VOK COLLECTION, Selection II
Auction A 88 on Saturday, 12th March 2016
|0.776 GBP||1 Euro|
|1.109 USD||1 Euro|
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 5
- Central Asia, North East Uzbekistan
- 252 x 175 cm
- ca. 1900
This extraordinary suzani can be assumed to originate from the Ferghana Valley. Kalter describes an example of comparable design and style as a "Samarkand" while Taube, in his discussion of this Vok Suzani, suggests a provenance in the region east of Samarkand or the western Ferghana Valley, citing Russian sources. – The suzani is embroidered in just two colours. Composed of three wide panels, the fine purple-red foundation is a machine-woven cotton fabric probably imported from Russia, a fact that provides an important indication of its date. The white motifs have been embroidered in silk as well as cotton yarn. The field is filled with twelve large, fan-shaped circular blossoms arranged in parallel rows, spaced so closely that they touch the inner sides. The centres of the flowers consist of concentric rings surrounding a flower stalk. The long petals resembling feathers are slightly curved as though they were blowing in the wind; they may depict sunflowers. Circular blossoms in a style reminiscent of Lakai or Kirghiz embroideries are interspersed between them. Delicate flowers, each framed by two leaves resembling lyres, are aligned in a row in the narrow border. – Good condition, backed with canvas.
KALTER, JOHANNES, Aus Steppe und Oase. Bilder turkestanischer Kulturen. Stuttgart & London 1983 (Linden-Museum exhibition catalogue), ill. 57
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 5
VOK Collection, Suzani 2, 55
- Central Asia, North East Uzbekistan
- 240 x 172 cm
- mid 19th century
Now the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent was still the northern outpost of the Khanate of Kokand in the mid 19th century. The city was conquered by Czarist troops in 1865. Two rather different types of Tashkent suzanis are known. In suzanis of the "paliak" (moon) design, the entire surface is covered in large, red circular blossoms. In the other type known as "gulkurpa" (flower cloth), which this Vok suzani represents, the field design is composed of large circular blossoms and several small designs distributed around them. Large parts of the white ground are left undecorated. – In this item, a large, purple-red circular blossom placed at the centre of the field is radially surrounded by eight heart-shaped palmettes embroidered in the same colour, creating a star design. The corners of the field are accentuated by four purple-red circular blossoms surrounded by green foliate wreaths. Two slender panicles, two amulets and two botehs complement the primary design. The fourteen diagonal twigs seen in the main border are spaced widely apart. The fact that the outer secondary border largely dispenses with dividing lines is a striking feature. – Minor holes, signs of age and wear, stains. Backed with fabric.
TSCHEPELEWEZKAJA, G.L. & SUCHAREWA, O.A., Susani Usbekistans. Ein Beitrag zur Technik, Ornamentik und Symbolik der usbekischen Seidenstickereien. Hamburg 1991, colour plate III, 1 *** KALTER, JOHANNES & PALALOI, MARGARETA, Usbekistan. Erben der Seidenstraße. Stuttgart 1995, no. 550 *** HASSON, RACHEL, Flowering Gardens Along the Silk Road. Embroidered Textiles from Uzbekistan. Jerusalem 2001, pl. p. 3
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani 2. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube and Ignazio Vok) Munich 2006, no. 55
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 11
- East Caucasus
- 275 x 140 cm
- mid 19th century
The deep blue field of this finely woven Kuba kilim is covered in a dense repeat of large two-dimensional shield palmettes arranged in offset horizontal rows. Their stepped or serrated contours drawn in diverse colours combine into a lively outline, creating an impression of dynamic movement on the surface. Each design has a diamond with two long vertical points at its centre. Harking back to Persian models, the palmette design has been translated into the geometric style of Caucasian flatweaves in the characteristic way. Unlike the wealth of designs seen in comparable Kuba kilims, this example is dominated by undecorated colour sections, imbuing it with a sense of serenity, tranquillity and vibrant depth. The narrow white border contains rare comb motifs, their diagonal sides alternately facing inwards or outwards. They may be representations of abstract birds. Only two kilims of this type have been published to date, both of them by Herrmann. Vok purchased the blue-ground example published in 1985. The red-ground Kuba kilim published in 1992 used to be in the Dominguez Collection, California. - Minimal signs of age and wear, good condition.
