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VOK COLLECTION, Selection II

Saturday 12. March 2016 at 3 p.m.

88 Lots
  • Konya Kilim

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    • Lot119
    • OriginCentral Anatolia
    • Dimensions335 x 145 cm
    • Age Ca 1800 or earlier
    • Estimate EUR20,000 - 24,000
    VOK Collection, Anatolia 58

    This extremely rare kilim composed of two panels is captivating in appearance. It exudes an air of mystery and magic that makes it a true "cult kilim". The composition of just a few colours and designs focuses on essentials, omitting anything superfluous. We do not know the sacred message contained in this kilim, but we do sense its numinous aura. – The diverse shades of red in the right-hand panel are striking. It can be assumed that the different hues were employed deliberately to create a contrast to the other side. Apart from a few protective symbols in the brocading technique, the inner section has been left undecorated, allowing the blood-red ground colour to come into its own. The sides of the field are decorated with sharp points, creating a smooth transition to the white-ground border containing powerful, reciprocal spiral hooks. Only one other kilim with a border like this has been published to date (see below). – It is no surprise that this vibrant kilim is one of the collector Vok’s favourite items. – The provenance assumed by Hirsch is the mountainous region between Ermenek and Konya. The kilim probably once belonged to the inventory of a mosque and has survived for this reason. In Anatolia, it was traditional to donate a deceased person’s coffin cover to the local mosque after the funeral. – Signs of age and wear, original sides, damaged ends, reduced at the top. Mounted onto canvas.

    Literature:
    PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, 100 Kelims. Meisterwerke aus Anatolien. Munich 1991, no. 56

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 58

  • Sarkoy Kilim

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    • Lot120
    • OriginSouth East Europe, Bulgaria
    • Dimensions385 x 338 cm
    • Age1st half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR10,000 - 13,000
    VOK Collection, Anatolia 17

    This large kilim was made in the mountainous region of north western Bulgaria, probably in the area between Sarkoy and Ciprovzi on the Serbian border. It dates from a period when modern-day Bulgaria was still known as Rumelia and belonged to the Ottoman Empire (until 1879). The indigenous population produced such kilims both for home use and for sale. Several large-format kilims have survived in the regions monasteries, and it is conceivable that they were woven there, too. Usually attributed to Thrace in rug publications, their specific repertoire of designs and motifs, their distinctive palette and their use of tapestry weaving technique, with eccentric wefts for rounded motifs, make these kilims a group in their own right. The characteristic tree-of-life designs are encountered in many variations. In this item, a huge, discrete cherry-red niche outlined in green is placed on a midnight blue ground, which is studded with small red double arrow motifs. In its interior, a mirror-image tree-of-life opens its branches bearing diamond-shaped stylised fruit. Representations of animals have been incorporated into the design everywhere, and three human figures with outstretched arms are standing at the lower end of the field. The border is filled with miniature versions of the niche form, each containing a small tree with a bird perched on top. Minimal signs of wear and very good overall condition because the kilim was always used as wall hanging.

    Literature:
    BÖHNLEIN, KLAUS, The Mystery of Sharköy - Background to a Kilim Attribution. In: PINNER, ROBERT & DENNY, WALTER B. (eds.), Oriental Carpet & Textile Studies I. London 1985, p. 217, ill. 4a *** BLACK, DAVID & LOVELESS, CLIVE, The Undiscovered Kilim. London 1977, pl. 2 *** HALI vol 4, no. 3. London 1982, p. 85 (Sorgato & Michail advertisement) *** STANKOV, DIMITRAR, Heritage Artistique Bulgare: Carpettes et Tapis. Academie Bulgare des Siences, Institut des Arts. Sofia 1975, no. 304 (owned by Rila Monastery, 385 x 400 cm) *** SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), no. 1

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 17

  • Qashqa’i Flatweave

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    • Lot121
    • OriginSouth West Persia, Fars province
    • Dimensions545 x 117 cm
    • Ageca. 1900
    • Estimate EUR1,800 - 2,300
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 41

