Published: November 8, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Material Culture
PHILADELPHIA – Material Culture offered one of America’s finest collections of decorative antique Oriental carpets on October 24, when it placed the Dardashti Collection up for auction. Iranian Yadid Dardashti (b 1946), one of the top wholesale Oriental rug dealers in the United States and located in New York City, emigrated to the United States in 1975. He recently retired and Material Culture was selected to auction his collection.
Dardashti’s achieved a reputation as a “dealer’s dealer.” He had high standards as well as the all-important “good eye.” Catalog notes pointed out that the dealer’s willingness to “pay the price,” combined with those other traits are all hallmarks of a successful trader. “What distinguishes this collection, however,” said the firm’s founder George Jevremovic, “is the great condition of so many of the carpets – a fact made all the more remarkable since the majority of the 241 lots on offer were room-sized and mansion-sized.” Jevremovic, recalled meeting Dardashti in the early 1980s, “when it was well known that Yadid would go the extra distance to acquire the best examples of rugs for the American and European markets.”
A palace-sized Persian Serapi rug from the late Nineteenth Century flew to the top of the sale, achieving $30,720, twice its starting price. It was a highlight among many beauties in the collection, with 12 poetic calligraphy inscriptions running along both sides of its interior field and another inscription at the apex, which reads “By Order of Sheikh Janaghi.” The late Nineteenth Century rug, won by an American collector who was bidding online, measured 14 feet 10 inches by 25 feet and weighed 190 pounds.
There were 240 lots offered in the sale and only eight passed. Total sales were $1,032,500.
Another standout piece was a beautifully crafted Bakhtiari carpet, 17 feet 8 inches by 31 feet 3 inches. It started at $10,000 and achieved a final price of $24,320. Again, beyond its intrinsic beauty, it’s desirability was enhanced by an inscription that read: “By order of his excellency Najaf-Qoli Khan Samsam al-Saltane, woven by the Bakhtiari, 1321 (circa 1913).” Najaf-Qoli Khan Samsam al-Saltane (1846-1930) was elected as the 11th prime minister of Iran for two terms, first in 1909 and again in 1912, according to catalog notes.
Lovers of Serapi weavings found many to admire, including a Persian Serapi, late Nineteenth Century, that surpassed its $15,000 high estimate when it was bid to $23,040. Measuring 11 feet 3 inches by 15 feet 6 inches, the wool pile, cotton warp, cotton weft example featured a large central medallion.
Right behind it at $22,500 was a boisterous and richly saturated Serapi carpet, circa 1875, 11 feet 1 inch by 14 feet 4 inches, that started at just $5,000.
Three choice lots each crossed the block at $21,250. One was an Indian Agra rug from around the turn of the Nineteenth Century with a dark blue ground and gold and ivory highlights, 16 feet by 19 feet 9 inches. Another was a mansion-sized Serapi rug from Persia, circa 1900, 17 feet 1 inch by 25 feet 3 inches, and yet another was a Persian Moud rug, also circa 1900, 15 feet 8 inches by 24 feet 1 inch.
A classic “animal skin” Bakshaish on a camel field, circa 1880, 11 feet 9 inches by 17 feet 7 inches, rounded out the sale’s top highlights, going out at $20,000, double its starting value.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For information, www.materialculture.com or 215-438-4700.
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm