Rippon Boswell review

Review by Sarah Haberkern

Mainly German-speaking collectors and a few international dealers attended Rippon Boswell’s major spring auction 25 May 2013. Rippon Boswell offered 257 antique rugs and textiles, of which 134 lots were sold, 87 lots were sold with reservation and 40 lots remained unsold. Despite some highlights sold for high prices 50% of the lots achieved bids below their estimates.

Rippon Boswell Major Spring Auction 25 May 2013. The sale of lot 16, a 19th century Talish rug

The highlight of this auction was lot 197, a ca. 1800 Shakhrisyabz Suzani, shown on the frontpage of Rippon Boswell’s catalogue. This unique museum piece from an old private Munich collection achieved the highest hammerprice for a Suzani ever seen in an auction € 115,000.

Detail of lot 197, a circa 1800 Shakhrisyabz Suzani

Another ca. 1800 Shakhrisyabz Suzani, lot 157, achieved a hammerprice of € 36,000, showing that such textiles can prevail in a market becoming increasingly selective. Following this trend a Bokhara Suzani, lot 169 achieved € 8,500, a Karshi Suzani, lot 126 achieved € 8,000, a Nurata Suzani, lot 29 achieved € 7,500, and another Nurata Suzani, lot 196 was won by a bidder for € 11,000.

Suzani’s in the exhibition room

Two other striking textiles, lot 240, a Azeri flatweave achieved € 5,000, and lot 54, a rare Mexican Satillo Serape, achieved
€ 10,000.

Among the Turkmen pieces only the cheaper ones reached their estimates, while almost all the more expensive pieces achieved hammerprices below their estimates. Lot 19 and 158, two Tekke main carpets, achieved both €10,000 with reservation, and even hard-to-find tentbands like lot 61 and lot 106 did not reach their limits of € 4,000 and € 8,000. Lot 19, a recently auctioned Salor main carpet from the Werner Loges Collection, did not reach the estimated € 15,500 and achieved a hammerprice of € 12,000.

The era of large room-size carpets seems to be terminated by embargoes and other trade impediments. Two Chinese room-size carpets, lot 32 and lot 33, were only conditionally sold for € 4,400 and 4,100 € (HP). Two old Heriz carpets, lot 24 and 146, did not attract any bidders.

Preview exhibition. Lot 55(left), a Chinese Kansu carpet and lot 99, a Khotan carpet

A great Ningxia column carpet, lot 65, achieved € 7,000 compared with it’s estimate € 8,500 and lot 201, a Ningxia did not reach it’s limit of € 14,000.

Even the interest for Caucasian rugs was weak in this auction, a Karabagh Kelley, lot 114, formerly sold at Christie’s in London in 2003, achived € 25,000 compared with an estimated price of 35,000 €. A Karachoph Kasak, Lot 180, was sold for € 19,000, again lower than the estimated price of 24,000 € and a monumental Shusha Kelly, lot 90, which was estimated at € 17,500, only achieved 13,000 €, which not previously would have been possible.

Among the Anatolian pieces, lot 46, a 18th century Oushak kilim estimated at € 46,000 did not reach it’s limit and lot 72, a Yatak was propably overestimated. A rare Oushak kilim, lot 202, changed hands for € 5,000 (HP).

An outstanding and rare piece lot 150, a first half 19th century Caucasian sumakh from the Moghan region and a masterpiece of textile nomadic art missed it’s excessive estimate of 45,000 € and did not reach it’s limit. Also a Kurdish Kilim, lot 173, was probably set too expensive at 22,000 €.

Though, there were positve surprises too, lot 207, a beautiful Qashqa’i Kahn achieved a hammerprice of € 14,000, and lot 115, a large white-ground Mahal, rised from it’s estimate of € 4,500 to € 9,000 (HP)

Preview exhibition. Left in front lot 40, a Qashqa’i kilim

Among the Persian rugs and carpets a Tehran carpet estimated at € 13,500 achieved a hammerprice of € 11,000 while lot 153, a Ferahan rised from it’s estimate of € 9,500 to € 24,000 (HP).

Overall, this auction was not succesfull and pieces in the lower and middle price segment seem difficult to sell while unique textiles continue to achieve high prices.

Sarah Haberkern, Art & Antik Stuttgart