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Orient Stars 2

Saturday 02. October 2021 at 6 p.m.

98 Lots
  • "The Spanish Riding School"

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    • Lot31
    • OriginEast Anatolia
    • Dimensions205 x 154 cm
    • Age1300 - 1350
    • Estimate EUR750,000 - 900,000

    This early East Anatolian animal rug is one of the greatest treasures in the Orient Stars Collection. Three fragments have survived, and these have been reassembled to provide an almost complete picture of the upper half. The composition probably comprised two large compartments shaped like tall elongated octagons, arranged vertically and framed like pictures. Only the upper right corner survives of the lower octagon, but this is sufficient to establish with certainty that the two large animals placed in the upper octagon were depicted in identical form and size in the lower octagon, although they were inverted. – The names collectors give to their objects are sometimes based on personal associations. The Kirchheims called this early East Anatolian rug “The Spanish Riding School", probably on account of the two mounts offset one behind the other in the upper compartment, raising a front leg as in dressage. Their long necks, small heads and the triangular shape on their back, which may depict the hump but looks more like a tent, clearly identify them as camels. Seeing that the carpet has a red ground throughout, including the border section, the overall design appears superimposed. The straight-lined main border drawn in the kufic style is particularly impressive. Further details on the history of this important work of art and its classification can be found in the discussion by Michael Franses. (DM)

    Detailed discussion and art historical appraisal by MF in OS 2, no. 8


    Mounted on canvas and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Chino Roncoroni, Kathmandu


    Published:
    Franses, Michael, A Little More Light on Early Animal Carpets. In: God is Beautiful and Loves Beauty. The Object in Islamic Art and Culture. New Haven and London, 2013, pl. 244, p. 258 *** OS 2, no. 8

  • Dragon and Phoenix Rug Fragment

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    • Lot32
    • OriginCentral or East Anatolia
    • Dimensions231 x 156 cm
    • Age1400 - 1500
    • Estimate EUR30,000 - 40,000

    This group of spectacular fragments with remarkably fresh colours was discovered in 1991. Enough of the rug survived for Longevity Textile Conservation to be able to mount the sections so as to visually complete it, as presented here. The result was a rug with two red-ground rectangular compartments, each with a slightly squashed blue octagon with hooked edges. The octagons contain confronting and highly abstracted hooked creatures. In the upper part can be seen the long tail feathers and yellow ears of two phoenixes, and in the lower part is a stylised dragon. Judging from the C14 dating, this more archaic interpretation of dragons and phoenixes might pre-date the later, more ‘realistic’ versions. – The primary border pattern of a repeated stylised animal confrontation on brown is drawn with such exactness to suggest that this is not a misconceived floral design but clearly some ancient totemic motif that still retains its essence of confronting creatures. The yellow-ground outer guard and the ochre-ground inner guard borders are beautifully drawn, and their colours nothing short of spectacular. The pattern of the primary border can partially be related to the Zuber Lattice Tomb Cover. The latter is attributed to Kurdish weavers in eastern Anatolia, based on its use of offset knotting and its wool type. The wool and hues of plate 9 are quite different and the knotting is entirely symmetrical, over two warps and with no offsetting. (MF)

    Extract from OS 2, no. 9. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on canvas and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Garry Muse, Tucson, and The Textile Gallery, London

    Exhibited: Mönchengladbach, Museum Schloss Rheydt, 1995


    Published:
    RAGETH, JÜRG, Dating the Dragon & Phoenix Fragments. In: 134, 2004, ill. detail p. 109 *** OS 2, no. 9

  • Turkmen Animal Rug with Lattice Design

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    • Lot33
    • OriginCentral Anatolia, Ladik
    • Dimensions244 x 134 cm
    • Age1450 - 1500
    • Estimate EUR30,000 - 40,000

    The overall composition is a lattice design that carries the illusion of an endless repeat continuing beyond the borders, which act as a window framing just a segment of the pattern. Within each lattice compartment is what an art historian might describe as a ‘palmette’, suggesting that its origins lie in a plant of some sort. However, this rug is from a period during the long art history of Anatolian tribal patterns when plants and mythological creatures took on similar forms, and their interpretation today remains somewhat confused. – There is an alternative way to look at the design, by considering the blue, possibly representing the sky, as the background colour to the entire rug, both field and borders, rather than as a lattice. It features heavily in the field, covered in large brown creatures with additional beasts within them, then reappears as the background onto which the main border, the minor border and the white-on-red dotted lines between them have been dropped. What is background? What is pattern? Or are these concepts intended to be interchangeable? This is yet another part of the mystery still to be unravelled. – The primary border is a little clearer. Against a red background, a meandering green ‘stem’ appears to represent joined up and repeating creatures opposing another creature in a variety of different colours. The choice of colours and their juxtaposition were presumably not random, but carried meanings that are part of a language sadly unknown to us today. There are many authors who would simply see the border motifs as poorly drawn meandering stems and leaves. Students of tribal cultures, on the other hand, especially those concerned with ancient Central Asia, understand this Turkmen rug from Anatolia as being full of fabulous creatures: in the field, in the major and minor borders and in the end stripes. Islamic scholars rarely consider that the success of Islam – in particular in Central Asia – was that it absorbed, embraced and adapted aspects of the ancient cultures that it came across. (MF)

    Extract from OS 2, no. 10. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on canvas and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Garry Muse, Tucson

    Exhibited: Hamburg Deichtorhallen 1993; Stuttgart, Linden-Museum 1993


    Published:
    OS 1, no. 202 *** OS 2, no. 10

  • Turkmen Rug with Medallions and Stars

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    • Lot34
    • OriginCentral Anatolia, Ladik
    • Dimensions244 x 134 cm
    • Age1500 - 1550
    • Estimate EUR6,000 - 8,000

    The field pattern of this rug is composed of two main ornaments, a primary and a secondary gül, arranged in columns and rows. The secondary motif is offset and creates its own grid. The pattern is an endless repeat. Smaller, distinctly floral motifs are placed on each side of the primary and secondary gül. – The form of the outer part of the secondary gül, of a prominent eight-pointed star in white outlined in black with small white squares resembling interlaced knots in-between the points, is somewhat reminiscent of compartment and para-Mamluk carpets of the ‘Damascus’ group. In the centre of the secondary gül is a large Turkmen ‘Talish’ rosette. A small section of the primary border survives at the upper end and in part on the left side. It has the typical ‘kotchanak’ ornament that can be seen on certain Tekke Turkmen carpets of the 19th century and earlier, as well as on weavings of other Turkmen tribes, in particular the Salor. (MF)

    Extract from OS 2, no. 11. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on fabric and attached to a wooden frame


    Published:
    OS 2, no. 11

  • Star Medallion Rug Fragment

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    • Lot35
    • OriginCentral Anatolia
    • Dimensions115 x 61 cm
    • Age1450 - 1500
    • Estimate EUR8,000 - 10,000

    This small fragment was once part of a magnificent 15th-century carpet, and would be a rare and important masterpiece in any museum collection. The complete composition cannot be extrapolated from what remains, but there is sufficient to determine a significant part of the field design. The octagon that survives in part in the upper left corner can be related to a number of other known carpets. These ornaments form part of an ‘International Style’ that was used on carpets from Spain to India during the 15th and 16th centuries. The kind of composition seen here, comprising either one or more large central rectangles, octagons or stars and often with smaller octagons in the corners or dividing rows, is a classic example of the type labelled Large Pattern Holbein. Carpets with these ornaments appear in a number of European paintings from the third quarter of the 15th century. – We do not know whether this carpet originally had only one eight-pointed star medallion, partially seen at the bottom of the fragment. It is always difficult to compare carpets such as this made in central Anatolia with those made in western Anatolia, whose colours are quite different. This carpet has partially depressed warps, like other examples from central Anatolia, whereas western Anatolian carpets from the 15th century tend to be of looser construction. Abstracted creatures and geometric forms are often found on central Anatolian carpets, whereas on those from further west the tendency is towards more floral designs, although there are of course exceptions. (MF)

    Extracts from OS 2, no. 12. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on fabric and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Garry Muse, Tucson

    Exhibited: Hamburg, Deichtorhallen, 1993; Stuttgart, Linden-Museum, 1993


    Published:
    OS 1, no. 210 *** OS 2, no. 12

  • Star Medallion Rug Fragment

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    • Lot36
    • OriginWest Anatolia
    • Dimensions121 x 53 cm
    • Age1450 - 1500
    • Estimate EUR4,000 - 5,000

    This small fragment from the lower right corner of a large carpet of the Large Pattern Holbein type may originally have had a field composition of at least two large rectangles each containing an eight-pointed star medallion. In the corners of the surviving rectangle are triangular-shaped spandrels with what appear to be abstracted zoomorphic creatures in blue against a black background, similar to the triangular forms on plate 12. Also similar to the latter are the shape of the medallion and its pseudo-Kufic outer band. Some viewers might well interpret the border design as a meandering leaf stem with flowers on either side, but others will see pairs of creatures, possibly dragons, and the three-pronged ornament being the tail of a bird. Whether patterns started being floral and later evolved into abstracted creatures or vice versa is a continuing discussion. There can be little doubt that the weavers would have had the ability to portray plants, buds, flowers and leaf stems reasonably accurately if that was what was intended. On many other 16th- and 17th-century Anatolian rugs the patterns certainly appear to be more naturalistically floral. For the time being, we can say that the motifs on many of the carpets that I believe could be older appear to represent creatures rather than flora. What I am reasonably certain about is that much of the iconography used on carpets was selected to facilitate the passage of the soul to the next world, a journey through a sky door. These ornaments may well have been in Anatolia before the coming of the Turks and then became adopted and adapted into the repertoire of Turkmen ornament. Whether the original meanings from thousands of years before were known to the carpet weavers of the 11th to 17th centuries has yet to be demonstrated. – The looser construction, the minor border and the general colouration of this fragment are closer to the examples attributable to Uşak than to central Anatolian rugs, which might suggest an origin to the east of Uşak, but possibly still in western Anatolia. (MF)

    Extract from OS 2, no. 13. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on fabric and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Garry Muse, Tucson

