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Fine Antique Oriental Rugs II, Austria Auction Company, Vienna, 15 March 2014

Austria Auction Company’s second sale of ‘Erlesene Antike Orientteppiche’ will again be held at Vienna’s Novomatic Forum, at 4.00 pm on Saturday 15th March 2014. Riding high on the general success of his inaugural sale last September, entrepreneurial auctioneer Udo Langauer has attracted a strong consignment of 235 lots of antique collectable and decorative carpets and textiles.

There are rather fewer classical pieces this time around, the highlight being lot 109, a large 16th/17th century medallion Ushak carpet, chosen for the front cover of the catalogue and estimated at €150,000-2000,000. Other pre-1800 Turkish pieces include a small 17th century Lotto rug (lot 29, €12,000-15,000), an Anatolian village rug fragment (lot 108, €5,000-7,000), and a smart Gördes prayer rug (lot 186, €15,000-20,000). From the opposite extreme of the geographic range of the pan-Asian ‘rug belt’ comes a rather worn but complete lattice design Ningxia rug of circa 1700 (lot 220, €15,000-20,000).

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Lot 109: Medallion Ushak carpet, Turkey, circa 1600, 25ft. 7in. x 12ft. 2in.
Estimate: € 150,000 – 200,000

There is also a good selection of 19th century Turkish rugs, including a very colourful yellow-ground Konya (lot 67, €9,000-11,000), a marvellous Melas prayer rug (lot 150, €7,000-9000), a so-called Karapinar long rug (lot 149, €6,000-8,000), and a narrow central Anatolian kilim panel (lot 113, €4,000-6,000).

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Lot 67: Konya rug, central Anatolia, first half 19th century, 7ft. 9in. x 4ft. 5in.
Estimate: € 9,000 – 11,000

Once again, Turkmen and other Central Asian carpets, rugs, bags, bands, trappings, felts, flatweaves and embroideries feature particularly strongly in Langauer’s  selection (68 lots, almost one third of the sale), with a number of standout old pieces, including lot 124, a beautiful circa 1800 Yomut chuval-gül main carpet with a white-ground curled-leaf border (estimate €50,000-70,000).

Lot 124, Yomut main carpet, Turkmenistan circa 1800, 9ft. 2in. x 5ft. 3in. Estimate: € 50,000 – 70,000

Lot 124, Yomut Turkmen main carpet, Turkmenistan, circa 1800, 9ft. 2in. x 5ft. 3in. Estimate: € 50,000 – 70,000

The same €50,000-70,000 estimate is attached to lot 89, an undoubtedly rare Salor kapunuk (tent-door surround), while the curled-leaf border appears again in lot 163, another rather unusual old chuval-gül main carpet, but this time tentatively attributed to the Tekke and estimated at just €15,000-20,000. And like almost every international sale of late, there is another Tekke embroidered asmalyk, albeit rather an unusual one with woollen embroidery on a wool ground (according to he catalogue notes) to add to the rapidly growing corpus of known examples (lot 166, €7,000-9,000).

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Lot 166: Tekke Turkmen embroidered asmalyk, Turkmenistan, circa 1820, 4ft. 7.5in. x 2ft. 3.5in.
Estimate: € 7,000 – 9,000

In addition to Uzbek/Karakalpak/other non-Turkmen rugs and felts, the Central Asian material includes several embroideries, including Tashkent, Nurata, Shahrisyabz (a fully-embroidered ‘Lakai’ piece) and Ura Tube suzanis, and, best of all, a Kermina niche (lot 7, €4,000-6,000). Other randomly chosen highlights and curiosities include: lot 36, a visually bold ‘Zakatala’ kilim with Memling medallions (€2000-3,000); lot 52, a ‘Mohtashem’ Kashan medallion carpet (€20,000-30,000); lot 58, a blue-ground Chichi prayer rug dated 1297 (€5,000-6,000); lot 101, a camel-ground Baluch flatwoven sofreh (€1,200-1,600); lot 117, a Kia Sar ‘minimalist’ gelim from north Iran (€5,000-7,000);   lot 137, a Shekarlu Qashqa’i rug with an allover small-diamond-lattice design (€8,000-12,000), and lot 130, a superb Shahsavan sumakh khorjin face (€5,000-7,000).

Finally, a true curiosity: lot 169, illustrated on the back cover of the catalogue, is a very well known and much-trafficked Azerbaijan/Transcaucasian carpet (published as Central Asian by Robert de Calatchi in 1967). It is now on offer at a €15,000-20,000 estimate, having sold at Sotheby’s in NY in 1993 for $26,450 (HALI 73, p.132), and more recently, at Christie’s South Kensington in 2010, for just $5,920 (HALI 166, p.122).

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Lot 169: Azerbaijan carpet, 18th century, 8ft. 6in. x 7ft.
Estimate: € 15,000 – 20,000

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