Ming Imperial dragon carpet set saleroom ablaze at Skinner

Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner

Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – Skinner Auctioneers presented its initial sale from the the Jim Dixon collection, commanding widespread interest beyond the centerpiece Ming Imperial dragon carpet. The May 4 auction represented the first of several planned sales from the lifetime accruals of Jim Dixon, a passionate antiquarian and outsized figure in the world of fine woven textiles who passed away in 2020. Sales for both the live May 4 auction and a late April-early May online auction together reached $1,375,805.

Taking place May 4 at Skinner’s Boston auction house, the Woven Gardens live sale included the aforementioned Ming Imperial dragon carpet, which exceeded its $200,000-$300,000 estimate to sell for the healthy sum of $324,500.

Detail of Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner

Detail of Ming Imperial dragon carpet, $324,500. Image courtesy of Skinner

“Carpet aficionados from all over the world had a glimpse into this enormous collection, and bidding was extremely energetic. The live auction of roughly 100 pieces lasted nearly four hours,” said Skinner Rugs & Carpets director Benjamin Mini, who added, “We look forward to offering many more pieces from the Jim Dixon collection in the months to come.”

Woven Gardens | The Jim Dixon Collection

Alongside the Ming Imperial dragon carpet, a number of excellent and interesting items saw abiding interest among bidders. Finely woven with multi-colored lozenges on a coral-colored field and a brilliant yellow border, Lot 56, a Northwest Persian or South Caucasian rug, sold for $40,625.

Northwest Persian or South Caucasian rug, $40,625. Image courtesy of Skinner

Northwest Persian or South Caucasian rug, $40,625. Image courtesy of Skinner

Woven with a Turkish knot, a Caucasian color scheme and a design that resonates with Safavid-era Persian rugs, this scarce and important rug might be connected to the category of rugs now being called the “Golden Triangle” group.

Early central Anatolian rug, $35,000. Image courtesy of Skinner

Early central Anatolian rug, $35,000. Image courtesy of Skinner

Another textile of note from the live sale was Lot 88, an early central Anatolian rug from the Konya region. The archaic features and outstanding artistry of this piece generated much bidding, ultimately selling for $35,000, a true testament to the value of carpets as pure art.

 

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