Wednesday 22 November 2017

The Last of the Davanzatis

The author proposes that the Siebenbürger Carpets were woven by descendents of the Egyptian weavers brought to Turkey by the Ottomans in 1587,who subsequently intermarried and  organised into clans.There is a good deal of sampling of diverse Cairene carpets,which indicates an intimacy with the subject at a time when such knowledge was not freely available.The practice of dyeing the warp-ends is a further indicator.Ellis described the coupled-column rugs as “the most architectural of carpets”,but the term could be extended to include all examples of the group,be they prayer rugs or the medallion carpets now curiously described as “double-niche” rugs.

001)The Davanzati Palace in the Volpi era.


002)The Cairene prayer carpets have been covered HERE-Nrs 65-76


003)Many buildings could be referenced as inspirational for the Davanzati style.The most obvious(yet rarely mentioned)is the great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus,now sadly damaged by war.


004)The earliest painted citation,in the Zawada Church,Poland,from 1626.


005)Cornelius de Vos,portrait of Anthony Reyniers and his Family,from 1631.The spandrels are missing.


006)Nicholaes van Gelder,Still Life,1664.


 007)The Cardinal`s Portrait,Toby Rosenthal,1896.

008)Originally in the Volpi Collection,sold 31.3.1924 for $350;then Kevorkian Collection,sold at that sale on 5th December 1969,plate 3.Thence to the Christiano Collection,and last published by Tabibnia in 1999.

Antique Oriental Carpets from Austrian Collections,ICOC 1986,Plate 10.

With Bernheimer,and published in the 1926 Chicago catalogue,plate 50.Reproduced in the 1959 Bernheimer book(plate 52)and in 1966 by U.Schurmann.Shown at the Munich ICOC exhibition 1978,plate 15.Sold at Christies London on 8 April 2014 for $193,225(see Hali 180-129)Woven upside down.


009)Published by Schmutzler(Nr 23)this particularly fine example was restored by Tuduc.By 1978 the left border had faded,and the author repainted it and plugged the holes in the field.


010)Formerly in the Black Church in Brashov,where it could still be seen in the 1970`s,this appeared at the Tabibnia Exhibition,Milan,1999,with an incorrect provenance.How it left the Black Church is unclear.Published in Tapis Turcs/Dall` Oglio plate 25;Ionescu 149.

Illustrated in Boralevi,Geometrie d `Oriente plate 24.Described by him as similar to the Textile Museum piece.A modern restoration method was employed by Bardini`s restorers,filling in only the ground weave.

Published in Oriental Rug Review XII-3,1992,and by Ionescu plate 201.

Published Ettinghausen 1974.First appearance in Altman,1923,plate XLVI;then at the AAA- Jacoby sale of 1925.Woven top end first.


011)The two types of medallion rosette border occur on the Schmutzler-Wher carpet as large and smaller forms.The large elongated form appears on a number of superior examples,with the rosettes turned sideways top and bottom;the more schematic type employs the smaller form,which morphs into a mechanical variant later used on Karapinar examples with high mihrabs.


012)McMullan Collection ,now MET(wb-1974.149.18)Formely Spetz Collection,sold AAA in 1925(“Ghiordes Prayer Rug”-sold $425)Resold at the 1932 Andersen Sale(Lot 67,$390)Woven bottom first.

From the Skokloster Slott,a castle north of Stockholm,this carpet was in the possession of Count Wrangel.An inventory from 1672 exists.See Hali 55,and the Stockholm ICOC catalogue(Nr.6)

At Christies twice,on 13 January 1975,lot 37(sold for GBP 3600)and on 7 December 2016(lot 95)where it sold for GBP 35,000.


013a&b)There are few published photos of a Davanzati carpet-back,plate 008a(left) is from the Skokloster example,the right-hand photo is of the Ballard whiteground rug in Saint Louis.


013b)The classic column forms.


