Major Spring Auction

Saturday 29. May 2021 at 3 p.m.

187 Lots
  • Kurdish Bag Face

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    • Lot121
    • OriginNorth West Persia, Azerbaijan
    • Dimensions71 x 63 cm
    • AgeLate 19th century
    • Estimate EUR375
    The knotted face of a Kurdish bag, formerly part of a khorjin. Nine botehs placed in offset rows adorn the midnight blue field; the white border shows a vine bearing star-shaped blossoms and diagonal leaves. The kilim closure panel at the top and a remnant of the kilim back have survived. – Good condition.
    • Lot122
    • OriginWest China
    • Dimensions179 x 65 cm
    • Age18th century
    • Estimate EUR11,500
    Published by Herrmann in 1988, this Ningxia woven in the format of a table cover shows a strikingly restrained design. In the golden yellow field, a floral disc medallion enclosing four peonies and blue leaves is superimposed upon a repeat of tiny brown diagonals (so-called grain of rice design). The original ground colour of the medallion was a soft rose which has faded to a light brown hue over the course of time. The narrow, plain dark blue border traces the corners of the field, which are rounded into arches. – Signs of age and wear, low spots in the pile, minor repiled areas. Well preserved considering its great age.

    RIPPON BOSWELL, A 80, 19 May 2012, lot 105 *** TABIBNIA, MOSHE (ed.), Intrecci Cínesi. Milan 2011, no. 28

    HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche X. Munich 1988, no. 122

  • Tekke Khalyk

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    • Lot123
    • OriginCentral Asia, West Turkestan
    • Dimensions37 x 25 x 78 cm
    • AgeFirst half 19th century
    • Estimate EUR8,500
    Small-format knotted trappings of this kind were only woven by the Tekke tribe. On the wedding day, a khalyk would be attached to the opening of the veiled litter in which the bride, mounted on a camel, was led to the groom’s family. Guarded as textile treasures and only used again at weddings, khalyks have often survived in good condition. Seeing that they were precious traditional objects of a highly symbolic nature, it is not surprising that nearly all of the circa 100 khalyks currently known are of excellent quality. – Over the past few decades, Rippon Boswell has probably sold more khalyks than any other auction house. This example of outstanding quality displays the same ornamentation as lot 114 of our auction A 98. Only the triangular flap at the lower end of the horizontal panel shows a different design. – Two stitched vertical tears, otherwise in very good condition, with a high pile, the original finishes all around and the fringe of long decorative tassels.

    PINNER, ROBERT, The Rickmers Collection. Turkoman Rugs. Berlin 1993, no. 44 *** PINNER, ROBERT & FRANSES, MICHAEL, Turkoman Studies I. London 1980, ill. 395 *** TZAREVA, ELENA, Teppiche aus Mittelasien und Kasachstan. Leningrad 1984, no. 39 *** Khalyks bei Rippon Boswell: FFM 10, 15/11/80, # 133 *** FFM 15, 15/05/82, # 81 *** FFM 16, 20/11/82, # 84 *** FFM 20, 10/11/84, # 71 *** A 29, 06/05/89, # 70 *** A 35, 28/03/92, # 119 *** A 39, 13/11/93, # 106 *** A 44, 11/05/96, # 59 *** A 46, 16/11/96, # 86 *** A 48, 22/11/97, # 149 *** A 57, 17/11/2001, # 38 *** A 62, 15/05/2004, # 37 and # 65 *** A 65, 28/05/2005, # 142 *** A 84, 31/05/2014, # 127 *** A 85, 29/11/2014, # 110 *** A 89, 28/05/2016, # 199 *** A 98, 27 June 2020, # 114

  • Yomut Chuval

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    • Lot124
    • OriginCentral Asia, West Turkestan
    • Dimensions74 x 105 cm
    • AgeMid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR950
    This Yomut chuval woven in a traditional design of 3 x 3 güls in expressive colours and with a ribbed, firmly depressed back is obviously a rather early piece. The large secondary güls, a chemche variant with a diamond centre, were used by several tribes. The narrow red main border featuring crosses is accompanied by two borders with "running dog" motifs and often encountered in Yomut chuvals. The size of the primary designs and spacious overall composition are indications of age. – Uniformly low pile, minor restored areas, the original finishes are missing all around. Somewhat reduced and rebound sides.

