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VOK COLLECTION, Selection II

Saturday 12. March 2016 at 3 p.m.

88 Lots
  • Qashqa’i Jajim

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    • Lot129
    • OriginSouth West Persia, Fars
    • Dimensions269 x 144 cm
    • Agelate 19th century
    • Estimate EUR2,500 - 3,300
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 75

    Kilims woven in this kind of vertical stripe design are known as “jajims” among Qashqa’i nomads and employed as bedspreads to cover their sleeping areas. Fars jajims always consist of two panels joined at the centre. The polychrome warps are braided into ornamental plaits at both ends. Jajims are double-sided weaves, thus their appearance is identical on the front and back. The weaving structure is more complex that it would initially appear. In addition to the predominant warp-faced plainweave, other weaving techniques have been employed. The use of a special weaving technique, which allows the various weft colours to show through, produces blurred design bands of interlocked stepped diamonds in the narrow lateral stripes. – This jajim displays impressively vibrant colours. The undecorated centre woven in deep blues and greens offers a vivid contrast to the diverse colours of the nine narrow stripes flanking it on the left and right. Vok comments: "The deep blue green with its many shades makes the colours at its sides shine out. It lies between the coloured borders like a deep canyon." – Good condition.

    Literature:
    TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 215 *** SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), nos. 189 f.

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 75

  • Shahsavan Jajim

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    • Lot130
    • OriginSouth East Caucasus, Moghan region
    • Dimensions212 x 187 cm
    • Agelate 19th century
    • Estimate EUR3,500 - 4,500
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 73

    Known as "jajim", striped covers of this kind were produced for home use by the Shahsavan tribes of the South East Caucasus and North West Persia. They were woven in warp-faced plainweave in long narrow panels which were later stitched together. In addition to examples showing plain and undecorated stripes, there are covers with elaborate ornamentation such as this colourful Moghan Shahsavan piece composed of nine relatively wide panels. The decorated stripes alternately contain white designs on a blue-black ground or golden yellow designs on a red-brown ground, all aligned vertically. The design repertoire includes dragons stylised to S-forms, diamonds, small dice with five pips, diagonal crosses and unusual lattice shapes. Plain blue and pink stripes are interspersed between them. Narrow guard stripes presenting reciprocal “running dog” motifs are extremely rare in jajims. – Tanavoli published two jajims from the same group in 1985 and 2002, recounting that their design is known as "yaddi qardash" (seven brothers) in Persia. – Sections of a different jajim have been inserted at the top left and bottom right corners. Very good overall condition.

    Literature:
    TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Shahsavan. Flachgewebe aus dem Iran. Herford 1985, ill. 31 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 201

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 73 *** SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), no. 162

  • Kuba Kelim

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    • Lot131
    • OriginEast Caucasus
    • Dimensions310 x 190 cm
    • Age2nd half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR2,500 - 3,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 5

    This large Kuba kilim displays a design of wide horizontal stripes alternating with narrower ones that is typical of the area. Each of the three midnight blue bands contains five red-ground hexagons enclosing diamonds decorated with long hooks. Although the motif is sometimes described as a "tarantula" or "spider" gül, it actually consists of facing horizontal and vertical hook shapes that may be interpreted as highly stylised animal forms. The four narrower red-ground bands each contain rows of nine stepped diamonds decorated with double hooks that face away from each other. Narrow white stripes with diagonal bars in diverse colours are interspersed as dividing designs. The brilliant white sections are woven from cotton. – Also known as "pallas", kilims of this kind were used like tapestries in the villages of the Kuba region. They were hung on the walls of the living quarters, the stripes aligned vertically, as decoration and protection against the cold. At first sight, the published examples of this group appear almost indistinguishable, but there are substantial differences in terms of materials and artistic standard. Due to its especially fine weave and the quality of its wool, dyes and drawing, the Vok example ranks at the top of the group. – Very good condition.

