Jim Dixon Rug Collection Exceeds Expectations Bringing in Over $1.3 Million at Skinner Auction

  • MARLBOROUGH, Massachusetts
  • /
  • May 18, 2022

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This Ming Dynasty carpet from the Imperial Palace exceeded its $200,000-300,000 estimate to sell for $324,500.
Courtesy of Skinner Auctioneers.

Skinner Auctioneers presented its initial two sales from the The Jim Dixon Collection, commanding widespread interest beyond the centerpiece Ming Imperial Dragon Carpet (Lot 50). The auctions represent the first of five 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 and online auction reached $1,375,805.

Taking place May 4, 2022 at Skinner’s Boston auction house, the Woven Gardens live sale included a Ming Imperial Dragon Carpet, which exceeded its $200,000-300,000 estimate to sell for $324,500. Accompanying the live auction, an online Rugs & Textile auction, which ran from April 25 - May 5, 2022 and featured a diverse group of weavings from Anatolia, the Caucasus, Persia, and Central Asia, also saw heavy interest and extended bidding on many of the lots.

“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 4 hours.” says Skinner Rugs & Carpets director, Benjamin Mini . “Our online sale of over 300 pieces was another great success. Scores of rugs dating from the 16th to the 19th century provided opportunities to fill even the most seasoned and sophisticated collections. Bidding was extended and fierce. There is an obvious demand for early and important textiles, and, with decades of experience in the field, Skinner is in an excellent position to bring such material to the market. We look forward to offering many more pieces from the Jim Dixon collection in the months to come.”

Northwest Persian or South Caucasian rug Iran, c. 18th century. Estimate $3,000-4,000. Sold for: $40,625
Courtesy of Skinner Auctioneers.

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. Woven with a Turkish knot, a Caucasian color scheme, and a design that resonates with Safavid era Persian rugs, this rare and important rug might be connected to the category of rugs now being called the “Golden Triangle” group. Another textile from the live sale was Lot 88, a rare and 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.

Rugs & textiles | The Jim Dixon Collection

The online auction featured a number of outstanding pieces, including Lot 1001, two Chinese Ningxia fragments from the Kangxi era. The meticulously articulated lotus and vine field on these fragments drew a great deal of attention, with the final sale price closing at $5,625 . Lot 1094 also drew active bidding, ultimately selling for $8,125. An early and spacious fragment from the Talish region of the Caucasus, the beautiful blue field and mesmerizing geometric playfulness of its border was hard not to notice. Additional highlights of the online sale include Two Caucasian Blossom or Dragon Carpet Fragments (Lot 1003) and a beautiful Ushak Fragment (Lot 1237), expressing the charms of early classical Anatolian weavings despite its fragmentary condition, which sold for $25,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. In March 2022, Skinner was acquired by the global auction house Bonhams, simultaneously bringing Skinner to the world's stage and providing Bonhams with greater access to the North American market. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 19-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York, Maine, Florida, or online at https://www.skinnerinc.com

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