Monday 27 February 2012

A good year for the roses

Turkmen pulses in Europe were racing this week as two exceptional pieces came up for sale.

Important main carpets rarely appear at auction,but such was the case at Aponem/Druot Paris on February 22.Artfully arranged in a disorderly moving-house fashion,the catalogue photo nonetheless exuded an archaic magnificence.Carpets of this type,christened by Hali the”multiple-göl” group,are characterised by a mixture of Kepse and C-Göls,whereby the Kepse Göl is customarily  formed from two white crenellations.The major example of this is the Hecksher/De Young example(published in Hali 130/80)However the Druot piece was a real contender for second place,with a more interesting border,but lacking the visual clout of the SF piece due to a simplistic repetition of the C-Gul motif within the guls.It sold in the room for 24,000 euro after a pitched battle between two determined bidders.Unconfirmed reports are that the Hecksher carpet was sold for 160,000 dollars.

2-Archaic Kepse
Most of the pieces in this group employ the aforementioned kepse/C Gul formation.A piece in the Wher collection sports two Kepse and two C-Gul variations.Its unusual Kepse form is shared by a rug sold at Sothebys in October 1998,and another example in Munich(ex-Woger Collection)The famous Ballard rug(published Turkmen,Thompson,nr.62)is almost an outlier,albeit with the archaic kepse,and a combination of old Turkic forms and a Harshang design crashing discordantly together.
 More examples

As if that were not enough,underbidders got another chance to have at it via the good services of Historia Auctions in Berlin,when an Arabatchi Choval came up on the block.

Dated as "1920",bidding started at a derisory 50 euro and rocketed up to 13,000.Worn to the bone,lacking its sides, but with just enough elem to reveal a classical Halo-Tree design,this was nevertheless a harmonious piece with the poise found only in the best of type.Confident execution and an excellent relation between ground and inner gul colour helped to undermine this.No geeky orange colours or squashed guls,no über-decoration or "protuberances",but an austere Turkmen work of art.Voila!

In best ebay manner,both lots were treated in a negligent manner by their vendors,who knew they were onto a good thing.This would hardly be possible with classical carpets,but with Turkmens it still seems to work.There is nowhere to hide,on the internet.


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