014)The eponymous carpet from the Davanzati Palace(001,seen in situ) was first published in the 1916 Volpi sale(Lot 596)and by Bode/Kühnel 1955.It reappeared at a Koller Sale in 1977,and graduated to Lefevres on 27 April 1979,where it was top-seller at GBP 14,500(by comparison,a fragment of the von Hirsch Garden carpet,also at the sale,which recently sold at Sothebys on 24 October 2017 for GBP 224,750,realised GBP 3,800)

A carpet from the Bistrita Church in Siebenburgen,now sequestered away in the Germanic National Museum Nürnberg has the square shape of the Davanzati,but features a textile-like spandrel design.The concept is shared with the Brashov carpet in plate 007.The other types of spandrel decoration are the arabesque,as in the Davanzati,and the animal,or “combat”-arabesque,(viz the Bardini fragment)which features prominently in the “Transylvanian” type Column prayer rugs.


015)Another two examples with similar plan and shape.The Budapest carpet,acquired from Bela Erodi in 1963,relates to the Brashov example(007),which is considerably narrower.The Danker carpet  was sold at Rippon Boswell`s in 1988 for DM 16.820($9,680),and reappeared at Henrys in Mutterstadt in 2016(Lot 116)estimate 15,000 euro,unsold.


016)The Dirksen carpet,published in a sales catalogue of 1931,resurfaced in modified form at The Austrian Auction Company sale of September 2014,where it sold for 14,640 euro.


017)A carpet from Rupea parish,sold to Tuduc in the 1930`s,but now missing;and a reproduction from one of Tuduc´s Armenian assistants.This(and two whiteground rugs in Budapest) have a connected rosette border,which was frequently employed in 19th century Konya production.


018)A shortened carpet from Bausback,published in Hali 177(2013)which appeared at Rasmussen on 6 June 2013,and sold for 156,000 DKK(20,968 euro);a carpet published in 1986,about which not more is known;a fragment sold on ebay ,and which re-appeared restored at Christies in 2003,selling for $1673.It prompted the cataloguer`s remark”It is rare to find a prayer format on a Smyrna rug”,two pieces from Brashov feature both the Pavilion base and the “Ionic” style,both rugs unusually damaged for Church Inventory;and the second,grimly coloured example from the Bardini Collection.


019)Amonst the most beautiful of all Transylvanian carpets are the whiteground Column rugs.The architectural style receives a delicate note through the extensive use of natural white wool,which however must have been prepared in some way,either though special washing or mordanting processes,as unprepared white wool can fade and alter badly with time.

The first Budapest carpet is on an all-white ground(including the borders)a feature it has in common with the example now in the MET,ex.McMullan.The carpet was first published in 1892 in the Wienerwerk,and then by Bode in 1901.It is described as having variously a yellow field(Batari) or ochre ground(Pasztor)Franses describes all these carpets as “ivory ground”,although he ignores the Ballard example,instead listing the Philadelphia Museum carpet,whose field,once presumably red,is now completely repiled.In the Vienna catalogue the rug is described as “Property of the Royal Hungarian Art Museum”,so it must have lain in the Museum in Budapest since at least that time.The other whiteground rug in Budapest was also published early on,in the catalogue to the great 1914 exhibition.Two of the three Budapest rugs utilise a connected rosette border.The Ballard carpet,now in St. Louis,was published in the 1924 Herron catalogue,and although sniffed at by C.G Ellis,has been given the go-ahead by Walter Denny.It seems to be in remarkable condition.A last carpet once with McMullan,and also not mentioned by Franses,is now in the MET,where it is described as “assigned to Turkey,19th century”Whether this is a hint at a forgery is hard to say.Again,Denny declared it to be real;for Ganzhorn it is the oldest of type(“15th century”!).In his update to Tuduc,Ionescu describes the rug in the National Hungarian Museum(that which was published in 1914)as the prototype for several copies.Franses`silence is also of interest.He clearly knows the Ballard and McMullan rugs,so what can this mean?


020)The Bujanovici carpet,published by Ionescu,is shown here without its disfiguring repairs.Curiously,despite an intact main left hand border,the weavers of the right hand border chose to fit the seven rosettes in perfectly,without a break.Presumably the original was woven in an inverted fashion.Perhaps the repair was woven separately on a loom and then attached,as seemed to be the case with the Schmutzler rug in plate 006a.There seems no reason to doubt its authenticity;it is a modest example.The Philadelphia rug was shown in its present condition in 1919.The field was formerly described as “pale lavender”,but is now completely white .Woven top end first.