    Exhibited: Hamburg, Deichtorhallen 1993; Stuttgart, Linden-Museum 1993


    Published:
    OS 1, no. 211 *** OS 2, no. 13

  • Holbein Carpet Fragment

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    • Lot37
    • OriginCentral Anatolia
    • Dimensions101 x 94 cm
    • Age1550 -1600
    • Estimate EUR4,000 - 5,000

    Just under a quarter of the original rug survives, but this is enough to understand its full composition and to place it into its historical context. The proportions suggest that the field was originally composed of three rectangular compartments. In the centre of each compartment is a diamond-shaped medallion. In each of the corners of the rectangle is a triangular form derived from a quartered medallion. This field composition of an octagon in a rectangle with quarter-medallions in the corners places the rug into the Large Pattern Holbein group. (MF)

    Extract from OS 2, no. 14. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on fabric and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Garry Muse, Tucson; Christopher Alexander, Berkeley, CA; John Eskenazi, London


    Published:
    ALEXANDER, CHRISTOPHER, A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art. The Color and Geometry of Very Early Turkish Carpets. Berkeley 1993, pp. 236 - 238

  • West Anatolian Star Medallion Carpet

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    • Lot38
    • OriginWest Anatolia, Ushak?
    • Dimensions210 x 135 cm
    • Age1500 - 1550
    • Estimate EUR35,000 - 40,000

    This superb carpet displays great precision of drawing and a perfectly symmetrical composition. The design spreads from the centre in all directions with almost explosive power. A huge eight-pointed star placed at the centre of the red field encloses a large green and a small black octagon containing a Talish rosette. All the smaller ornaments within this central medallion are grouped symmetrically around the vertical axis, apparently moving away from the midpoint. Four jagged blue forms are arranged diagonally around the medallion, together with white triangles, small stars, arrows, blossoms and S-figures. The four-and-one composition is completed by four large octagons positioned in the corners of the field that have a mirror-image interior design of white hooks and crosses surrounding a Talish rosette. The central axis of the composition is accentuated by facing pairs of white triangles separated by a flower. The border is strikingly narrow, and it is possible that the main border and outer secondary border are missing. (DM)

    Detailed discussion and art historical appraisal by MF in OS 2, no. 15


    Mounted on canvas

    Formerly: Marino Dall' Oglio, Milan; John Eskenazi, Milan and The Textile Gallery, London

    Exhibited: Hamburg Deichtorhallen 1993; Stuttgart, Linden-Museum 1993


    Published:
    OS 1, no. 161 *** OS 2, no. 15

  • The "Ungar" Star Ushak

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    • Lot39
    • OriginWest Anatolia
    • Dimensions280 x 133 cm
    • Age1400 - 1500
    • Estimate EUR60,000 - 80,000

    The design of the Ungar carpet is beautifully drawn and it is probably amongst the oldest and best of the Star Variants. It was the exception to the general lack of consideration that Heinrich Kirchheim had for the traditional Uşak carpets.The small traces on the left side of the ragged palmette border are sufficient to show how well composed and clearly drawn it is. Very few of the large-format classical Uşak carpets have this border pattern. One comparative example is the Campana Four-Lobed Star Uşak. The ragged palmette border is more often seen on smaller Uşak rugs, and is also found on some Star Variants made in central Anatolia. It features – in combination with a variety of different field designs – on many other Anatolian tribal rugs made between 1450 and 1600, including two in the Kirchheim Collection (plate 17, plate 30). Surviving examples demonstrate that it continued to be used in the Bergama region of western Anatolia until probably as late as 1750. (MF)

    Extract from OS 2, no. 16. The carpet is discussed in detail and assessed art historically in that publication.


    Mounted on canvas and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Ungar Collection, Mexico City; Marino Dall’Oglio, Milan, and The Textile Gallery, London

    Exhibited: Hamburg, Deichtorhallen, 1993; Stuttgart, Linden-Museum, 1993


    Published:
    OS 1, no. 192 *** OS 2, no. 16

  • Rug Fragment with Palmette Border

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    • Lot40
    • OriginAnatolia
    • Dimensions92 x 43 cm
    • Age1450 - 1500
    • Estimate EUR6,000 - 8,000

    This striking small fragment of a 15th-century rug is a section from the lower right corner. Not enough of the piece has survived to determine its original dimensions or to reconstruct the overall design. The limited palette has a predominance of natural beige wool, as well as a brilliant indigo blue on a corroded black ground. Two other colours are introduced, red and yellow, but just in tiny dots. This colour scheme is unusual but not unique. The main border design of ragged palmettes, serrated diagonal floral cruciforms and hooked  horizontal bars displays a striking perfection of drawing. It may represent a floral interpretation of an animal border. (MF and DM)

    Detailed discussion and art historical appraisal by MF in OS 2, no. 17.


    Mounted on fabric and attached to a wooden frame

    Formerly: Garry Muse, Tucson

    Exhibited: Hamburg, Deichtorhallen 1993; Stuttgart, Linden-Museum 1993


    Published:
    OS 1, no. 213 *** OS 2, no. 17