    Literature:
    BLACK, DAVID & LOVELESS, CLIVE, The Undiscovered Kilim. London 1977, pl. 38 *** ESKENAZI, JOHN J. (publ.), Kilim. Milan 1980, no. 15 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, auction of 26th June 1999, # 189

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 5

  • Luri Bakhtiari Kilim

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    • Lot132
    • OriginSouth West Persia, Khuzestan province
    • Dimensions360 x 175 cm
    • Agemid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR2,500 - 3,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 63

    The Iranian province of Khuzestan is situated on the north eastern shore of the Persian Gulf. It is bordered by the Zagros mountain range to the east and the province of Fars to the south. The area is inhabited by Luri Bakhtiari tribes who used to migrate to the higher pastures of the Zagros with their herds in summer to escape the heat of the lowlands. They would weave large kilims like this example for the houses of their winter quarters. Executed in the double weft interlocking technique whereby slits are avoided, the kilims were dense and firm in structure, serving as floor coverings. The design layout of several wide borders and linear boundary stripes is similar to knotted carpets. The blue-black field of this item is densely covered in star-filled octagons arranged in colour diagonals. The three diagonals of white-ground octagons (cotton) provide rhythm in the repeat. Four wide borders containing reciprocal trefoils, crucifom devices and large botehs surround the field like a heavy frame. Sadighi assumes that the Vok kilim is one of the oldest surviving examples of its kind. – Several missing areas have been backed with fabric; damaged sides. Obvious signs of age and wear.

    Literature:
    DE FRANCHIS, AMADEO & WERTIME, JOHN, Lori and Bakhtiari Flatweaves. Tehran Rug Society. Tehran 1976, no. 42 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 111

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 63

  • The Grote-Hasenbalg Sumakh

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    • Lot133
    • OriginEast Caucasus, Kuba region
    • Dimensions210 x 164 cm
    • Age1st half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR20,000 - 25,000
    VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 30

    The East Caucasian Khanate of Kuba was occupied by Czarist troops in 1806 and became a province of the Russian Empire, the "Shamakha Governorate", in 1816. Pile rugs, kilims and complex flatweaves have been made in the region for centuries. Commercial production of sumakhs in Kuba workshops began around 1870. They used traditional designs in combination with an increasing number of chemical dyes (initially only mauveine and fuchsine; later other, even more garish colours were added), adapting the formats to the requirements of foreign purchasers, which quickly led to a complete degeneration of sumakhs. – This sumakh has nothing in common with the late examples that have survived in large numbers. Published as early as 1910 in Reinhart von Oettingen‘s postcard collection as a "Meisterstück des 19. Jahrhunderts (19th century masterpiece)", it became well-known among a wider community of enthusiasts when republished in Grote-Hasenbalg‘s influential book, "Der Orientteppich. Seine Geschichte und seine Kultur". At the time the carpet still belonged to the collection of Professor Spalteholz, Leipzig. The sumakh was sold by us in 1990 as a consignment from a Dresden private collection. It then entered the Vok Collection via the London branch of Bernheimer, the art dealers. – The design of four large diamond-shaped medallions aligned on the central axis, flanked by various palmettes along the sides, employs motifs seen in 17th-18th century Caucasian workshop carpets; here they have been translated into a geometric style adapted to the weaving technique. In the narrow main border, cartouches alternate with S-shaped abstract dragon figures. Only a very few small-format examples of this design group have survived. – Good condition.

    Literature:
    ROBERTS, ERNEST H., Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin. Volume XXXVI, number 1, Oberlin, Ohio 1978, no. 21 *** COOTNER, CATHRYN, Flat-Woven Textiles. The Arthur D. Jenkins Collection. Vol. I. Washington 1981, no. 50 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 51, 15th May 1999, # 20

    Published:
    OETTINGEN, REINHART VON, Meisterstücke Orientalischer Knüpfkunst. Berlin 1910. Series III, no. 4 *** GROTE-HASENBALG, WERNER, Meisterstücke orientalischer Knüpfkunst. Berlin 1921. Portfolio I, pl. 16 *** IBID., Der Orientteppich. Seine Geschichte und seine Kultur. Berlin 1922. Vol 2, pl. 35 *** IBID., Teppiche aus dem Orient. Leipzig 1936, no. 19 *** MARTIN, HEINZ, Orientteppiche. Erkennen-Kaufen-Erhalten. Munich 1981, ill. 80 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 31, 5th May 1990, # 118 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 30