020a) One of the most splendid Davanzati carpets was once with Davide Halevim.In excellent condition with a yellow field it most resembles the Bardini and Manilow rugs,but is superior to both.


021)Somewhat overlooked has been  a carpet once with McMullan(now MET)which combines Davanzati borders with Transylvanian style spndrels and an Ushak style medallion on a white ground.


022)The medallion border was later widely employed in the main group of Smyrna carpets.


023)Three carpets with non-red fields,all later than the foregoing.The wondrous green ground carpet in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs was donated by Maciet in 1908,by which time it had already seen a lot of wear.Combines 3D Pavilion column bases with a connected rosette border.Published in Arabeschi,plate 32.

Chris Alexander`s  equally scintillating piece,first published by the Renaissance Society,still clings to the classic ornamentation(pavilion bases,border and frieze)but developes in a creative village style.Sold recently in London for GBP 62,500,it once graced the cover of Hali 74.

First published by Ulrich Schurmann in 1976,and lately seen with Bausback,is a unique blueground example with schematic border and simple spandrels.There are,however a number of blueground forgeries.The authenticity of this carpet has never been doubted by the experts,though.


024)The following three plates show a number of forgeries divided by ground colour.

A carpet illustrated by Hangeldian from the Calatchi Collection has always struck the author as dubious;it is surely too slick to be 19th century retro-work,although the outer borders are typical of the Bergama area,and the crass star border,from the medallion Transylvanians,is jarring.It is altogether too loud.

The rosette-border item published by Ionescu is an honest attempt to reconstruct the lost carpet from Rupea shown here on plate 012.

Shown at the Ryksmuseum in 1946 and reproduced in colour by Gans-Ruedin,a carpet from the Hengels Collection in Holland was pronounced a forgery by Michael Franses in his list(“in Praise of God”,page 196,note 119/1)

But a carpet with the Hungarian dealer Josef Toth is more difficult to crack,combining excellent layout with poor,worn- out colour.Perhaps it is an old piece which has been re-worked,and then re-worn.The borders have a symmetric colour arrangement,typical of many later copies,but not unknown in genuinely old pieces.


025)Four blueground Davanzatis spearheaded by what seems a “genuine” Tuduc,published by Ionescu.Very stiff and mechanical drawing.

A carpet at Skinners seems not intended to deceive,and succeeds in this admirably.

At Nagels in 1990,similar to the first example.Sold for 4000 DM.Rumanian copies invariably sell at auction.

From the Rosner Collection.


026)When Erdmann published a fake in his enjoyable book “Europa und der Orientteppich”he referred to it as a copy of the carpet in Gröte-Hasenbalg.But that is also clearly a copy.

The Topalian rug belonged to an American dealer who always regarded it a forgery.

A very pretty copy of the Budapest rug(014-1) was with Haliden in Bath,England.


We leave the “Davanzati” Group to approach the classic Coupled-Column rugs.These are more floral in execution and lack the strictness of the foregoing group.The classification is divided into 2-4 and 6 column models.A small cluster have columns grafted onto more mainstream Transylvanian prayer rug styles featuring floral spandrels,but the majority employ swirling combat arabesques.

027)A grandly conceived example in Sibiu with  imposing “portrait” mihrab and a rare border of rosettes connected with thick strap-like meander,Persianate in style;the rug from Rupea,in extraordinary condition with glowing red field;and a third,less glamourous item from Brashov with 8 flower border open this section.It seems all rugs of this type have decorated columns.


028) Two of the rugs here have an ibrik design and large flower.Perhaps they were the prototypes for the later Ghiordes rugs which employ this device,or are contemporary.It is perhaps a concession to “airport art”.The example from Sibiu seems to have been woven upside,in which case the pitcher is watering the plant.Both Ibrik rugs have a semblance of a frieze.The middle rug from Sibiu is quite mainstream,with the columns simply grafted on.


029)Beginnings of simplification are visible here with late phase simultaneity caused by three arches lain over a field.


030) A refinement of the previous simplification is evident in a diverse group of Kula carpets,most elegantly demonstrated by a rug from Ballard with finely drawn Ionian column bases and finials.An example exists in Brashov;the carpet from the Caramoor Center auctioned at Sothebys clearly shows how the small flowers were substituted as the column bases,a recurrent feature in Basra Ghiordes rugs.


