Suzani World Record enlivens Wiesbaden Spring sale
A huge new world record price at auction for a Central Asian suzani of any description helped to brighten the day at Rippon Boswell’s 25 May 2013 sale of collector carpets and textiles. The catalogue cover piece, lot 197, a large, densely intricate, blazingly colourful mandala-like ‘Lakai’ silk on silk embroidery from an old German collection, soared over its €29,000 estimate to a hammer price of €115,000 (€140,300 – almost $181,000 with 22% commission). It was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder against a London-based ‘agent’ bidding in the room, reportedly on behalf of a collector from the Southwestern USA, who pulled out at €110,000. Next best was lot 157, another marvellous rich Shahrisyabz piece with a directional floral lattice design, from a different collection, which made €43,920 (almost $57,000 with commission). The sale was attended by only about 120 spectators, with the international trade poorly represented. The consignment was described by attendees as containing many attractive but few ‘important’ pieces, hence what auctioneer Detlef Maltzahn candidly called “a very difficult and disappointing auction”. Among other successful pieces were four more suzanis (lots 29, 126, 169 and 196) at hammer prices between €7,500 and €11,000, an Arabachi Turkmen chuval (lot 31, hammer €9,000), a Saltillo serape (lot 54, hammer €10,000), and Karachov Kazak rug (lot 180, hammer €19,000), a west Persian Mahal carpet (lot 115, hammer €9,000) and a fine Tehran niche rug, dated 1872 (lot 193, hammer €11,000).