    ELMBY, HANS, Antikke Turkmenske Tæpper IV. Antique Turkmen Rugs Copenhagen 1998, no. 21 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 62, Pinner Collection, 15 May 2004, lot 88

  • Yarkand Sitting Rug

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    • Lot125
    • OriginCentral Asia, East Turkestan
    • Dimensions98 x 102 cm
    • AgeMid 18th century
    • Estimate EUR7,000
    This square sitting rug with a silk pile and a light blue cotton foundation was woven in one of the workshops of Yarkand. Its style and ornamentation are influenced by Ningxia models produced during the Yongzheng Emperor’s reign (1723 – 1736). A disk medallion in blue, white and red with a meandering lattice design lies at the centre of the red field, surrounded by bats and three floral wreaths. Blue-and-white meandering lattice triangles accentuate the corners. The rare border design consists of ten formations of blue straight-lined stems which intersect across a small red central flower, creating cartouches open at the sides. – Signs of age and wear, low pile, original finishes all around.
  • Kashgar Sitting Rug

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    • Lot126
    • OriginCentral Asia, East Turkestan
    • Dimensions103 x 114 cm
    • Age18th century
    • Estimate EUR7,500
    Judging by its knotting structure, palette and ornamentation, this square sitting mat with a wool pile and a cotton foundation was probably woven in the Kashgar oasis. Only a very small number of such pieces woven for Buddhist clients in the workshops of the Uigur population has survived. Four peonies framed in the style of a grid by vines in two shades of blue lie in the red field. A dark blue meandering swastika vine on a red ground adorns the two secondary borders. In the wide, light red main border, blue stems form diagonal crosses with a blossom at their centres from which grow short stems bearing four flowers. Viewed in succession, they appear as a diamond lattice. – Signs of age and wear, low pile, cut sides, replaced selvedges, both ends slightly reduced.
    • Lot127
    • OriginSouth West Caucasus
    • Dimensions255 x 134 cm
    • AgeLate 19th century
    • Estimate EUR4,500
    The mid blue field is dominated by four diamond-shaped medallions with wide stepped outlines and large hooked diamonds at their centres. The very large scale of the leaf-and-calyx design stands out in the wide white main border. – Good condition, original finishes all around.
    • Lot128
    • OriginNorth West Persia, Azerbaijan
    • Dimensions401 x 296 cm
    • AgeMid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR29,000
    The great age of this white-ground carpet woven in a village workshop in the Heriz area can be deduced from the spacious design layout, the large-scale devices and the soft colours including pastel shades. In English-speaking countries such pieces are described as "Serapi". – Signs of age and wear, uniformly low pile. Original selvedges, both ends minimally reduced.
  • Lotto Carpet Fragment

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    • Lot129
    • OriginWest Anatolia, Ushak region
    • Dimensions213 x 110 cm
    • AgeFirst half 16th century
    • Estimate EUR15,000
    Fragment of an early Ushak carpet with a “Lotto” design in the Anatolian style. On the red ground of the field, golden yellow arabesques and geometrically stylised flowers combine into the characteristic repeat of interlocking crosses and larger octagons. The layout of the spacious composition is strictly symmetrical, and the crosses and octagons form offset rows in the vertical and horizontal directions. Small, dark blue forms incorporated at regular intervals provide important focal points, creating a structure in the complex and convoluted design that would appear confusing without these accents. A Lotto in the Ballard Collection, now in the St. Louis Museum, Missouri (see below), is closely related in style. The design of the royal blue main border – cog-like rosettes and diagonal, elongated oval leaves studded with tiny beads all around – is not found in any other Lotto carpet (except the second fragment in Breslau, now Wroclaw). It goes back to older Anatolian animal borders, so it would seem reasonable to assume that animals are concealed in the floral forms. The inner secondary border begins as a narrow band decorated with a suitably delicate vine. At the point where the long side of the shield begins to taper off to form the tip, it was suddenly widened and given a different design. This is evidence that the carpet was not woven in a professional workshop, because this kind of change in design scheme would hardly be conceivable in that case.

    One corner of the field contains a large heraldic shield bisected vertically, with a black eagle on the right and a slanting, red-and-white chequered bar on the left. It is an alliance coat of arms of two powerful Genovese aristocratic families, the Doria and the Centurione. The carpet was obviously commissioned for the wedding of two members of these families, with the intention of documenting the union between the two old houses in a worthy manner. A drawing of the alliance coat of arms would have been sent to Turkey and was available at the time the carpet was woven. But why choose an Anatolian carpet as a wedding present? The answer is obvious. Anatolian carpets were prized prestige objects in Italy, as is proven by their frequent appearance in paintings by famous Renaissance artists, and Genoa maintained close relations with the Ottoman Empire. The admirals of the Doria family in particular had fought the sultans’ fleets time and again during the 15th and 16th centuries and were highly familiar not only with their military foes, but also their much-valued art and culture. It was thus only natural to order a gorgeous carpet from Anatolia for this special event.

    Our illustration shows the carpet with the coat of arms in the upper left corner, because this is the correct view of the shield. However, the pile runs in the opposite direction. Viewed in the direction of the pile, the coat of arms would be at the bottom right. The area between the upper end of the shield and the border has been left blank in the field design as the weavers were obviously unsure how to continue the design at this point. Incorporating a European coat of arms into the traditional repeat was a very new and difficult task.

