Hello everyone, and welcome to our Virtual Gallery Walk for the current Skinner Fine Oriental Rugs & Carpets auction. I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on the auction as a whole, and some highlights in particular.
As you browse the sale, you’ll see a number of wonderful Caucasian rugs, Turkish pillow covers, Shahsavan flatwoven covers and kilims, some remarkable early Chinese rugs, and a selection of beautiful, good condition antique carpets, many of which come from private collections and are offered here without reserve.
Northwest Persian “Shrub” Carpet (Lot 1186)
Shrub carpets have a long and distinguished history in Northwest Persian weaving, and this carpet, woven about 1800, is a fine example. Although it is cut and reduced at the lower end, it is otherwise in good condition, especially for a rug more than 200 years old. It has several striking features: the latticework, and the varied plant forms within it, create a dramatically large-scale design; also, the dark blue field throws the design into relief, compelling our attention; finally, the reciprocating in-and-out border gives a sense of movement to what might otherwise be a slightly static field. View lot details.
Bordjalou Kazak Rug (Lot 1025)
This rug, like twenty-three others in the auction, comes from a first-rate personal collection that has been assembled over the last 35 years. Featuring a bold design, with brilliant colors and glorious wool, this beautiful Kazak embodies “village” weaving at its best—a playful, improvised layout that uses negative space in such a way that every design element seems to breathe. View lot details.
Serapi Carpet (Lot 1049)
This lovely carpet, made with mellow, harmonious, and complimentary dyes, is a prototypical Serapi. In later examples from the Heriz area of Northwest Persia, though the vegetable dyes can still be clear and handled with great finesse, and the wool quality is often superb, the design is often crowded and the drawing fairly coarse. Here, though, in a carpet made a generation earlier, despite the relatively fine weave, the elements in the field and border are drawn very simply and freely, and seem to be floating above it all. View lot details.
Greek Island Silk-on-silk Embroidered Bed Cover (Lot 1131)
In amazing condition, despite its thin, gauze-like silk ground, this cover is a rare survivor. I would guess that it was initially made as a dowry piece and then put in a cedar chest for the last 250 years or so. The border consists of a repeat-design of an alternating man and woman—possibly the wedding couple—in a resplendent garden, while the field shows staggered rows of trees with birds perched on the branches. One of the most interesting features of Greek Island embroidery, which this wonderful object embodies, is a confluence of various cultures. Namely, the native Greek textile folk art tradition, combined with the finesse of Ottoman needlework, together with traces of earlier Venetian design tradition. View lot details.
Early Chinese Rug with Cloud-bands and Bats (Lot 1113)
Many early Ningxia rugs are lovely, with a subtle, often restrained and austere beauty. There’s nothing austere about this rug, however. The cloud-bands, bats, and “shou” motifs, derived from Ming-era textiles, are drawn in a playful yet organized manner that delights the eye. And isn’t delight what it’s all about? View lot details.
Please browse the catalog to view the 400+ Oriental Rugs and Carpets in the auction, which is open for bidding through May 4.