031)A few 4-column examples have survived.One such was auctioned at Christies in 1996 for $17,250.A white-ground example is in the MAK,Vienna.


032)Two rugs with the more elegant cloudband-rosette cartouche border are in Budapest and Istanbul(one of the few examples left in Turkey)Carpets from the dealers Memarian and Nejad await validation;the pretty carpet from Aaron Nejad was later seen with Mirco Cattai.


033)A remarkable small group have sometimes been attributed to the Caucasus,or Armenia.The Kirakos carpet was first published by Riegel and was the subject of an authoritative essay by Lemyel Amiran in Hali 6-1-1983


034)The ultimate reduction of the 4-column design can be seen in a group lacking both spandrels and mihrab.Three of the five rugs here utilise the cusped medallion border of the original Davanzatis.The carpet sold at the Sailer sale in 1998 for $4887 later appeared with Franco del Orto in 2000(Hali 108-26)A piece at Rippon Boswells in 2016 brought 2200 euro;perhaps the most distinguished example is in Budapest,presumably the oldest,and published in Tapis Turcs(28)The McMullan rug was purchased at the Untermyer sale in 1940.


035)A European variant displays the Arms of the Sierakowski Family(18th Century)


036)The 8-flower cartouche border also occurs on a group of red-ground prayer rugs with extravagant mihrabs and floral spandrels.(037)A piece published by Schmutzler bears small flowers sprouting downwards from the 6 columns,and is otherwise incongruous;the Benaki rug uses the cloudband rosette border,and like the Budapest rug has a geometric frieze.The Christies carpet from 2012 was sold for $36,120,and the Cracow rug features a rare tuning-fork column concept.The blueground spandrels are marginally rarer than the whiteground.


037)The floral-spandrel group with 8-flower cartouche border seem all to have issued from one manufacture.The Lefevre carpet,once in the church at Rupea,has had a checkered career since it disappeared from the Parish Church.


038)A rare border form of carnation-cartouche can be seen in a rug with Davide Halevim;the carpet at Christies in 1983 and 1985 was previously in the Hugh Black Collection;a third carpet once with Perez also has a frieze; but perhaps both pieces are copies.


039)The carnation-cartouche border was utilised for a group of 4-and-1 Holbein carpets with Ghirlandaio medallion;but its employment is perfunctory.


040)The famous Esztergom carpet with its Cairene pineapple and tulip border,followed by a carpet from Bistritza,now in Nuremberg,with a dashing Lotto-derived “Gothic” border;and a rug in the MAK,Vienna with a villagesque border and clasped sickle-leaves in the spandrels forming an extra mihrab.


041)Once in the collection of Josephe Keszler,but has not been seen since its publication in Tapis Turcs from 1925;from Sibiu,a white spandrel rug now in the Brukenthal Museum;and a third meander border rug from the Esterhazy Collection.


042)The Keszler carpet and some copies.


043)The Herrmann and Dumbarton Oaks piece are clearly twins,but a delightful rug in Brashov has a thick tulip-meander border.


044)Two charming rugs with immobile spandrels,awaiting validation.


045)Presumably the largest concentration of white spandrel column rugs can be found in the Black Church of Brashov,which contains some especially stately examples,all bearing cartouche borders.


046)Budapest is hardly to be outdone with such rugs,although of lesser quality.


047)Ambassador Aita`s rug is unusual for its decorated columns and an inner guard which later appears on a group  of Karapinar tulip rugs.It was first published by Jekyll,appeared at Lefevre in 1974(GBP 6100)and later sold at Christies in 2001 for $51,115.

A rug at Rippon Boswell seems miniaturised and sold for $27,950 in 1997.

A rug first offered at Christies in 2011 later re-appeared at the same venue in 2012,selling for $36,120.


048)Though badly mauled,the Hermitage rug is a vivacious example.


049)An outstanding blue-ground example ,now in Nuremberg,is from the Bistritz Parish Church,and has been imitated a number of times.A rug with Boralevi employs the carnation-cartouche border.


050)The Budapest rug with its thick dominant columns seems very sober next to the Herrmann example with decorated columns and a rare kufic frieze.