    The carpet was first presented to the public at the important “Exhibition of Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art” held in Munich in 1910 and published in the eponymous book by Sarre and Martin in 1912. It was on loan by “Martina Limburger of Leipzig”, as stated in the catalogue. The piece has been continuously owned by the family since the early 20th century at the latest. Martina Limburger von Hoffmann ran a large house, collected art and was in contact with the museum curators and antique dealers of the day. However, the surviving documents offer no information as to who bought this Lotto and when this purchase was made.

    In “Masterpieces”, the fragment is depicted in neither its full length nor width, but is only shown as a detail view. Sarre and Martin mention the existence of a second carpet displaying the same Genovese coat of arms which was in the Silesian Museum of Art and Antiquities, Wroclaw, at the time, and is still kept there today (Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu); according to the catalogue entry, it is supposed to be completely preserved. In actual fact this rug, too, is a fragment composed of sections that have been joined together. It features a mirror image of the coat of arms in the opposite corner. The two scholars, Sarre and Martin, evidently did not inspect the Wroclaw carpet in person, or else they would have noticed its fragmented condition. The only illustration published to date is found in a 1935 book by Heinrich Kohlhaussen (see below), a black-and-white photo which unfortunately does not allow any detailed study. Only a direct comparison of the two fragments may provide answers to important questions. Do both fragments belong to one and the same carpet? Or were two carpets produced as a pair? Our hypothesis is that there was only one rug which had two mirror-image coats of arms in opposite corners at one end. We assume that its original size was ca. 240 cm in width and 450 cm in length.

    The illustration of our Limburger fragment published in “Masterpieces” was used as the model for several fakes by the master forger Teodor Tuduc. Stefano Ionescu, who has published a monograph on Tuduc, found out that nine such forgeries are known up to now. Initially they were not even recognised as such by experts. For instance, in the catalogue of the Hamburg exhibition held in 1950 (see below), Kurt Erdmann believed that the Tuduc Lotto carpet with the Genovese coat of arms bought at auction by the Hamburg museum was a piece which, albeit later in date than the Limburger fragment, was still an original. Nor did Joseph McMullan realise that his Tuduc copy (almost identical to the Hamburg Tuduc, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York) is a forgery. In “Islamic Carpets”, the book on his collection, the rug is described as a 17th century original. Other Tuduc forgeries showing the Genovese coat of arms are illustrated in the publication by the fictitious author Dr Otto Ernst, used as a sales tool by Tuduc.

    Condition: Probably one quarter of the rug is preserved. The section including the coat of arms has survived in its original form up to a length of 130 cm. The outer border is missing. The main border is original along its whole length, but it shows old repairs. In the lower section of the field, a strip ca. 30 cm high and 83 cm wide has been inserted from a different area of the field. A section measuring ca. 55 x 15 cm has been inserted at the lower end. The knotting structure, wool material and colours prove that the inserted sections stem from the same carpet. The completely corroded ground of the eagle has been repiled. The colours retain their full brilliance.

    DENNY, WALTER B. & FARNHAM, THOMAS J., The Carpet and the Connoisseur. The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs. St. Louis 2016, no. 8 *** Heinrich Kohlhaussen, Schlesischer Kulturspiegel im Rahmen der Kunstsammlungen der Stadt Breslau. Wroclaw 1935, fig. 18 (ill. Wroclaw fragment) *** ERDMANN, KURT, Orientalische Teppiche aus vier Jahrhunderten. Katalog der Ausstellung im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg. Hamburg 1950, p. 33 (mention of Limburg Lotto); no. 20 (Hamburg copy) *** IONESCU, STEFANO, Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc. Rome 2010, ills. pp. 35 - 37 (copies) *** McMULLAN, JOSEPH V., Islamic Carpets. New York 1965, no. 72 (copy)

    SARRE, FRIEDRICH & MARTIN, F.R. (eds.), Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in München 1910. Munich 1912, volume 1, pl. 72, cat. no. 139 (mention of owner: Martina Limburger in Leipzig) *** IONESCU, STEFANO, Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc

    • Lot130
    • OriginEast Caucasus, Kuba-Shirvan region
    • Dimensions177 x 126 cm
    • AgeMid 19th century
    • Estimate EUR5,000
    The royal blue field featuring a Khyrdagyd design is surrounded by a white frame of small star-shaped blossoms. As usual in Chichi rugs, it is comparatively small whereas the border section is all the wider. The Kufic vine design of the black-brown main border is rarely seen in this rug group. A fine weave, a rich range of brilliant colours. – Slight signs of age and wear, new overcasting along the sides, good overall condition.