Christie’s Spring Carpet Sale, London, 8 April 2014
Christie's Spring Carpet Sale, London, 8 April 2014
Christie’s carpet sale at King Street in London will consist of just 145 carefully chosen lots, heavily weighted with consignments from international private collections.
In the past year the structure of the top end of the international specialist rug auction market has seen some radical changes – both in the wake of the triumph of SNY’s single owner Clark Collection sale last summer and the very successful follow-up of Carpets from Distinguished Collections in January 2014, and through the arrival on the scene of a serious new competitor for consignments in Vienna.
First and foremost, the trend is clear – the way forward for the majors is to focus on fewer, smaller, sales of well-provenanced high value collectables. Gone are the days of 300-lot sales bulging with unsold and often unsightly dealers’ stock. With the new trend for this in mind, Christie’s 8 April 2014 carpet sale at King Street in London will consist of just 145 carefully chosen lots, heavily weighted with consignments from private collections from around the world.
Christie’s catalogue/order of sale is also organised slightly differently than we are accustomed to, so that rugs from the same collection are kept together. The first 26 lots are from an important and evidently very wide ranging German private collection, that of the late Peter Lehmann-Bärenklau of Hamburg. The consignment includes three marvellous 16th century classical period East Mediterranean carpets, which are among the undoubted highlights of the sale: lot 20 is the Baillet-Latour square Mamluk carpet (estimate £250,000-350,000); lot 21, a ‘Damascus’ chequerboard rug (£60,000-80,000); and lot 22, the Dirksen Cairene floral carpet (£150,000-200,000). Another 16th century classical highlight consigned by a private collector in Florence, Italy, is lot 50, an unusual and very beautiful star Ushak carpet with a light blue field, (£70,000-100,000).
The Lehmann-Bärenklau consignment also includes: lot 7, A yellow-ground Konya runner (£18,000-24,000); lot 8, The Bernheimer ‘Beshir’ prayer rug (£5,000-7,000); lot 11, another Middle Amu Darya region ‘Beshir’ prayer rug (£15,000-20,000); lot 12, a Bergama rug that previously belonged to the late Martin Volkmann (£20,000-30,000); lot 13, the Bernheimer coupled-column prayer rug (£50,000-80,000); lot 14, a Tibetan ‘Tiger’rug (£3,000-5,000); lot 15, a Tibetan cloudband throne cover (£3,000-5,000); and lot 19, a Daghestan runner (£18,000-24,000).
Fourteen lots (65-78) are consigned by the well-known Seattle collector James D. Burns, including: Lot 71, an 18th century south Caucasian runner (£45,000-55,000); lot 75, an outsize Khotan ‘palace’ carpet (£30,000-50-000); and lot 79, a 17th/18th century rug from Kars in eastern Anatolia (£20,000-30,000).
Lot 84, the 17th century Rothschild Kerman arabesque vase carpet (£80,000-100-000), is from a private European collection and has an unbroken provenance going back to Baron James de Rothschild (1792-1868).
A final group of 21 lots (85-100) come from the collection of the late Charles Damiano. Among these are: lot 90, a Tekke Turkmen bird asmalyk which looks cheap at an estimate of £20,000-30,000; lot 95, a Turkmen ‘eagle göl group II’ main carpet (£15,000-25,000); and lot 96, a ‘variant’ late 16th century medallion Ushak carpet (£40,000-60,000).