OriginSouth Caucasus, Karabagh
    • Dimensions210 x 143 cm
    • AgeMid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR2,000.00
    This antique red-ground Chondzoresk is entirely filled by two immaculately drawn medallions in dark brown and light green, each enclosing the design of a central rectangle and eight snake-like shapes in white and red that is typical of the provenance. Described as cloudbands in the past, the designs are now considered stylised representations of dragons. Serrated diamonds, small stars, four-legged animals and birds are arranged around the two primary motifs, and in addition a human figure has been incorporated. The border is decorated with large boxes bearing double hooks – a motif often seen in Akstafa rugs. The mellow, harmonious palette and massive impact of the design allow us to date this "Cloudband Kazak" to the pre-commercial period. – Slight signs of age and wear, new overcasting along the sides; the corroded brown sections have been reknotted.

    Literature:
    EDER, DORIS, Orientteppiche. Kaukasische Teppiche. Munich 1979, no. 83 *** SEVI, DANIELE, Kazak. Selezione di tappeti dell'ottocento. Milan 1982, pl. p. 27

    • Lot4
    • OriginNorth East Caucasus
    • Dimensions148 x 105 cm
    • AgeSecond half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR3,600.00
    The most striking feature of this Daghestan prayer rug is the two white arms with outstretched four-fingered hands extending upwards to the left and right of the bridge-shaped arch at the upper end of the field. The "Hand of Fatima" is an ancient Oriental protective symbol. The length of the arms decorated with small blue and red crosses is unusual in this item. A further prayer rug showing hands has been published by Bausback. The midnight blue field is covered in a lattice design of yellow serrated leaves enclosing hexagons of diverse interior design. In the border, abstract birds combine into a vine that is typical of the provenance. – Slight signs of age and wear, various reknotted sections, repaired corners.

    Literature:
    BAUSBACK, PETER, Alte und antike orientalische Knüpfkunst. Mannheim 1979, pl. p. 39

    • Lot5
    • OriginCentral Anatolia
    • Dimensions134 x 115 cm
    • AgeMid 18th century
    • Estimate EUR2,500.00
    In the sand-coloured field, three small vases have been placed between four slim red pillars with pedestals at both ends. The wide, likewise sand-coloured border is decorated with large, alternately blue- ground or red-ground cartouches each containing a flowering twig. The design echoes the tradition of Ladik double niche column rugs, albeit in a highly simplified form – a rural version, as it were. An example of identical field design published by Ionescu is in the National Museum of Transylvanian History in Cluj-Napoca (inv. no. F. 6720). A Ladik published by Bausback provides an example of the type which served as the model. – Signs of age and wear, uniformly low pile, various repairs, repiled outer border all around. Backed with fabric.

    Literature:
    IONESCU, STEFANO (ed.), Die osmanischen Teppiche in Siebenbürgen. Rome 2006, p. 196, cat. 257 *** BAUSBACK, PETER, Anatolische Knüpfteppiche aus vier Jahrhunderten. Mannheim 1978, pl. p. 91

    • Lot6
    • OriginNorth East Caucasus
    • Dimensions296 x 110 cm
    • AgeMid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR3,000.00
    In the sand-coloured field, a light blue hexagonal lattice surrounds geometric, stylised palmettes in diverse colours. The white-ground main border contains star-shaped blossoms attached to diagonal angled stems ending in buds which stand out on account of their perfect drawing and spacious arrangement. Judging by its structure, pile wool and palette, this rare rug was woven in Daghestan. It was purchased from Ulrich Schürmann during the Sixties. – Signs of age and wear, repiled sections along the edges.
    • Lot7
    • OriginNorth West Persia, Azerbaijan
    • Dimensions286 x 133 cm
    • AgeSecond half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR650.00
    Five large rosettes with serrated outlines are aligned on the central axis of a grey-blue field very densely filled with floral and geometric designs and animals. The narrow main border contains a diagonal stripe design while both secondary borders show an unusual design of arrows and diagonal crosses. Of nomadic appearance, this rug is probably a Shahsavan weaving. – Cut and newly overcast sides; both end finishes have been rewoven and a fringe attached. Thin low spots in the pile, various repaired sections.
    • Lot8
    • OriginSouth Caucasus
    • Dimensions263 x 116 cm
    • AgeDated 1303 AH = 1886 AD
    • Estimate EUR1,500.00
    In the black-brown field, short stems arranged in parallel rows combine into a dense repeat in shades of green, red and pink. Each stem bears a large blossom. The designs stand out three-dimensionally due to the high degree of corrosion in the field. The blue-ground border contains a vine composed of small red motifs. A date, "1303" is seen at the upper end in the outer guard stripe. – The upper and lower finishes retain the original warp ends tied off into nets; new overcasting along the sides, four major repairs, otherwise in good condition.
    • Lot9
    • OriginEast Caucasus
    • Dimensions191 x 118 cm
    • AgeEarly 20th century
    • Estimate EUR750.00
    Minor repairs, all the corners have been restored, otherwise in good condition.

    Literature:
    ESKENAZI, JOHN J., L'Arte del Tappeto Orientale. Milan 1983, no. 127 *** EDER, DORIS, Orientteppiche. Kaukasische Teppiche. Munich 1979, no. 269

    • Lot10
    • OriginSouth Caucasus, Azerbaijan
    • Dimensions501 x 107 cm
    • AgeSecond half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR1,500.00
    In the midnight blue field, large flowering trees are enclosed within a diamond lattice design. The narrow red main border contains a geometric, stylised floral vine; the two blue secondary borders each show a vine bearing small slanting buds. – Cut horizontally and rejoined in the lower section, thus reduced in length.