051)Outliers here include a pretty and early 19th century rug in the TIEM,and a rare border piece once in Szekler Church,now unaccounted for.Schurmann`s rug seems later.


052)Two clearly old Ghiordes carpets with direct connection to the older source.


053)A group with pyramid-shaped mihrabs completes this classic section.They are quite idiosyncratic.Small triangular forms now supplant the standard architraves.Schmutzler published a number of  examples.


054)The group progresses into three column modus:again,Schmutzler`s third rug(26) is particularly appealing,with a rug from the Khalili Collection as a strong runner-up.


055)Two four column carpets from Schmutzler,one in the “tuning-fork” style;the 4 long column model with an elegant Gothic meander border.


056)Schmutzler`s last effort is a 5-column version,beautifully proportioned;and a well-known item once in the Sarre Collection sold for GBP 17.000 at Lefevre`s on 23 May 1980(Lot 2)


057)A curious blue ground,3-column carpet at Skokloster is perhaps entering the 18th century;its medallion form would certainly earn it the soubriquet of “double-mihrab”-if anyone can explain what a “double-mihrab” is,and why anyone would need such a thing.


058)More Pyramid mihrab rugs showing a drift into Ghiordes territory;the blue ground fragment is particularly striking.


059)The “head-and-shoulders” Ghiordes prayer rugs,actually inspired by the classic Cairene style,once inspired the author to the premise that they actually represented real individuals,and were in fact abstract portraits!


060-063)A diverse group of forgeries.





064) In these classic Ladiks the columns have disappeared and the arches shrunk to a shrug of the head and shoulders.These two from the Ballard Collection seem to be best of type.


065)A later group re-creates the architectural style in a novelty fashion.


066)Very villagesque carpets often described as “Konya-Ladik” i.e rugs made in the Konya area with a touch of old Ladik.


067-069)So-called “Dazkiri” rugs from the Menderes Valley area,with more than a slight Transylvanian influence,which can also be detected in medallion carpets made there.This reduced column group can be divided into two clusters,see Fine Columns, and Thick Columns




070)Two rare whiteground examples;perhaps the Skinners rug is a copy.


071)The 18th-19th century Konya column prayer rugs are the ultimate feminisation of the masculine architectural style initiated by the whiteground Davanzatis,one of the most successful hybrids of the carpet world.A rug from the Manilow Collection(063)represents the transitional phase from the Davanzatis to the Konya Plain.A very old and mature example is in the Vakflar Museum(061).The earliest group often carry a green alam-like design in the field and within the central upper mihrab,whose meaning is unknown(perhaps sufistic)The middle mihrab often intrudes into the upper border,echoing the dome of the Bucharest fragment.Dark brown spandrels with two or three large white snowflakes are the norm.

Christies East 6 June 1989 Lot 109(property of a New York Collector) sold for $4950.

Exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Art exhibition “ Woven Dreams”,from the Collection of Eleanore and David Morrice,this piece was dated to the late 19th century due to the presence of a faded lavender grey.However,this may have natural causes resulting from the use of Bakkam wood-dye on an alum mordant,which creates a strong but unstable violet colour.

Rippon Boswell 5 December 2009,Lot 200.Estimate 15,300 €,unsold.

Rippon Boswell 18 November 1995,Lot 133.Sold for 38,000 DM.


072)Vakiflar depot,Ankara.From the Șeraffettin Mosque in Konya.

Published Schurmann 1966,as ”Ladik”.

Sothebys New York 30 May 1987,Lot 21.Estimate $1500-2000.

Published by Mondadori.


073) Codename “Airbag” for obvious reasons,this group features a large exaggerated central upper mihrab.

Published Eitzenberger,Hali 131.

Published Merx 4-later with Sari.

ICOC Stockholm,dealer`s stand.

Published Sovrani Tappeti,Nr.34.


074)At Sothebys in 1985(unsold)then at Phillips in New York May 30 1986(Lot 41)-sold for $7150.Reappeared at Sothebys NY September 22 1993(Lot 86)estimate $7-10,000;again at same venue on 13 December 2007(Lot 81)-sold for $40,000.

