VOK COLLECTION, Selection II
Saturday 12. March 2016 at 3 p.m.
Large Medallion SuzaniAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 43
- Central Asia, South West Uzbekistan
- 252 x 180 cm
- early 19th century
- 40,000 - 45,000
This is a striking example among the large medallion suzanis on account of its diverging composition. The usual, distinct separation of the field and border section has been abandoned in favour of a dynamic design that powerfully extends across the whole of the field. At its centre, a circular blossom enclosing a star design appears to rotate. It is encircled by two of the zoomorphic forms so characteristic of all large medallion suzanis; resembling salamanders or centipedes, they are always fully embroidered. Several blossoms in diverse shapes and sizes, drawn in side view, are associated with the central motif and framed by an inconspicuous hexagonal border. Six huge blossoms surrounded by golden spirals and elongated curvilinear “salamanders“ dominate the overall picture. – Michael Franses’ monograph, "The Great Embroideries of Bukhara", constitutes an inventory of the 54 large medallion suzanis known in 2000 and undertakes a division into design groups. The Vok suzani no. 43 belongs to the rare UE group, represented by just three examples, and is catalogued as UE1. In the first Suzani publication, Taube neither assigned it to the large medallion group nor recognised its provenance in the surroundings of Bokhara, despite the fact that it meets all the relevant criteria. Why? The reason can be found in his essay, “Reflections on ‘Large-Medallion’ Suzani“ (Suzani II, pp. 75 – 80). Here, the author identifies one of the medallion suzanis (Vok suzani I, no. 48, lot 134 in this sale) as the oldest and thus most authentic example which supposedly still fully reflects a nomadic tradition. Based on a formula devised by himself, he goes on to describe the development of the designs as a continuous departure from the original tribal character and thus as a process of progressive alienation resulting in degeneration; on the other hand, he interprets it as the individual’s liberation from the constraints of tribal tradition. The Vok no. 43 suzani is not even mentioned in Taube’s essay. It probably did not conform to his line of reasoning. – Western concepts of a linear style development can only be projected onto oriental textiles up to a point. In fact, a comparison of LM suzanis shows that different design concepts co-existed equally. The substantial differences between them contradict the hypothesis that they all derive from a single original type. Rather we must assume parallel developments. Hans Belting, a well-known art critic, once stated, “der Gänsemarsch der Stile hat nicht stattgefunden (styles did not march in single file)“. Although he was referring to European art, his statement equally applies to works from oriental cultures. Different design concepts existing in parallel and mutual influences were a reality especially in Uzbek textiles, and creative freedom played a major role as well. – Several restored areas, now in very good condition.
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 43 *** FRANSES, MICHAEL, The Great Embroideries of Bukhara. London 2000, cat. no. UE1, pp. 90 and 91
Luri KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 106
- South West Persia, Fars province
- 304 x 146 cm
- 2nd half 19th century
- 6,000 - 7,500
Simply conceived, the design of this antique Luri kilim consists of huge diamonds and large empty colour sections – a bold composition of geometric forms in harmonious colours that combine into a dramatic overall expression. Two midnight blue diamonds with stepped outlines lie on the central axis of the white field. They are framed by six larger offset diamonds in various colour combinations. Although only parts of them are actually visible, they are conceived as a complete design that is cut and limited by the narrow border of reciprocal stepped forms. The field thus only shows a section of an endless design. – The nomadic weaver managed the feat of combining dynamic and restful elements in a happy symbiosis. Although the striking diagonal outlines of the motifs move in different directions, emphasising the expanding and fluid nature of the design, the interlocking colours of the six diamonds placed at the sides make for a cohesive composition. A small red octagon filled with a white star draws the eye to the centre of the lower blue diamond. A boteh and two tiny stepped polygons are positioned on the central axis of the upper blue diamond. All the other spaces have been left plain, so there is nothing to distract from the interaction of form and colour. This is a masterpiece of abstract design with a strong appeal to connoisseurs of modern western art. – Minimal signs of age and wear, small stains.
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche VII. Munich 1985, no. 63 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 106
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche VII. München 1985, Nr. 63 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim und andere Flachgewebe. (Text: Hamid Sadighi) München 1996, Nr. 106 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, Tf. 141
Nigde KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Anatolia 51
- Central Anatolia, Cappadocia
- 408 x 155 cm
- mid 19th century or earlier
- 14,000 - 17,000
Particularly fine in weave and meticulously executed, this kilim is probably an urban piece. Hirsch assumes a provenance in the surroundings of the old Cappadocian town of Nigde. The two primary designs – large nested diamonds with parmakli outlines and a high proportion of brilliant white cotton – oppose each other at the top and bottom of the field, separated by a wide and almost open space: a rare and bold compositional concept. They appear to float on the deep blue ground like islands. The secondary design of small halved diamonds arranged in widely spaced horizontal rows seems to simply float along. In contrast, the lateral borders consist of sharp red points. Sinuous halved diamonds and wavy design bands adorn the elems. They, too, contain a strikingly high proportion of cotton. – One major and several minor stains, very good overall condition.
