Coptic and Nasca Culture Textile Fragments, 300 - 700 AD

Value (2012) | $6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail
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GUEST:
Well, it was an auction in Indian Hill. They sold these two items with about four or five other items. I just kind of like to look at them. I thought they looked very old, and just bought them.

APPRAISER:
And what did the entire package cost?

GUEST:
It was around $900 or so.

APPRAISER:
How long ago was this?

GUEST:
About a year ago. But this one I wasn't really sure of, and I started doing some looking on the Internet, and I found a couple images that they were listed as Coptic Christian.

APPRAISER:
These are Coptic fragments that were made to go on tunics. And they are made by Egyptians, and they probably date from the fourth to the seventh century. And these would decorate in lines and in rondelles throughout the garment. Now, these pieces are executed in a tapestry weave, and they're done in wool and linen. And the tapestry weave is really an ancient weaving technique. It's a flat weaving technique, so it would look essentially the same on the back as the front. And we still see the same technique used right up into the present day. As a matter of fact, a lot of the motifs that we see-- the more geometric down here, and through here-- are very reminiscent of what we see in the Kilim rugs from the 18th, 19th and 20th century. As far as the piece on the bottom, these are from the Nasca culture, roughly the same age. They're small fragments. And what's interesting is they're showing the spinning implements as well as the spindle. You have all these little weights that are used as part of the spinning process. I think this group is more rare than the pieces down here.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And this is really the most interesting piece. Any time we see ones that have great color and great iconography, they're of the greatest desirability among collectors.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
So the ducks and the human figures are really quite nice. A lot of these design motifs are from Christian symbolism and also early Greek mythology.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This piece on the bottom would have been a very large... like almost a four-by-five textile.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
So it's a much smaller fragment, whereas these are very close to the original expression of the art form. So from a collector's standpoint, that's more desirable. This piece I value at around $3,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And that's in a retail setting. That's the most valuable of the pieces. The pieces in the opposite corners would sell in the $1,000 each range. These are of slightly lesser value, in the $500 to $750 range. And then the piece at the bottom, this whole package would be of interest to a collector, just because it's so nicely presented, at about $500.

GUEST:
Wow, okay.

APPRAISER:
So from the standpoint of the value of the entire collection, it's in the $6,000 to $8,000 range.

GUEST:
Wow, that's surprising.

APPRAISER:
It's kind of a gutsy buy if you didn't know anything about them to pay $900, yeah.

GUEST:
My wife had a different word for it besides gutsy.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Peter Pap Oriental Rugs of San Francisco, Inc.
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2012)
$6,000 Retail$8,000 Retail
Event
Cincinnati, OH (July 21, 2012)
Form
Weaving
Material
Linen, Wool

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