At Skinner on 16 December 1986(lot 37)estimate $1000-1500;Sothebys 22 September 1993(Lot 6)estimate $4-6000;exhibited at the exhibition “From Ashgabat to Istanbul”,Textile Museum of Canada,2015,Collection of Ed and Joan Safarian.

The Manilow Collection carpet,sold at Sothebys  7 April 1992(Lot 10) for $39,600;and again at the same venue on 1 October 2002(Lot 332) for $32,862.In very good condition,with silk highlights.An important transitional piece between the Davanzati rugs and the later Konya group,with combat arabesque spandrels in the “Transylvanian” style.

A curiosity with Mujur border,dated 1768,which is presumably fictitious.Exhibited at the Austrian ICOC in 1986,catalogue entry 13.


075)From the Petrie Collection,sold Christies 31 March 2016 for $6875;later with Manoyan,published Hali 188,page 63.And a rug from the same makers hand,sold at Sothebys NY on 13 December 2007(Lot 55) for $21,250.


076)The best known group of Konya prayer rugs.

A carpet in the collection of Jan Harlan has the kindest and most relaxed expression of all.

Michael Lubin`s rug,via Tony d`Orsi,is more stringent.

The carpet of Harper Sibley,often cited from the Textile Museum,is a model of decorum.

A carpet with Peter Bausback has the squarest of shapes.

The rug discovered by Pinner and Diyarbekirli in the Aksaray Mosque museum in 1986 is also a generous example.

This salient group is characterised by a connected rosette border already developed in the Rupea rug(012)


077)Once in the collection of Louise Woodhead,this was sold at Sothebys on 3 June 2005(Lot 51) for $18,000;thence Tabibnia-Zaleski.

At Sothebys on 8 December 1990,(Lot 141),and sold for $8,800.This was also the day of the Getty classical carpet sales,and the Tent Band Collection.

At Sothebys NY on 9 March 1995(Lot 22) estimate $2,500-3500.

At Sothebys on 11 October 1990(Lot 636) sold for GBP 6050($11,797);then at Nagels on 23 June 1993(Lot 3067)sold for 7000 DM.

From the Exhibition:Anatolian Rugs:Spirited reflections.


078) From the TIEM,Istanbul.

Sold at the Dorotheum,Vienna on 21 October 2015 (Lot 34) for 5625 €.

Published by Sailer in 1983.

Unsold at Sothebys London on 21 April 1999,against an estimate of GBP 3000-5000.


079)Unsold at Nagels on 4 April 1992;estimate 2000 DM

Sothebys 15 May 1997(Lot 68) Estimate GBP 5-800.

Exhibited by Bertram Frauenknecht,see Hali 1987,Nr.36

Sold at Rippon Boswell 14 May 1994(Lot 78) for 11,000 DM.


080)At Edelmann`s New York in October 1979,and Nagels Stuttgart in June 1980.Later published by Bausback in 1982.

From the collection of Dominique Aupy,via Tony d`Orsi.

Taher Sabahi,L`Arte del Tappeto d `Oriente,page 302.

Published by Clive Loveless in Hali 46,1989.The tree appears too large for the field;spandrels and trefoil lappets are untypical.

Kinaci Collection,see Hali 151-116.

081) Kelimhaus Johannik,Vienna.Hali 102(1999)page 29.

Patrick Pouler,advertisement Rugrabbit.

Rippon Boswell 56-19 May 2001(Lot 157) sold for 15,000 DM.

Published Battilossi 3-9.


082) A group with foreshortened columns.

Unsold at Sothebys NY on June 13 1979(Lot 152)Published by Ronnie Newman in Hali II-3-1979;at Sothebys on April 10-11 1981(Lot 241)at Sothebys December 14 2006(Lot 114)from the estate of M.Allen Swift,sold for $6000.

Published by Roy Macey,Prayer Rugs,plate 13.

Unsold against an estimate of GBP 8-12,000 at Christies on October 17 1996(Lot 431)


083) Three rugs more related to the Ushak area.

Ballard Collection,now MET.Lazy lines.

At Nagels,auctions 270 and 276.

Published by Denny,The Classical Tradition,plate 49.Acquired by Myers 1916,Textile Museum.


084) A group from the Konya area with close stylistic links to the Davanzatis.