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Asiatische Teppich- und Textilkunst 4. Munich 1992, no. 51
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Seltene Orientteppiche VII. Munich 1985, no. 19 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 11
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 12
- East Caucasus
- 311 x 151 cm
- 2nd half 19th century
Eight large shield-shaped cartouches arranged in two parallel rows take up the entire length of the brick-red field, their vertical triangular points touching. The dominant spider motif radiating from each of their central diamonds, with long arms ending in hooks and a vertical pole accentuated by serrated red outlines, are characteristic of this group of Kuba kilims. The spaces left undecorated by the primary design are filled with smaller motifs at the lower end of the field followed by box shapes further up. The wide earth-brown border shows powerful designs composed of stylised palmettes and diamonds. – Several comparative examples can be found in publications on the subject (see below). They differ from the Vok example in their narrow and simply drawn borders of short bars and, in some cases, a distinctly larger number of cartouches. Although the dimensions of comparable kilims are almost the same, their primary ornaments are reduced further and further in size as their number increases. Showing just eight cartouches, the Vok kilim appears more monumental than the examples cited. – Slight signs of age and wear, partially corroded brown, minimal damage to the ends. Good overall condition.
PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, Der Kelim. Ein Handbuch. Munich 1980, no. 297 *** BLACK, DAVID & LOVELESS, CLIVE, The Undiscovered Kilim. London 1977, pl. 34 *** HASSON, RACHEL, Caucasian Rugs. L.A. Mayer Memorial Institute for Islamic Studies. Jerusalem 1986, no. 49 *** BAUSBACK, PETER, Kelim. Antike orientalische Flachgewebe. Mannheim & Munich 1983, pl. 97
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 12
VOK Collection, Anatolia 28
- Central Anatolia, Konya region
- 253 x 139 cm
- 18th century
Conceived in landscape format, this kilim presents three large unconnected mihrab forms with wide gabled arches and interior lamps on a white field; directly facing the viewer, they appear like front views of mosques with slim pillar-like minarets. This cult kilim thus belongs to the multiple prayer type (saf in Turkish). However, it is unlikely that it was ever used for this purpose. Hirsch writes that he saw kilims of this kind hanging on the walls in the village of Divle near Karapinar; the Vok example was probably made in the same location. Kilims of this design, which appears to have changed very little over the centuries, are still woven locally although they no longer display the aesthetic quality of their antique models. In the Vok kilim, the particularly beautiful graphic design and colours are striking. Excellently drawn, the three large forms have been fitted into the narrow border surround with a floating lightness. The fine vertical lines running through the field like hatching are a characteristic design feature of this group. – Slight signs of age and wear, the corners and end finishes are incomplete in places. Mounted onto canvas.
FRAUENKNECHT, BERTRAM, Anatolische Kelims. Nuremberg 1982, ill. 20 *** IBID., Frühe türkische Tapisserien. Nuremberg 1984, no. 42 *** HERRMANN, EBERHART, Asiatische Teppich- und Textilkunst 1. Munich 1989, no. 1 *** DAVIES, PETER, The Tribal Eye. Antique Kilims of Anatolia. New York 1993, pl. 37 *** PLOIER, HELMUT, Gewebte Poesie. Frühe anatolische Kelims. Sammlung Konzett. Graz 1991, no. 77 *** ENDERLEIN, VOLKMAR, Orientalische Kelims. Flachgewebe aus Anatolien, dem Iran und dem Kaukasus. Wesel 1986, p. 60 f (Islam. Mus. Berlin) *** BALPINAR, BELKIS & HIRSCH, UDO, Flachgewebe des Vakiflar-Museums Istanbul. Wesel 1982, pl. 16
MELLAART, JAMES & HIRSCH, UDO & BALPINAR, BELKIS, The Goddess from Anatolia. Adenau 1989, vol. 1, p. 91, no. 15 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 28
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 7
- South East Caucasus, Baku / Lenkoran region
- 298 x 136 cm
- 2nd half 19th century
This colourful slit tapestry was woven in the region between Baku and Lenkoran, although the population group who produced is now impossible to determine with certainty. Wertime & Wright state “Salian” as the provenance of an analogous example. Up until now the group was usually described as “Talish“. Four comparative pieces published in literature either display the same extremely narrow border of reciprocal saw teeth and triangles, alternately in red and blue, as the Vok example or a wide main border of diagonal stripes. – The field design of the Vok kilim consists of concentric diamonds that continuously increase in size as they approach the sides of the field, with two complete diamonds aligned on the central axis and six halved or quartered diamonds placed along the sides. The examples published by Herrmann and Wertime & Wright display the same composition, while the two other kilims have smaller diamonds arranged to form diagonal lattice designs. The ‘basic module’ of the design is a tiny diagonal quadrangle divided horizontally along the centre into two halves of contrasting colours. These motifs combine into diagonal interlocked colour bands that allow the design to be read in other ways. The interplay of colours produced by these geometric shapes – drawn with a high degree of precision and minutely detailed – creates an impressively complex overall picture. Since kilims of this kind were woven without cartoons we can only admire the weaver’s artistic achievement. – Slight signs of wear, small holes and some damage to the sides, but good overall condition.
