Thursday, 24 May 2012

Arabachi Chovals at Rippon Boswell

Rippon Boswell`s auction on May 19, 2012 featured three Arabachi items,in itself a rare event.

Arabachi chovals can be easily categorised.The paucity of known examples is helpful in this respect.

First the classical "Tekkoid gul" group:-

 Tree Halo Elem

1-Rippon Boswell 19.05.12-205,sold for 950 euro

The author can well remember struggling to restore the vertical hole in the centre of this completely worn terrain,somewhere in the early `80`s.

2-formerly Hoffmeister

Without Elem

At least seven pieces have survived without Elems.Probably they were of the Tree-Halo type,as this is the most common Elem design.Describing the Arabachi Gul in his article(in Hali 96),Michael Rothberg omits to depict the Rhombus form in the centre of the Guls,actually the distinctive characteristic of the Arabachi.Fifteen examples without Rhombus are illustrated here,thirty five with.

3-Without and with Rhombus  

A number of examples omit this diamond-shaped motif,including all of the examples in the group without Elems-which also includes the famous Ballard piece from the MET.This should not be taken as a sign of great age or archaic quality, etc.,as at least one piece is known without the Rhombus motif and  with a synthetic dye.Instead of the Ballard piece,Nr.20 from Hans Sienknecht`s book has been chosen to illustrate this group.

4-HCS Collection-Nr.15

The silhouetted lateral minor guls are an elegant and rare touch seen also on the wonderful piece of Toni Woger,now in the Völkerkunde Museum,Munich.The drawing is more successful than the Ballard,which is bunched on one side.

 With inner Kotchak border

There are ten pieces in this group,of which the best is undoubtedly that illustrated by Rothberg(from his own collection)This is also the group which features the most common use of a Kotchak Elem,later poached and simplified by the Chodor on their Ertmen Gul Chovals.

5-Rothberg Collection Hali 96-94

 Kotchak Elem

The smallest group,with two pieces known.A fragment from Shiv Sikri as illustration.

6-Shiv Sikri

And finally one piece from Seref Özen with a Saryk- influenced Elem:

7-Seref  Özen

Arabachi Chovals with 16 Guls.

There are at least 21 published examples.This can be divided through their border designs into two groups,those with and those lacking an inner Kotchak border,as seen on the one group in the aforementioned Classic cluster.

16 Gul Box-Flower Border.

The piece sold at Rippon Boswell`s is a good example,number three after the Bernheimer/Pinner/König and the fragment from Hans Sienknecht.

8-R & B 19.5.2012-230,sold for 1600 euro.

16 Gul with inner Kotchak Border

A very beautiful piece was published by Hali,and is one of the few examples with a virtually complete Elem.

A last group of three with the Schemle have been variously described as Chovals or Torbas.Three are known,one was at R&B`s and sold for 900 euro.

Schemle Gul Arabachis

10-Rippon Boswell 19.5.2012-111

Shown here are 62 chovals.This positions the Arabachi group one notch up on the rarity ladder,just above the Eagle-gul group.Of course,this is a fair sampling,and surely not a complete listing(Rothberg mentions one choval with 4 x 5 Guls)However,roughly speaking,there may have been a hundred examples published since the dawn of rug literature,making them very rare things indeed.

Hali Auction Price Guides:45-91;73-136;136-118;171-124;(Classic);136-118(16 Gul;)4/3-309(Schemle)

The buyer of the Historica Arabatchi Chuval was kind enough to submit a better photo of his purchase,which is a good note to end on.

11-See Blog entry 27 February 2012

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