  • Large Medallion Suzani

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    • Lot134
    • OriginCentral Asia, South West Uzbekistan
    • Dimensions205 x 154 cm
    • Age18th century
    • Estimate EUR48,000 - 54,000
    VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 48

    All three of the Group B large medallion suzanis known to date were published in Michael Franses‘ monograph. Catalogued as B1, this suzani is considered the oldest example of the group. When Ignazio Vok saw it in an exhibition held at Galerie Herrmann in 1983, he did not hesitate for a second. He had to own this wonderful piece! – The rectangular, fully embroidered medallion extending across the whole of the field contains a huge rotating pinwheel with long spokes that appear like the sails of a windmill. The focal point of the dramatic composition is a circular blossom enclosing a wheel motif and outlined in elaborate double hooks ending in spirals. The wide design panels emanate from it, powerfully diverging in all directions with explosive force. The viewer is simply overwhelmed by the stunning impact of the composition and blazing colours. A closer look reveals a surprising variety of designs in the various panels: long twigs decorated with trefoils, blossoms or mushroom-shaped designs; stepped diamonds; and, in one panel, diagonal water jugs. The outer contour of the medallion consists of apricot trefoils surrounded by outward-facing, steel-blue, mushroom-shaped double hooks resembling ibex horns. They may be power symbols pertaining to an ancient shamanic tradition. The main border design is a brown spiral surrounding the field. This section, the only one not fully embroidered, allows the white foundation to show through; the contrast thus achieved plays an important part in the composition. The narrow outer border is fully embroidered in a diamond design and decorated with small blossoms pointing towards the field. – Good condition, mounted onto canvas.

    Published:
    HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche V. Munich 1983, no. 89 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 48 *** FRANSES, MICHAEL, The Great Embroideries of Bukhara. London 2000, B1, p. 67

  • Large Medallion Suzani

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    • Lot135
    • OriginCentral Asia, South West Uzbekistan
    • Dimensions270 x 175 cm
    • Ageca. 1800 or earlier
    • Estimate EUR40,000 - 45,000
    VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 46

    “Large medallion” suzanis from Bokhara display a thrilling vitality and energy. Their charisma will not fail to impress any sensitive viewer. A further fascinating aspect is the diversity of their compositions which yet retain the same design vocabulary. For Ignazio Vok, these expressive textiles held an almost magical appeal. His collection includes eleven examples (nos. 11, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 77, 78 and 79), more than any other museum or private collection. – This large medallion suzani was assigned to group E and catalogued as E2 in Michael Franses’ monograph. A hexagonal, fully embroidered medallion containing a large cross occupies the centre of the narrow elongated field, its outer sides decorated with small cruciform flowers. At both ends the medallion is framed by a pointed gable composed of two “salamander“ forms, and each corner of the field contains a blossom, either circular (top view) or fan-shaped (side view). A narrow band separates the field from the very wide border which invariably draws the eye. Sinuous “salamander“ designs (the zoomorphic nature of the motifs, with their heads and feet, is obvious) provide lively surrounds for ten huge circular blossoms presented in top view and side view. All are fully embroidered, and each is embellished with either a cross or a fan composed of leaves. The golden spirals encircling five of the blossoms are a stylistic feature of the large medallion group. The narrow outer border with a design of hexagonal cartouches, some of them stepped, is fully embroidered as well. – Good condition, backed with a white fabric.

    Literature:
    BLACK, DAVID & LOVELESS, CLIVE, Embroidered Flowers From Thrace To Tartary. London 1981, no. 20

    Published:
    CHRISTIE'S New York, auction of 9th April 1988, # 64 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 46 *** FRANSES, MICHAEL, The Great Embroideries of Bukhara. London 2000, p. 74

  • Kermina Suzani

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    • Lot136
    • OriginSouth West Uzbekistan
    • Dimensions231 x 148 cm
    • Age1st half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR18,000 - 22,000
    VOK Collection, Suzani 2, 61

    The slightly brownish ground, the extremely fine embroidery in predominant shades of orange and pink, with details in shades of gold, the flowers in a brilliant cornflower blue, the delicate style of drawing seen in the vines and the restful, balanced composition are characteristic features of suzanis from the town of Kermina. The field design is a repeat of circular blossoms in various sizes and shapes, arranged in offset rows and embedded into a network of green twigs. One of the flowers is decorated with curved points and appears to rotate like the blade of a circular saw. In the main border, large circular and star-shaped blossoms are framed by circular surrounds of curved vines bearing ivy-like leaves. The fact that the vines do not form a continuous design band makes the border appear more static than those of other Kermina suzanis. In the secondary borders, the minutely detailed and meticulous execution of the floral vines is striking. – Good condition. Backed with canvas on the reverse.

