Nagel review

Category: Auctions

by Sarah Haberkern.

The recent Nagel auction 7 September 2010 reflected the present economical situation. The sale was lightly attended, and though the number of sold items was near normal, the prices fetched were mostly subdued.

Attendance might have been further dampened by the new early September dates with the preview taking place 4-7 September and the auction on 7 September.  No Italians seemed visible at the auction and only one or two Americans were present while the Iranians and Turks, though suffering Ramadan, were quite active. The healthy hammer price of 11,000 Euro for lot 200, a fine Isfahan, might be a reflection of this demographic.

Lot 200, an Isfahan with a knot density of circa 10 x 11 knots per square centimeters, Central Persia, circa 1930. Size 395 x 258 cm. Photo courtesy Nagel Auktionen.

In response to this international dismissal of timing, the German dealers filled the void.  Thanks to their presence many of the items were picked up at, or near, their low estimates.

Lot 125, a Kazak Karachoph, Caucasus, circa 1860. Size 193 x 167 cm. Photo courtesy Nagel Auktionen.

Perhaps another contributing factor to the lack of performance was the dearth of star material. Most of the items offered were quite ordinary but a few top lots did quite well as demonstrated by the 7,000 Euro (+33%) result gained by lot 125, a more than decent Karabagh Kazak. The real eyebrow raiser was a quite good Portiere (lot 24) estimated at 500 Euro that fetched 7,000 Euro in hammer price.

Lot 24, a Portiere silk curtain with inscriptions and ornaments in metal thread, Ottoman, 19th century. Size 275 x 170 cm.

In contrast to the rug auction Nagels’ ethnographic sale was really a surprise. Prices were quite healthy as demonstrated by the 9,000 (+33%) price gained for an 1882 tourist guide to Istanbul by Amadeo Prezosi.

Sarah Haberkern,, 12 September, 2010

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