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Asiatische Teppich- und Textilkunst 1. Munich 1989, no. 2 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 51
Konya KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Anatolia 35
- Central Anatolia
- 407 x 150 cm
- 1st half 19th century
- 18,000 - 22,000
Central Anatolian kilims displaying designs of oversized, nested serrated diamonds usually come from the Konya-Karapinar region, but they were also woven in the surroundings of Mut further to the south. The predominant principle of their composition is a division into separate field sections which contain the primary designs as solitary motifs. Most of the surviving examples display a white ground, and the presence of lateral borders is an exception. According to Hirsch, this example in gorgeous colours was discovered in the village of Cumurlugiret south west of Konya. Four sets of four huge nested serrated diamonds fill their respective sections of the field, which differ in ground colour (white, red, golden yellow, aubergine) to create contrasts of varying intensity. The wide horizontal dividing stripes contain bands of undulating forms that may be interpreted as abstract birds. The four halved parmakli motifs protruding laterally into each field section absorb the explosive energy of the primary designs. In this kilim, the massive impact of the motifs and brilliant colours create a magical effect that will not elude a sensitive viewer. It is considered a masterpiece of Anatolian textile art. According to Hirsch, the kilim was made for a special occasion. – Slight signs of age and wear, several rewoven sections. Both end finishes are somewhat reduced; remnants of an additional border survive at the top. The ends and sides are backed with canvas.
BALPINAR, BELKIS & HIRSCH, UDO, Flachgewebe des Vakiflar-Museums Istanbul. Wesel 1982, no. 6 *** FRAUENKNECHT, BERTRAM, Frühe türkische Tapisserien. Nuremberg 1984, no. 33 *** BRÜGGEMANN, WERNER, Yayla. Form und Farbe in türkischer Textilkunst. Frankfurt 1993, no. 16 *** KELIM-CONNECTION AACHEN (publ.), Kultkelim. Ausgewählte anatolische Flachgewebe. Aachen 1999, pl. 14 *** KELIM-CONNECTION AACHEN (publ.), Kelim: Textile Kunst aus Anatolien. Aachen 2002, pls. 48 and 49 *** PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, 100 Kelims. Meisterwerke aus Anatolien. Munich 1991, no. 41
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 35
Shahsavan KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 57
- North West Persia, Azerbaijan
- 345 x 153 cm
- dated 1308 AH = 1890 AD
- 3,000 - 4,000
Five powerful nested diamonds, each composed of five elements with boldly stepped outlines, are aligned in succession along the central axis of a camel field abrashed in several places. In the absence of any additional designs they appear to drift in the empty space. The border, a simple brown surrounding band, is linked to the field by a serrated outline. Coarsely woven, firm and solid in structure, this kilim is a typical floor rug by the Shahsavan nomads of North West Persia. It was probably made in the region between Mianeh, Saveh and Hashtrud. A brocaded date appears three times at the upper end. – Good condition.
POHL-SCHILLINGS, HANS, Persische Flachgewebe. Bilder aus Iran. Cologne 1994, no. 32 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 14
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 57
Qashqa’i KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 102
- South West Persia, Fars province
- 276 x 150 cm
- late 19th century
- 3,000 - 3,600
Three diamonds framed by colourful stepped bands are aligned on the central axis of a coffee-coloured field abrashed in several places. Their four points are decorated with stepped polygons. The diamonds are linked vertically to form a large motif, creating a unified tripartite whole. Diagonal bands of white stepped polygons flow around the primary motifs like diamond-shaped ornamental chains. The field is separated from the reciprocal trefoil border by a wide golden-yellow surround decorated with stylised diamond-shaped botehs quartered by colour change – a distinctive feature of most Qashqa’i and Luri kilims. The wide end finishes present red and green horizontal stripes as well as brocaded "domino" motifs. – The expressive field design and beautiful palette of this kilim are remarkable features. Examples with a dark brown ground are comparatively rare. According to Sadighi, it was woven in the Kohgilujeh region. – Repaired upper right-hand corner, otherwise very well preserved.
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 102
Konya KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Anatolia 71
- Central Anatolia
- 392 x 156 cm
- 18th century
- 7,000 - 9,000
The red-orange field is filled by two huge hexagons enclosing nested serrated diamonds and a smaller central motif of three hexagons piled on top of each other. The three primary designs are decorated with massive sprawling arms and powerful double hooks scrolled at the ends. They appear like the tentacles of a huge octopus and, in consequence, create a frightening effect. The lateral borders consist of light blue and brown serrated points. The prevailing colours of the field – red orange, dark brown and blue – produce an almost dangerously beautiful atmosphere, with smaller sections woven in cochineal and lime green. In the wide elems, the central band is particularly striking on account of its elibelinde figures; very beautifully drawn, they almost appear to dance. - In April 1997, the Institute for Particle Physics of ETH Zurich conducted AMS radiocarbon dating. The time spans determined were AD 1642 - 1708 (25.6 %) and AD 1712 - 1821 (50.6 %), resulting in an average age of 205 +/- 45 years. The estimated age of the kilim could thus be ca. 280 years; it is certainly an 18th century example. – Obvious signs of age and wear, various missing sections; the warps are visible in many places. Mounted onto canvas.