    Woven from firmly twisted wool yarn, this very long and narrow flatweave consists of two panels joined at the centre. It uses the same warp-faced plainweave technique as Persian jajims or Turkmen tent bands which produces a closely woven texture without slits. This made such textiles ideal for everyday use by nomads. The abstract design of narrow vertical stripes in white and black-brown seen here is created by the warp; the wefts are invisible. The sides were edged in cross stitch using red and green threads, then both ends were folded back and sewn up. – Sadighi adopts the Persian term "plas" for these flatweaves and provides the following information on their use: "The longer Plas were fixed to the bottom of the tent, as protection against the wind". Woven exclusively for home use, only a very few of these textiles appear to have survived. An almost identical, albeit shorter example was published in the recent book by Sadighi and Hawkes, while a further piece with red lateral stripes was illustrated by Tanavoli. – An intriguing comparison can be drawn with Bridget Riley's "Horizontal Vibration", one of her early paintings with a composition of black and white horizontal stripes that vary slightly in width and continue into infinity. Despite the fact that an immediate influence cannot be assumed, the British representative of "Op Art" arrives at the same visual result as the anonymous Qashqa’i weaver. – Good condition, several stains, patinated with age.

    Literature:
    SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), no. 171 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 213 *** HALI 79, London 1979, p. 19 (Adv. M. Naziri)

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 41

  • Shahsavan Kilim

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    • Lot122
    • OriginSouth East Caucasus, Moghan region
    • Dimensions362 x 132 cm
    • Agemid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR3,500 - 4,500
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 39

    This long striped Moghan Shahsavan kilim is composed of two panels. Wide polychrome blocks of colour, each consisting of nine narrow monochrome stripes, regularly alternate with white-ground horizontal stripes divided by a brocaded band along their centres. There are no additional decorative devices. The captivating visual effect is entirely due to the interaction of form and colour. Archaic and simple, the design derives its fascinating rhythm from the changes between coloured and white sections. The fact that the stripes do not run in a straight line, but undulate slightly, results in a lively expression. – Striped borderless kilims have probably been woven by many groups for millennia. This particularly beautiful example – striking on account of its fine weave and colour quality – is probably a Moghan Shahsavan piece. At any rate, this is the opinion offered by Tanavoli who first published the kilim and chose it for the cover of his monograph on the Shahsavan. – Slight signs of age and wear, several stains.

    Literature:
    NAGEL, auction of 10th May 1996, # 76 *** SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), no. 38

    Published:
    TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Shahsavan. Flachgewebe aus dem Iran. Herford 1985, no. 24 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 39

  • Shahsavan Kilim

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    • Lot123
    • OriginNorth West Persia, Azerbaijan
    • Dimensions359 x 166 cm
    • Age2nd half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR4,000 - 5,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 37

    Kilims presenting horizontal stripe designs were woven by a number of Iranian tribal groups for everyday use. Borders are usually absent in striped kilims, and their infinite designs continue beyond the lateral sides. This Shahsavan kilim from the Hashtrud region derives its great visual expression and almost musical effect from the abstract geometric composition in tastefully coordinated colours, without any additional motifs, and from the alternating rhythm created by the varying widths of the stripes. The design is enlivened by the fact that the stripes are not running exactly straight, but undulate slightly; it appears to be in motion. The deep aubergine hue encountered in this item – a colour rarely seen in striped kilims and one considered an indication of an early date – is a striking feature. Both ends retain the original finishes of densely woven brown bands. – Slight signs of age, small stains. Good overall condition, original finishes all around.

    Literature:
    AMPE, PATRICK & RIE, Textile Art. A personal choice (Kailash Gallery). Antwerp 1994, no. 14 *** PLÖTZE, KARL-MICHAEL, Welt der Kelims. Barsinghausen 2001, no. 7

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 37

  • Sivrihisar Kilim

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    • Lot124
    • Originwestern Central Anatolia
    • Dimensions372 x 160 cm
    • Age1st half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR4,500 - 5,500
    VOK Collection, Anatolia 31

    Woven in a horizontal stripe design without lateral borders, but with elem finishes, this large two-panel kilim is an extremely rare example; comparative pieces are not encountered in literature. Hirsch assumes a provenance in the Sivrihisar region, but also believes it possible that the kilim was woven by Shahsavan in north eastern Anatolia. The specific colour scheme, with combinations of maize yellow, aubergine and dark green, is a typical feature of truly old Anatolian kilims. The abstract geometric design of the field – triangles filling the horizontal stripes in an offset and interlocked arrangement – is simple in layout but complex in effect as it does not adhere to a regular sequence. The contrasting colours produce continuous reciprocal effects between the motifs and the ground colours of the stripes, which differ in width. The design band of offset diamonds and halved diamonds seen in the white-ground elems is particularly beautiful. Persian in appearance, this elem design is not encountered elsewhere in Anatolia. – Several missing areas, heavy corrosion in the brown sections, damaged sides. Mounted onto canvas.