At the Bernheimer sale on 14 February 1996(Lot 144) sold for GBP 8050.

Sold at Rippon Boswell on 11 May 1996(Lot 64) for 19,720 DM($13,005)

Originally from the John Schorscher Collection,this found its way into Herrmann`s first book(1978) via Sothebys NY sale of 3 February 1977 (Lot 288)sold for $14,000.

From the Dani Ghigo Collection.Unsold at Christies in 2016 and 2017.

085)Three examples from Turkish Museums,more reverie than rug.


086) At Sothebys on 22 November 1975(Lot 188) sold for $2300;and at Sothebys on 9 March 1994 Dildarian Sale(Lot 63) sold for $5463;a very similar rug went unsold at Sothebys on April 10 2002(Lot 83)against an estimate of $8-12,000.


087)A large group, attributed to the Karapinar area,employs exaggeratedly high-tower mihrabs.Quality is decidely uneven.

A carpet in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts features rows of trees in the niches,one of three known examples(Batari 1994,77)

Ambassador Aita`s rug,one of the best,had been published originally by Neugebauer and Orendi in 1909.It was at Christies in 1975,and Lefevre in 1976,finally selling at the Aita sale,Christies London on 18 October 2001(Lot 202) for GBP 9400($13,630)

First offered at the “Rugs as Art” auction in 1972,William Price`s rug(Ottoman Treasures-11) must also be counted amongst the finest examples.


088)A gaggle of pieces including a very good model published in the Sovrani Milan ICOC catalogue,and a rug still in Cluj,Transylvania.


089)A more sophisticated cluster is exemplified by a carpet at Skinner in 1991,which went unsold against an estimate of $15-18,000;later seen with Marchi in Perugia.It had first been published by Lewis in 1911(practical Book of Oriental Rugs),where it still had its long warp ends(Also published by Butler)

Two carpets from Nagel and Mirco Cattai await verification.


090)A carpet marking an early auction appearance by Christopher Alexander was at Sothebys NY on 15 April 1993 with an estimate of $12-15,00.It resurfaced at Nagels a year later,restored,with an estimate on 19,500 DM.It then popped over to Mangisch in Switzerland for a turn on 2 October 1995,where it may have sold for 14,000 Swiss Francs.Its last resting place was Christies on 22 April 1999(Lot 37) where it sold for GBP 6900.


091)In a similar vein but less stark are a group with tree ornaments in the field.Herrmann published two of these.

Published Stanley Reed.

Ex-collection William Price,sold at Sothebys on 2 June 2010(Lot 56) for $53,125.Previously at Sothebys in 1985($15,400)

At Edelmann`s on 24 October 1981(Lot 264)Published by Herrmann SOT IV;unsold at Sothebys on 15 April 1998(Lot 66) against an estimate of $40-60,000.

Published in Herrmann SOT IX,plate 15.

From the Hirth Collection sale,1916.


092)Three rugs in a similar,more simplified manner.

Previously with Perez(and published by Beattie in her Orientations article)this was at Bonhams on 8 April 2008(Lot 96)where it was described as having been purchased in 1964 for 5000 Dutch guilders; sold for GBP 6240.

With Mirco Cattai.

Sold at the Blau sale,Sothebys NY on 14 December 2006(Lot 53) for $42,000.See Hali 151-161.


093)Another cluster features an extra row of three plain mihrabs.

Advertised by Ronnie Newman in 2004(Hali 135-87)this was sold at Rippon Boswell on 28 May 2005(Lot 106) for €20,400($25,605)

A carpet from Keshishian(1970-22)later appeared in Hali 4-2,page 211,and was offered at Sothebys on 5 October 1973(Lot 100)


094)At Rippon Boswell on 29 November 2008(Lot 210)and sold for € 7320.Also with Franco del Orto.

At Skinners 24 April 1993(Lot 10)sold for $ 2475; later at Sothebys on 10 April 1997 (Lot 7)estimate $8-10,000.


095)An interesting and early carpet from Wawel castle.


096)Later pieces often display columns as free-floating blazons.The McMullan carpet is dated,improbably,to 1768,thus making it one of the few dated early Turkish rugs.It seems to be the prototype for a larger group of carpets from the Bergama area/Karakecilli group.

