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Austria Auction Company, Vienna, 29 September

Udo Langauer’s upcoming Austria Auction Company sale of ‘Fine Antique Oriental Rugs XII’ at Palais Breuner in Vienna (and online through Live Auctioneers) on Saturday 29 September 2018 comprises 212 lots of mainly collectible rugs, with just a handful of ‘trade’ pieces, all of which are being offered at very accessible starting prices, which do not really reflect the quality of the goods.

Of these, about a third have been consigned by the estate of the respected Swiss collector Theo Haeberli, including a number of pieces of known provenance for which significantly higher prices have previously been paid, either privately or at auction, than AAC’s present very modest expectations. However, one can reasonably expect many of them to perform significantly better. The Haeberli consignment includes: a three-medallion Khotan of circa 1800 (lot 68), in for an opening bid of €3,000: a 17th century ‘Transylvanian’ style small Ushak ‘Lotto’ (lot 40) at €2,000; a very unusual and elaborate early 20th century large west Anatolian ‘Smyrna’ carpet (lot 210) at just €1,400, as is a 19th century Eagle Kazak (lot 128); and a good Azeri shadda (lot 207) at €1,000.


Other Haeberli items of particular interest among approximately 70 more well above average pile rugs, flatweaves and textiles from across the world spectrum of provenance and type include a Karapinar medallion rug (lot 163), a remarkable East Anatolian Kurdish rug with a ‘keyhole’ design (lot 204), and two pre-Columbian Nazca interlocking warp and weft textile panels (lots 23 and 72), all of which have a start price of only €400, while €300 is asked for an excellent flatwoven heraldic carriage cushion (agedyna) from southern Sweden (lot 195), an excellent Rasht embroidered panel (lot 17), and a Zakatala rug (lot 26).


The sale also includes a considerable number of excellent Turkmen rugs, bags, bands and trappings consigned by one or more unnamed German private collections. Again, the requested opening bids are on the low side, although the highest-rated lots in the sale, at €5,000 each, are a complete early Yomut Turkmen tent band (lot 124) and a Salor or Tekke tent band fragment (lot 179) both of which were exhibited in Munich and published by Martin Volkmann in 1985, as well as a so-called Igdir (Yomut group) C-gül carpet (lot 161), published in Hans Sienknecht’s definitive 1989 article in HALI 47.

Chosen for the catalogue cover, lot 150 is a panel of 17th century Ottoman çatma (silk and metal-thread velvet) from a European private collection, for which an opening bid of €2,000 is expected.


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