HERRMANN, EBERHART, Asiatische Teppich- und Textilkunst 4. Munich 1992, no. 52 *** WRIGHT, RICHARD & WERTIME, JOHN, Caucasian Carpets & Covers. The Weaving Culture. London 1995, pl. XIII, p. 88 *** PLÖTZE, KARL-MICHAEL, Welt der Kelims. Barsinghausen 2001, no. 34 *** SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), no. 30
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 7 *** SADIGHI NEIRIZ, HAMID & HAWKES, KARIN, Kelims und andere Flachgewebe aus der Sammlung Neiriz. Calbe, undated (2014), no. 31
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 64
- South West Persia, Fars
- 380 x 142 cm
- late 19th century
Shushtar kilims constitute an independent and distinctive group. They were woven by Bakhtiari nomads in the surroundings of the city of Shushtar situated in the southern foothills of the Zagros mountain range. Most Shushtar kilims are coarsely woven in the double weft interlocking technique, whereby slits are avoided, and soft in texture. They were not intended for permanent use on the floor, but probably served as sofrehs (eating cloths). The wide, undecorated, light brown outer border, with stepped points protruding into it, and the main border of reciprocal trefoils are typical features. In that respect they are reminiscent of antique Hamadan pile rugs, although it has not been possible to establish a connection. Moreover, this item presents a sophisticated play on visual emphasis. Does the white lattice on a blue ground constitute the foreground, or does the kilim show blue octagons on a white ground? The small diamonds further contribute to this ambivalence; light at their centres and with darker outlines, they are arranged into both a vertical/horizontal and a diagonal layout. The narrow geometric stripe of arrow motifs surrounding the field is remarkable; its type of drawing is usually seen in weavings by other tribes. Each of the 130 compartments encloses a red stepped polygon with a pale green centre. A kilim almost identical in composition and format was published by Petsopoulos in 1980. – Slight signs of wear, several stains and small holes. Two missing sections along the top right end. Good overall condition.
PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, Der Kelim. Ein Handbuch. Munich 1980, no. 359 *** WILLBORG, PETER, Woven Magic. Stockholm 1992, no. 69
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 64
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 19
- Central Asia, South West Uzbekistan
- 226 x 173 cm
- 1st half 19th century
Weddings played a central part in the lives of Central Asian people. The bride spent many years preparing for this important event. In Uzbekistan, a bride was expected to bring into the marriage a dowry of a number of suzanis in different formats. They were prestige objects created by herself and the other women in her family with meticuluous attention to detail. Uninitiated Western observers perceive the designs and motifs of these embroideries as surface decoration in splendid colours, but actually they carry veiled messages and deep symbolic meaning. Often in a hidden form no longer comprehensible to us, they manifest dreams, hopes and expectations – of happiness, health, a long life as well as fertility, which was of utmost importance for the survival of the tribes. – In this colourful example – immediately identifiable as a work from Shakhrisyabz by the embroidery technique using kanda khayol filling stitches, the palette and the style of the designs – the composition is dominated by four large flowering trees running diagonally into the corners of the field. Their starting-point, an eight-pointed medallion enclosing a star shape decorated with flowers and a central red circular blossom, is inconspicuous. Although this field design was always associated with Nurata in the past, it was ubiquitous and employed in various embroidery centres, as is amply proven by this suzani. Drawn in a very free and generous style, the main border of this item is a remarkable and particularly attractive feature, with serrated dark green diagonal leaves linked to form a vine and fan-shaped, brilliant red flowers attached to delicate stems. The lively shape of the vine and the dancing lightness of the flowers blend into a fascinating rhythm. – Minor restored areas in the foundation, very good overall condition. Backed with canvas.
