Antique Oriental Rugs VIII, Austria Auction Company, Vienna, 14 October 2017
In Vienna, the 223 lots in Udo Langauer’s imminent carpet sale, ‘Fine Antique Oriental Rugs VIII’ at Austria Auction Company’s Palais Breuner rooms on 14 October 2017 (also online at liveauctioneers.com), are divided into four main catalogue sections.
The first and largest of these groups is composed of 102 lots from the collection of Siawosch U. Azadi. Each successive AAC foray into the depths of the Hamburg scholar/dealer’s strong-room (this is the third or fourth) has revealed more interesting pieces from across the diverse range of Turkmen and other Central Asian carpets and trappings, as well as copious numbers of antique and old Persian town, cottage industry and tribal rugs, bags and trappings, both knotted pile and flat-woven, of which there is no particular scarcity on the market at present. Each successive foray also reveals an adjustment of expectations more in line with current realities and the consignment is for the most part quite reasonably estimated.
The next section of 44 lots, consigned by an Austrian private collection, has a rather different flavour, and consists entirely of colourful, good quality, good condition, 19th century Anatolian village and nomad pile rugs and kilims from Erzurum and Şarkişla in the east, to Gördes and Dazkırı in the west (via many places in-between. Overall, this batch of Turkish rugs is also reasonably estimated, and, interestingly, provides both front and back cover images for AAC’s printed catalogue.
In the third section, 42 lots from a Swiss private collection, the choice is again rather different in character—more diverse, with 19th century silk Tabrizes and Herizes rubbing shoulders with Persian tribal bags and trappings, a strong group of Kazaks (including a C-type Star, expected to be the top lot in the sale) and other Caucasian pile rugs and flat-weaves, Turkmen and other Central Asian carpets, covers and bands. Like the previous consignment the rugs are generally in good colour and condition, and at price levels commensurate with the other rugs in this sale.
The final part of 22 lots—aptly named ‘Various Properties’—is a potpourri. This includes the oldest piece in the sale: a beautiful small fragment of a 17th century Mughal carpet of which other sections are known in the Keir Collection, the Washington Textile Museum and an Austrian private collection (thanks to John Taylor for pointing this out on social media). There is also a complete blue and white Karabagh tapestry-woven khorjin, attributed in the catalogue to the Shahsavan and Persia, despite the appearance of Armenian characters flanking the inscribed date.
Overall, the sale is not too large and ‘Fine Antique Oriental Rugs VIII’ promised to be the most exciting of AAC’s offerings in recent months.