VOK COLLECTION, Selection II
Auction A 88 on Saturday, 12th March 2016
|0.776 GBP||1 Euro|
|1.109 USD||1 Euro|
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 63
- South West Persia, Khuzestan province
- 360 x 175 cm
- mid 19th century
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.
DE FRANCHIS, AMADEO & WERTIME, JOHN, Lori and Bakhtiari Flatweaves. Tehran Rug Society. Tehran 1976, no. 42 *** TANAVOLI, PARVIZ, Persian Flatweaves. Woodbridge 2002, pl. 111
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Caucasus-Persia. Gilim and other Flatweaves. (Text by Hamid Sadighi) Munich 1996, no. 63
VOK Collection, Caucasus – Persia 30
- East Caucasus, Kuba region
- 210 x 164 cm
- 1st half 19th century
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.
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
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
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 48
- Central Asia, South West Uzbekistan
- 205 x 154 cm
- 18th century
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.
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
VOK Collection, Suzani 2, 61
- South West Uzbekistan
- 231 x 148 cm
- 1st half 19th century
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.
RIPPON BOSWELL, A 48, auction of 22nd November 1997, # 78 and A 53, 20th November 1999, # 70
VOK, IGNAZIO, Suzani 2. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 2006, no. 61
VOK Collection, Suzani 2, 57
- Central Asia, South West Uzbekistan
- 160 x 115 cm
- mid 19th century
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.
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani 2. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 2006, no. 57
VOK Collection, Suzani 1, 33
- Central Asia, South West Uzbekistan
- 282 x 204 cm
- ca. 1800
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.
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
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Suzani. A Textile Art from Central Asia. (Text by Jakob Taube) Munich 1994, no. 33
VOK Collection, Anatolia 55
- North West Anatolia
- 213 x 137 cm
- early 19th century
Four spikes tipped with diamonds protrude from a deep blue hexagon. The hexagon encloses a central closed hook shape surrounded by two hooked diamonds drawn in red and white. This powerful solitary motif constitutes the central point of a plain blood red field. Horizontal stripes in blue-black, blue, red and green constitute the finish at both ends. The kilim was woven without any lateral borders. – This heavily fragmented example from the Balikesir region in north western Anatolia was probably made by local Yagcibedir nomads. Very finely woven from the best wool and in rich luminous colours, it is probably one of the oldest surviving examples of this type. In April 1997, AMS radiocarbon dating was undertaken at the ETH laboratory in Zurich. The time spans determined were AD 1671 - 1783 (44.3%) and AD 1794 - 1899 (38.1%), resulting in an age of 145 years +/- 45 years. This means that the kilim may now be some 200 years old, an assumption supported by the style of drawing and high quality. – Hirsch writes that weavings of this kind served as eating cloths. – Obvious signs of age and wear. Mounted onto canvas.
PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, 100 Kelims. Meisterwerke aus Anatolien. Munich 1991, no. 12 *** HASSON, RACHEL, Woven with Love. Kilims From Anatolia. The Georg and Birgit Rabe Collection, Berlin. Jerusalem 2007, pl. p. 44 *** KELIM-CONNECTION AACHEN (publ.), Kelim: Textile Kunst aus Anatolien. Aachen 2002, pl. 3
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 55
VOK Collection, Anatolia 5
- North East Anatolia, Black Sea Coast
- 176 x 154 cm
- dated 1288 AH = 1871 AD
Petsopoulos ascribes the three niche kilims from this group published by him to the surroundings of Bayburt. They share common features such as the composition, palette and designs, although the latter are arranged in distinctly different ways in each piece. All the items are dated. In the Vok niche kilim, the Islamic date "in the year 1288" appears at the top of the steep stepped arch. The inner sides of the green-ground mihrab are decorated with red or brown hooks. A red amphora enclosing a water jug is placed on the central axis. From the amphora, a geometric, abstract flowering tree ascends towards the top of the arch. The stars seen in the red section above the mihrab follow the shape of the arch, moving the top of the mihrab upwards like soundwaves. In the wide golden yellow border, the motifs surrounded by lattice shapes – characteristic of the group – are reminiscent of candelabra. They are delicately drawn and woven in a number of colour variations. Arranged vertically and horizontally in the brown-ground outer border, the large shield forms enclosing plants are also encountered in Erzerum kilims. The very beautiful colours and spacious composition make this niche kilim one of the most impressive examples of the group. – Hirsch mentions the coastal town of Ordu on the Black Sea as the provenance. The kilim was probably used as a hanging to cover a wall niche, thus it is not a prayer rug. – Several rewoven sections, in particular along the border. Good overall condition, including the original cotton warp ends which have been tied off into a net.
PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, Der Kelim. Ein Handbuch. Munich 1980, nos. 260 ff. *** ESKENAZI, JOHN J. (publ.), Kilim. Milan 1980, no. 10
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 5
VOK Collection, Anatolia 68
- West Anatolia
- 370 x 135 cm
- ca. 1800
This large kilim with a blue field, a red-ground border and three-panel elems belongs to a specific group of only a few existing examples. Four huge main designs composed of a complex system of diamonds and powerful double hooks are arranged vertically to fill the whole of the narrow indigo field, which shows a greenish abrash at the top. Very impressive in terms of graphic effect, the striking appearance of the design is further enhanced by the use of white cotton for the hooks and the zip-fastener style inner outline of the field. Each of the spaces between the primary motifs contains two small hexagons. The same hexagons, widely spaced, provide the border decoration. In 2009 Hirsch wrote the following on the subject of this iconography: "Das Hauptmotiv entspricht vorgeschichtlichen, vorderasiatischen Darstellungen einer Göttin, flankiert von Leoparden oder Löwen (The main motif corresponds to prehistoric Near Eastern representations of a goddess, flanked by leopards or lions)" (cat. Wolff-Diepenbrock, p. 30). – The broad similarities in format, drawing and palette are evidence that the kilims in this small group share a common origin in a closely defined area, possibly the same village. Opinions are divided with regard to its geographic location. In 1997 Hirsch attributed the Vok example to the village of Altinakin near Obruk in Central Anatolia. The pieces published by Davies (1983), Sailer (1984), Petsopoulos (1991) and in the book by the Kelim-Connection (2002) are also assigned to the Konya region. Hirsch later revised his opinion, stating in 2009 that the kilim in the Wolff-Diepenbrock Collection was a village rug made in the West Anatolian province of Manisa. Konzett held the same view regarding an example published by him as early as 1991. – Fragmented; the right-hand border is missing, the left-hand border is incomplete in places. Signs of age and wear. Mounted onto canvas.
PETSOPOULOS, YANNI, 100 Kelims. Meisterwerke aus Anatolien. Munich 1991, nos. 57 and 58 *** DAVIES, PETER, The Tribal Eye. Antique Kilims of Anatolia. New York 1993, pl. 33 *** KELIM-CONNECTION AACHEN (publ.), Kelim: Textile Kunst aus Anatolien. Aachen 2002, pl. 19 *** PLOIER, HELMUT, Gewebte Poesie. Frühe anatolische Kelims. Sammlung Konzett. Graz 1991, no. 59 *** GALERIE SAILER (publ.), Aus der Welt des Kelim. Salzburg 1984, no. 34
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 68
VOK Collection, Anatolia 74
- western Central Anatolia
- 376 x 154 cm
- 18th century
The white field of this extremely rare, single-panel kilim is divided into three rectangles of equal size and design, separated by bars interspersed between them. The rectangles contain huge incised hexagons of varying ground colour that each enclose a pair of large diamonds. S-shaped motifs that may constitute abstract animals are distributed around them. Across the white surface, the striking parmakli outlines of the primary designs correspond to the analogous contours of the lateral borders, where the parmakli devices protrude inwards and outwards and are linked to form a band. The three-panel elems are embellished with serrated diamonds, crosses and interlocked stepped chevrons. The spacious composition using boldly drawn designs and brilliant colours suggests an early date. Hirsch writes that he is not aware of any other examples in this group. – Reduced upper elem, several missing sections, damaged sides.
VOK, IGNAZIO, Vok Collection. Anatolia. Kilims and other Flatweaves from Anatolia. (Text by Udo Hirsch) Munich 1997, no. 74