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A Trip to Freeman's Viewing of Auction 1302

Sale Date: 3/18/08

FREEMAN'S FINE oriental rugs & CARPETS Sale No. 1302

1808 Chestnut Street, philadelphia, PA 19103.  215.563.9275  Oriental Rugs Specialist: David Weiss

Click on the links below to see details of each exhibit! 




March 16th, 2008:  Although familiar with Freeman's mid-March auction, I thought it would be a pretty exciting trip after identifying several interesting featured rugs in Freeman's ebay Live Auction.  Namely, the silk Heriz rugs which brought the most attention to my eye, one which had inscription cartouches around one of the field and medallion I've seen in a silk Heriz Oriental Rug (Lot number 11246) which later sold for $13,000 + 25% buyers premium. 

My father and I started the Sunday morning (March 16th) trek down to Philadelphia, PA at 7:30.  We headed down first to NYC from Westchester County, which was clear sailing down the West Side Highway.  After parking across from Madison Square Garden, we went down to Penn Station and made some last minute changes for our train reservations: we decided to opt for the Amtrak Acela rather than the local to PA's 30th Street Station.  

The ride was pleasant, and we arrived at Freeman's around 10:20.  The majority of carpets were on exhibit between the first and the third floors.  On the first floor, we had until 12:00 before bidding was to begin on the Asian Art auction, so we decided to wait on the third floor until after lunch. 

We saw almost ever rug on exhibit: Some very nice pieces, but one with a few small areas of moths!  We brought this to the attention of the Oriental Rug Specialist David Weiss, who was a very pleasant man.

Moth eggs?


After viewing the First Floor gallery, we decided to take a lunch break.  We walked up and down Chestnut street for several minutes, and finally decided on having lunch at the Continental Diner across the street from Freeman's.  We were walked up to the second floor where there was the option for seating at tables with hammock chairs hanging from the ceiling.  The food was decent, but extremely greasy, and the service seemed slightly understaffed, but at the very least it was something for our stomachs, and we needed some good energy to flip carpets on the Third Floor of Freeman's building.  

It was in the Diner I realized my camera was good on batteries, but the memory card was quite low.  My father and I went to a cell phone store on the corner of Chestnut on the opposite side of Freeman's.  There was a line, and wasn't sure if they would have the SD card needed for my camera, so I took a walk back to a Rite Aid we had previously passed to compare prices while my Dad waited in line.  I found a 1 GB card at Rite Aid, but the price was $49.99, which was nearly two fold that of which was offered where he was.  We picked up the 1 GB card for $24.99, had a pleasant conversation with the salesman in store, and made our way back to the auction house.

Back in Freeman's, there was still a crowd huddled in the area of the Asian Arts auction held on the Main Floor.  The elevator had an operator, who opened, closed and selected floors.  It was an old style elevator, partially open, and we could feel the air rushing inside as the elevator ascended. 

Upon entering the vestibule of the Third Floor, we came upon the gallery.  A very large Kerman with bright coloring was on the floor, as seen in the three images below. The rug was in fair-good condition with areas of foundation showing, and was of fairly good knot count - somewhere around 225 I would guess.  It did have newer applied fringe, was signed, and also featured very bright colors.  Overall it was a pretty carpet, although the design was less advantageous than the knot count could have called for.

1920's Kerman

Signed Kerman

Reverse signed Kerman

Lot  1121 Kerman carpet, Southeast Persia, circa first quarter 20th century. Inscribed, 21 ft. 6 in. x 12 ft. 8 in. Estimate $3,000-4,000.  Generally good condition overall - most of carpet has full pile but there are areas with wear down to the foundation. Carpet is pliable, not dry. At each end is an added plain flatweave khilim strip with fringes.

We arrived on the Third Floor, which was pretty much the same layout of the First Floor.  Carpets were again hanging all around, with the majority of the carpets larger than those of which were found on the first floor.  We carefully looked at more than half the carpets, and others we simply browsed.  There were some interesting small pieces from the 1950's or so which caught both my Dad's and my eye: Two Isphahan rugs, Lot numbers 11221 and 11222.  Both were in very nice condition and high knot count, although slightly in need of washing and a little dry to the touch.  Pretty pieces, the lucky bidders walked away with these pieces for under $450 and $950 before premium.

Isfahan Third Quarter 19th Century

Lot number 11222, Freeman's Oriental Rug Sale 1302.


We also passed by an interesting wooden floor screen from the Asian Art Auction with beautiful bone and mother of pearl carving.

Chinese doors

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