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 31

  • Shahsavan Shadda

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    • Lot125
    • OriginNorth West Persia or South East Caucasus
    • Dimensions190 x 180 cm
    • Age1st half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR15,000 - 18,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 26

    Decorative covers of this kind, with narrative designs of animals and plants, were made by North West Persian and South East Caucasian Shahsavan nomads for the bride’s dowry. The important occasion explains the requirement for a high quality. Red and blue warps as well as red, blue and black-brown wefts were used in sections. This method results in different ground colours, creating special conditions for the composition. The designs are finely woven in the sumakh technique. The high proportion of white cotton used primarily in the contour lines creates sharp contrasts with the respective ground colours that make all the designs stand out boldly. The composition was strictly determined by tribal tradition: two very wide borders surround a small, usually red and undecorated field; the borders are divided into rectangular panels of varying sizes and design which are clearly defined by narrow white-ground borders or stripes. This shadda is considered one of the most beautiful examples of its kind. Herrmann, who published the piece in 1985, aptly writes: "Von bestechender Transparenz sind die Muster dieser Schasawan-Decke (The designs of this Shahsavan cover show a capativating transparency)." A comparison with the other examples listed below reveals that the designs are larger and less closely spaced in this item. The individual motifs stand out very clearly and are set off to good effect. The rare bracket shapes also occur in the example sold by Christie's in London in 1986. – Minimal signs of age and wear, very good overall condition.

    Literature:
    SABAHI, TAHER, Kelim - Kaukasische Flachgewebe. Augsburg 1992, pp. 134 and 135 *** BAUSBACK, PETER, Kelim. Antike orientalische Flachgewebe. Mannheim & Munich 1983, pl. 109 *** CHRISTIE'S London, auction of 16th October 1986, # 6

    Published:
    HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche VII. Munich 1985, no. 41 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 26

  • Azeri Shadda

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    • Lot126
    • OriginSouth East Caucasus, Baku region
    • Dimensions185 x 143 cm
    • Ageca. 1900
    • Estimate EUR7,000 - 8,500
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 25

    Formerly described as animal vernehs or shaddas (the Persian word for "cover"), Caucasian flatweaves of this kind are now usually known as zilis on account of their weaving technique. The designs are finely woven in the sumakh technique on a foundation alternating between inky blue and brick red in ground colour. The systematic colour change seen in the compartments is a common feature shared by zilis of this kind. Framed by narrow white borders, the compartments and panels enclose large peacock-like birds, smaller birds and flowering trees with mighty crowns. All the motifs of this seemingly mythological design are drawn in the typically Caucasian, geometric style. – The location where those decorative covers were made, and by which group, were matters of controversy for a long time. In the past, their provenance was assumed to be either the Shirvan region or the surroundings of Akstafa further to the west, and later the covers were considered Moghan Shahsavan weavings. Now they are consistently attributed to the Tat tribe inhabiting the Absheron Peninsula. Kerimov describes the item in the Baku Museum of Applied Art (no. 1134) as follows: "Sileh-Wirkteppich, aus dem Dorf Chisy, Distrikt Apscheron, Azerbaidshan (Sileh weaving from Chisy village, Absheron district, Azerbaijan)“. Wertime and Wright arrive at the same result and call their example a "Baku Zili". While older shaddas always use alternating blue and red warps, this example – probably woven ca. 1900 – shows brown warps throughout. It is probably a workshop weaving. This is also suggested by the inscription seen at the upper end of the field, "P. Sch. 500 R. G. Kani" – a price in roubles and the weaver’s signature. – Very good condition.

    Literature:
    THOMPSON, JON, Carpet Magic. London 1983, p. 98 *** KERIMOW, LJATIF, et al., Kaukasische Teppiche. Leningrad 1984, no. 2 *** WRIGHT, RICHARD & WERTIME, JOHN, Caucasian Carpets & Covers. The Weaving Culture. London 1995, pl. VII *** NEUGEBAUER, RUDOLF & ORENDI, JULIUS, Orientalische Teppichkunde. Leipzig 1909, pl. 73 *** LANDREAU, ANTHONY N. & PICKERING, W.R., From the Bosporus to Samarkand. Flat-Woven Rugs. (Exhibition at the Textile Museum) Washington, D.C. 1969, ill. p. 95

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 25

  • Sileh Flatweave

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    • Lot127
    • OriginSouth Caucasus, Karabagh
    • Dimensions287 x 210 cm
    • Ageca. 1800
    • Estimate EUR10,000 - 12,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 27