TSCHEPELEWEZKAJA, G.L. & SUCHAREWA, O.A., Susani Usbekistans. Hamburg 1991, Nr. 33, S. 123 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, A 59, 16th November 2002, # 87
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 19
VOK Collection, Anatolia 7
- North East Anatolia, Siran near Gümüshane
- 139 x 160 cm
- late 19th century
In Anatolian village homes, all kinds of things were stored in wall niches which thus assumed the function of wardrobes. Small-format kilims were usually hung before the niches for decoration and protection. Coarsely woven in light colours and a format that is wider than long, this kilim with an extremely wide border is a niche curtain of this type. According to Hirsch, it was made in the town of Siran near Gümüshane in north eastern Turkey. – A sea green mihrab with a pointed arch and irregularly serrated sides fills the lower part of the pale yellow field. Except for a red zig-zag line and two comb motifs, the interior of the arch is plain. Crosses and stepped polygons combine into an ascending design in the upper section of the field. In the past, kilims displaying this iconography were always described as prayer kilims. However, the presence of a niche does not constitute compelling evidence for such use. A central religious symbol of the Islamic faith, mihrab forms occur in different contexts, assuming both iconographical and iconological relevance. It is likely that the niches seen in oriental wall hangings held emblematic significance as a profession of faith, similar to the Christian crosses formerly hung on the walls of houses in the Western world. – Three corners have been restored, otherwise in good condition.
BAUSBACK, PETER, Kelim. Antike orientalische Flachgewebe. Mannheim & Munich 1983, pl. 72
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 7
VOK Collection, Anatolia 32
- Western Central Anatolia
- 320 x 177 cm
- 19th century
Woven in a single panel, this kilim decorated in horizontal stripes is from a Yerli village in the surroundings of Afyon. The original inhabitants of the high plains of Phrygia have been weaving kilims in this type of design for centuries. Large "parmakli" (Turkish for finger) motifs alternating in colour (red, orange, white, green and blue) are aligned in the nine wide bands to produce reciprocal effects against the earth-brown ground. Both straight and eccentric wefts have been employed to accentuate their outlines. Narrow plain-coloured dividing stripes are interspersed between the design bands. The latter alternately contain seven complete primary designs or six complete primary designs and two that are cut by the border in an offset arrangement achieved by colour change. This creates an impression of the design continuing into infinity beyond the sides, an effect that is emphasised by the lack of lateral borders. The weaver’s choice of colours in the primary motifs has resulted in steep colour diagonals. – Hirsch writes that parmakli kilims did not serve as cult objects, but were used in everyday life as floor rugs, covers or wrappings, wearing out in line with their use. This explains the fact that very few antique examples have survived. – Signs of age and wear. Several rewoven sections, in particular in the lateral areas and along the lower finish.
ESKENAZI, JOHN J. (publ.), Kilim. Milan 1980, no. 6 *** COOTNER, CATHRYN & MUSE, GARRY, Anatolian Kilims. The Caroline & H. McCoy Jones Collection. San Francisco-London 1990, no. 57 *** RIPPON BOSWELL, auction of 15th November 1986, # 126
MELLAART, JAMES & HIRSCH, UDO & BALPINAR, BELKIS, The Goddess from Anatolia. Adenau 1989. Vol. I, pl. VII, no. 4, p. 29 *** VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 32