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 71 *** RAGETH, JÜRG (ed.), Anatolian Kilims & Radiocarbon Dating. A New Approach to Dating Anatolian Kilims. Riehen 1999, no. 28
Suzani, Central AsiaAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 21
- Central Asia, Uzbekistan
- 225 x 186 cm
- 18th century
- 20,000 - 24,000
This unusually wide suzani is one of the oldest examples in the collection. It exudes a sense of peace and harmony; its provenance remains a mystery. It is assumed that it originates from the region between Ura Tube and Samarkand, but the precise location has not been established to date. The embroidery technique employed – kanda khayol as well as basma stitches, sometimes combined in the same design – does not constitute a reliable pointer for determining the provenance. The dominant colours are dark red and light green. The design is conceived with great perfection and drawn in an elegant style. Delicate golden vines decorated with spirals and light green leaves cover the entire surface, their curved lines combining into ogival compartments that each enclose a large red poppy blossom represented in side view. The blossoms point both upwards and downwards, thus the design is not directional. The wide main border is highly unusual; it contains two-dimensional leaves arranged into a lattice surrounding heart-shaped and butterfly-shaped red blossoms. The light and diverse colours of the inner secondary border are striking. The fine diagonal panicles and small circular blossoms are familiar from Ura Tube suzanis. – Slight signs of age and wear, small restored sections, good overall condition. Mounted onto canvas.
HALI 30, London 1986, p. 63 (Galerie Nomadenschätze advertisement) *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 21
Ura Tube SuzaniAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 26
- Central Asia, North East Uzbekistan
- 218 x 165 cm
- early 19th century
- 35,000 - 40,000
The field of this unique suzani displays a section of a design conceived to continue into infinity. Light green twigs, divided again and again like arabesques and curving in different directions, and serrated light green sickle leaves combine into a spaciously conceived, airy framework. The twigs are decorated with 26 large fan-shaped palmettes, 21 flowering trees and four small blossoming twigs. Delicate star-shaped blossoms and small birds have been incorporated into the eccentric design. The convoluted nature of the basic design and the frequent changes in direction seen in all the motifs produce a complex interplay of lines, forms and colours. It is futile to search for points of repetition in this fantastic structure which appears exotic and may be influenced by Indian textiles from the Mughal period. The sprawling and dynamic movement of the field design is held in check by the design of the main border, where circular blossoms and palmettes are embedded in a system of graceful twigs and blossoms. The suzani was probably made in Ura Tube, although a provenance in a town further to the west, in the Zarafshan river valley, is also possible. We are not aware of any immediately comparable examples. – Slight signs of age and wear, minor restored sections. Mounted onto canvas.
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 26
Sehna Prayer KilimAdd to wishlist
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 70
- North West Persia, Kurdistan
- 196 x 141 cm
- mid 19th century
- 8,000 - 10,000
The midnight blue field beneath the steeply ascending, pointed arch with a notched upper section is densely filled with delicate botehs identical in colour and drawing, arranged in offset rows that alternately point to the left or right. The small size of the botehs and their hermetic arrangement make the field appear surprisingly wide. The design in light pastel shades covering the entire upper section of the field is composed of fine vertical stripes, enlivened and structured by midnight blue bands repeated at regular intervals. Its colours and ornamentation create an exciting contrast to the lower section of the field. In style, the fine stripe design is closely related to Kerman fabrics. The narrow main border displays the same structural principles of precisely drawn, red and white diagonal stripes juxtaposed with two flowing and minutely detailed floral borders. – Fine as a cloth in texture and woven from the finest wool in a very elegant design of delicately drawn motifs, this Sehna kilim is one of the best surviving pieces – a true work of art and a representative example of the refined taste that prevailed in the Qajar period. Comparable Sehna kilims are depicted in 19th century Persian paintings and photographs where they are always shown in a luxurious context, often related to the court. They were prestige objects par excellence that demonstrated the social status of the owner. – Very good condition.
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Asiatische Teppich- und Textilkunst 2. Munich 1990, no. 43 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pls. 47 and 48 *** SOTHEBY'S London, auction of 27th April 2005, # 23 *** CHRISTIE'S London, auction of 29th April 1993, # 386 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 45, 26th June 1999, # 162
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche V. Munich 1983, no. 56 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 70