On March 30th, Capsule presents Carpets from the Jim Dixon Collection, a sale of rugs and textiles from the important collector’s archives with select additions. Learn more about this distinguished collection and the man who created it.
When renowned collector Jim Dixon first got “the rug bug”, as it is affectionately called by those it infects, he was living in a meager attic in Oakland, California. Although he didn’t have much money to spare at the time, he couldn’t ignore his fascination with ancient carpets. “I was actually really poor for a long time… [I used] all my money beyond bare living expenses to buy rugs,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 2000.
By the time Dixon became a veteran among his fellow rug aficionados, many things had changed. His carpets were no longer stored in his attic apartment, where guests once bumped their heads on the ceiling while examining Bergama fragments. Instead, they now covered every inch of his Sonoma County home, a sight so awe-inspiring that many visitors recall being stunned into silence upon entering. Dixon built the home himself with the specific purpose of display in mind. “I wanted to provide a carefully proportioned volume of space,” he explained in the same 2000 interview, “so that the impact will bring the mind to a stop and allow us to transcend our worldly tensions.”
In the face of all of this material change, one very important thing remained steadfast across the decades: Dixon’s passion for rugs. He has been called "[one of] the most accomplished fragment collectors ever." When viewing the breadth and depth of his collection, it’s not difficult to see why.
On March 30th, Capsule presents Carpets from the Jim Dixon Collection, a sale of rugs and textiles from the important collector’s archives with select additions. The objects offered in the auction span centuries and continents, including Avar rugs from East Caucasus, Yuruk and Bergama rugs from West Anatolia, and Ningxia rugs from West China. Some pieces date as far back as 1804.
A reflection of the man who created it, this collection, often referred to as the “Hesperides Collection” prizes artistry and age above all else. Representing countless idiosyncratic regional weaving practices, these textiles are a true feast for the eyes.
Pre-bidding for Carpets from the Jim Dixon Collection is available now. Live bidding begins March 30 at 11:00 AM. In-person preview is available by appointment.