It's knot art... Beautiful Turkmenistan carpets and tapestries go up for sale
Collectors of oriental carpets, textiles and tapestries will remember the excitement of Dorotheum's inaugural Viennese auction of some very fine examples with enthusiasm.

So they will be delighted to hear that another selection is set to come up for auction on September 8, 2011. At the heart of the event will be carpets from Turkmenistan.

Featuring tribal symbols, traditional patterns, archaic designs and a typical colour scheme, antique carpets from this region have long exerted a particular fascination.

Having for centuries been used by many tribes for mundane purposes such as floor covering, curtains, to store goods or decorate horses, the Turkmen carpet is today considered an object of cultural significance and an object of desire for many a collector.

Turkmen carpets are characterised by their serried patterns with gul (tribal) patterns and a wide from West Turkestan, dating to the beginning of the 19th century.

Tshowals were commonly used to transport and store various goods. The carpet is distinguished by five luminous flowering trees in the elem (lower border) and a 4 x 4 gul supporting a central design of reciprocal arrows.

Expert Wolfgang Matschek has put the estimate for this 69 x 121 cm work of knotted art at €5,500 to 7,500.

Formerly considered an essential part of any dowry, the so-called Suzani are embroidered in silk. One exceptional example comes from Uzbekistan, was made during the first half of the 19th century, measures 270 x 200 cm, and has been valued at €3,000 to 4,000.

Likewise deserving of particular attention is an 'animal tree' Engsi - a rare yurt threshold carpet of the Tekke tribe from West Turkestan, decorated with paired animals facing trees of life. It dates to the second half of the 19th century (€7,000 - 8,500).

A 'Reed Screen' from around 1900, a Central Asian tent panel (Kirgizstan) made of reeds, constitutes another of this auction's rarities. The reeds were trimmed with cloth and have remained in good condition (estimate €2,500 - 3,500).

Antique Caucasian carpets continue to be a popular collector's item. One fine such example is a Karagashli village carpet from the East Caucasus, dating to the middle of the 19th century.

Karagaschli carpet
Too good to walk on - the coveted Karagaschli carpet

Measuring 322 x 120 cm, this large carpet comes from the Kuba Region and stands out for the excellent quality of its colours and its wool, the delicate knotting, and its unusual yellow border (€15,000 - 20,000 or up to $28,500).

Coming from Northwest Anatolia a Kum Kapi - an extremely densely knotted Armenian silk carpet from around 1910 - features 1.8 million knots per square metre and takes its name from the Istanbul district of Kum Kapi (€10,000 - 15,000).

In total, the auction presents 250 objects including an exceptional diversity of Caucasian carpets, from Central Asia, as well as from Persia and Turkey. Watch this space for more news on the intriguing sale.


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