    Literature:
    RIPPON BOSWELL, A 48, auction of 22nd November 1997, # 78 and A 53, 20th November 1999, # 70

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Suzani 2. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 2006, no. 61

  • Bokhara Nim Suzani

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    • Lot137
    • OriginCentral Asia, South West Uzbekistan
    • Dimensions160 x 115 cm
    • Agemid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR12,000 - 15,000
    VOK Collection, Suzani 2, 57

    The bride’s dowry always included a nim suzani, a term that derives from their smaller formats half the size of a large suzani. The style of drawing, palette and the use of yurma chain stitch for all the designs suggest that this nim suzani was made in the surroundings of Bokhara. The design of the field is a variation of the wide-spread "four-and-one" principle, with a large circular blossom placed at the centre and four diagonal fan-shaped palmettes arranged in the corners. The central design, hermetically filled with pink and orange colour segments, is outlined in saw teeth and resembles a chrysanthemum. It is surrounded by two foliate wreaths to add further emphasis. Smaller versions of the same blossom appear twice in the main border. In the latter, a sequence of circular blossoms of varying sizes and interior drawing are linked by sweeping dark green leaf vines. Two of the flowers are outlined in curved blue-green lancet leaves, suggesting a rotary movement. The blossom in the lower left-hand corner is striking due to its star shape. An unusual phenomenon is observed in the minor borders. The inner border at the bottom left continues horizontally, cutting through the main border and interrupting its flow. The same feature is seen in the vertical direction at the top right. In style and colour, alternately with beige-ground and light blue blossoms, the secondary borders are related to Kermina suzanis. – Good condition, mounted onto canvas.

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani 2. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 2006, no. 57

  • Shakhrisyabz Suzani

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    • Lot138
    • OriginCentral Asia, South West Uzbekistan
    • Dimensions282 x 204 cm
    • Ageca. 1800
    • Estimate EUR40,000 - 45,000
    VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 33

    This monumental suzani with a central “four-and-one“ design and two diagonal circular blossoms placed at each end of the field is captivating on account of its extraordinary degree of perfection. Meticulously planned to eliminate any arbitrariness, the design was created by a master draughtsman and flawlessly executed by the embroiderers. Suzanis displaying such consummate artistic skill and craftsmanship were certainly produced in workshops, and were not domestic embroideries. This is also indicated by the use of nineteen different colours. It is assumed that such works of art designed to meet the highest standards took two years to produce. – An elaborate symmetrical network of petrol arabesques has been arranged around the central circular blossom and its four diagonal palmettes, with eight large petrol acanthus leaves providing an outer surround. This Shakhrisyabz suzani thus belongs to a rare sub-group including only a few known examples. An almost identical example was sold by us in 2013. The two suzanis are identical in ornamentation and design layout, but the overall tonality of the Vok example is somewhat cooler. Analogous to the powerful style of the field, the very wide main border provides space for its fourteen large motifs – two types that alternate at regular intervals, densely surrounded by vines – to come into their own. One never tires of tracing the twisting shapes of the lively vines and spirals, some of them decorated with light-blue flute-shaped flowers. – Very good condition, mounted onto canvas.

    Literature:
    YANAI, YIGAL, Suzani. Central Asian Embroideries (exhibition catalogue of the Haaretz Museum, Tel Aviv). Tel Aviv 1986, fig. 14 *** HASSON, RACHEL, Flowering Gardens Along the Silk Road. Embroidered Textiles from Uzbekistan. Jerusalem 2001, pl. p. 32 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 83, 30th November 2013, # 159

    Published:
    VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 33