Sold at Rippon Boswell in 1998 on 23 may(Lot 199) for DM 58,000.

At Sothebys on 1 November 2016 (Lot 21,from an Austrian Collection)Sold for GBP 6000.

At Lefevre on 15 February 1980 (Lot 33) sold for GBP 7700.


097)An assortment of carpets showing signs of what May Beattie called “provincial degeneration”


098) Two rugs from a later airport-art group seem better organised than most.The heraldic elements between the central columns appear meaningful.The Sothebys rug seems best-of-type,once at Sothebys in New York on 13 April 1995(Lot 62) at an estimate of $3-5000;after being published by Walter Denny,it re appeared at the important Chris Alexander sale of  7 November 2017(Lot 76)leaving us for GBP 3750.


099)The miniaturised shields which first appear on the Brashov Davanzati(Plate 007)continue on into the McMullan dated rug type (086)and soldier on with two small prayer rugs from the Kozak area,once with Bausback and Meyer-Müller.


100)The final reduction of the column design,seen on a cluster of rugs,the first of which was published in 1909 by Neugebauer/Orendi.They all bear the Karapinar border.The Sothebys rug was on sale 15 April 1993(Lot 84)with an estimate of $ 4-6000.They make a sad finale.It is strange to think that their forebears were created hundreds of years before in a royal atelier.


101) Leopold Benguiat at the Davanzati Palace.Published by Alberto Boralevi in Hali 2-4,1980,page 293.


Altman,A Collection of Antique Carpets 1923
Ancient Oriental Rugs from Private Collections in Budapest,1986
Arabeschi,Institute du Monde Arabe,Paris,1989
Biedronska-Sloter,Beata-Carpets in Polish Paintings,OCTS VII
Dahli,Anki-Count Wrangel`s Legacy(Skokloster carpets) Hali 55-118
Batari,Ferenc-Ottoman Turkish Carpets,1994
Beattie,May-Coupled Column Prayer Rugs,Orientations Winter 1968,page 243
Boralevi,Alberto-The Benguiats in the Davanzati Palace,Hali II-4-1980 page 292
Boralevi,Alberto-Geometrie d`Oriente
Dall`Oglio,Marino-Transylvanian Rugs,Hali 1-3-274
Diyarbekirli & Pinner-Four Ruds in Aksaray,Hali 39-28
Dunca & Gherghiescu,Tuducs Coupled Column Prayer Rug Fragment,ICOC VII
Ettinghausen,Prayer Rugs,Textile Museum 1974
Gantzhorn,The Christian Oriental Carpet,page 477
Micaelian,Victor-The Enigma of the Transylvanian Triple Niche Rugs,OCTS IV,page 67
Mills,John-Carpets in 17th Century Dutch Paintings,hali 39 page 42
Denny,Walter-Is this the Gate of the Lord?,Hali 126,page 89
Denny,Walter,The Carpet and the Connoisseur,Ballard Collection Saint Louis
Denny,Walter,The Classical tradition in Anatolian Carpets
Diyarbekirli and Pinner-Four Rugs in Aksaray,Hali 39,page 28
ICOC Catalogue,Sovrani Tappeti,1999
ICOC Catalogue,Stockholm 2011
Ionescu,Stefano-Handbook of Fakes by Tuduc(and updates)
Ionescu,Stefano-Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania
Ionescu & Ali Riza Tuna,Structural Study of the Transylvanian Group,ICOC VII
Ionescu,Stefano-Transylvania`s Small Treasures,Hali 191-93
Otsea,Mary Jo-Catalogue entry to the Manilow Davanzati,Sothebys NY April 9 1992,Lot10
Pope,Arthur Upham,Early Oriental Carpets,Chicago,1926
Sabanci University,In Praise of God
Schmutzler,Emil-Altorientalischer Teppiche in Siebenbürgen,1933,Reprint Ionescu 2000
Tabibnia,Moshe-Tappeti Classici D`Oriente,Milan 1999
Vegh-Layer,Turkish Rugs in Transylvania,1977.One of the best commentaries.Text by M.Dall`Oglio.
Zipper,Kurt-Siebenbürgische Teppiche,Weltkunst 15 june 1983,page 1625