    Finely woven in the sumakh technique on a white foundation, this large decorative cover was made in a single piece, unlike most of the surviving examples of this type which are composed of two panels. Weavings presenting mythological dragon designs are traditionally known as "silehs". They appear to have been made in various areas of the eastern and southern Caucasus; exact distinguishing criteria have not been established to date. Judging by its colours and several design details, this early and particularly beautiful example may have been woven in the Karabagh region. – Sixteen huge dragon figures stylised to S-forms, arranged in rows of four, have been positioned on the red ground of the field so they neither touch the sides nor come into contact with one another. This creates a floating appearance, despite the heavy impact of the design. The primary designs are embellished with colourful chevrons, flowering plants and a multitude of tiny crosses and dice. The spaces not covered by the main design are decorated with hundreds of small motifs. The weaver has used them to exhibit the full wealth of her design repertoire. A comparable sileh dated "1222", which translates into 1807, is in the Burns Collection, Seattle. – According to the authors’ research, the sileh published by Wertime & Wright is a weaving by the Azeri group and was known as a "verni" in the Caucasus. – Very good condition, only minimal signs of age.

    Literature:
    GROTE-HASENBALG, WERNER, Der Orientteppich. Seine Geschichte und seine Kultur. Berlin 1922. Vol II, pl. 37 *** SCHÜRMANN, ULRICH, Caucasian Rugs. Ramsdell 1974, no. 121 *** BURNS, JAMES D., The Caucasus. Traditions in Weaving. Seattle 1987, no. 61 *** WRIGHT, RICHARD & WERTIME, JOHN, Caucasian Carpets & Covers. The Weaving Culture. London 1995, pl. XVIII

    Published:
    HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche X. Munich 1988, no. 44 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 27

  • Caucasian Shadda

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    • Lot128
    • OriginSouth Caucasus, Azerbaijan
    • Dimensions252 x 160 cm
    • Age1st half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR20,000 - 25,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 24

    Composed of two panels, this cover constitutes a highly expressive narrative textile picture that offers deep insights into the imagination of oriental nomads. There is no doubt that this magnificent example was produced for a wedding. It was hung in the bridal tent as a curtain (pardeh) to create a separate private area for the newly married couple. The design is executed with meticulous attention to detail in what is almost a "Realist" style. Six animal caravans, alternately comprising seven camels carrying bridal litters or seven mounted horsemen, cross the field from right to left. Each caravan is led by a guide standing before the first animal and holding its reins. The horsemen are turned deliberately to face the viewer; the birds perched on their left hands identify them as falconers. Since falconry was a privilege enjoyed by the aristocracy, it can be assumed that the shadda was a precious gift for a high-ranking dignitary. The plain brown ground is filled with a plethora of small, abstract geometric animals, loosely arranged in vertical rows and interspersed with small blossoms as well as two stepped polygons at the bottom right. A stripe from a typical Shahsavan border inserted next to these may offer a clue to the item’s provenance. – The foundations of most shaddas consist of red and blue sections. Almost all of them exclusively depict camel caravans, even in the wide borders (see references). The mounted horsemen positioned so prominently in this item are not encountered elsewhere, except for the presence of scattered horsemen in the St. Petersburg cover, which is unique in a number of ways. It has not been possible to establish whether the Vok shadda was made in the Karabagh area, as assumed by Tanavoli, or whether it comes from a different region of the southern Caucasus. Similarly, it has not been possible to attribute it to a particular tribe up to now. However, we do know that this is one of the most beautiful surviving examples. – Minor rewoven areas in the ground, very good overall condition.

    Literature:
    GEWERBEMUSEUM BASEL (publ.), Alte Teppiche aus dem Orient. Basel 1980, pp. 61 and 62 *** SPUHLER, FRIEDRICH, KÖNIG, HANS & VOLKMANN, MARTIN, Alte Orientteppiche. Meisterstücke aus deutschen Privatsammlungen. Munich 1978, no. 61 *** LANDREAU, ANTHONY N. & PICKERING, W.R., From the Bosporus to Samarkand. Flat-Woven Rugs. Washington, D.C. 1969, no. 98 *** THOMPSON, JON, Carpet Magic. London 1983, pl. p. 84 *** HALI 176, London 2013, p. 38 (The St. Petersburg Shadda)

    Published:
    HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche VIII. Munich 1986, no. 55 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 24 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 244