This weekend I had a "conversation" with someone who is rather well known in the rug world. I will not reveal the name but will inform our readership of what this person claimed during that talk.
Basically we have known each other since the mid-80's and have, over the years, done very little business or had much real personal contact. Our "relations" were always cordial and openly honest.
However, all that came to a crash landing when this person unleashed a verbal triad on us that was, quite frankly, completely unexpected and we believe unwarranted as well as out to lunch.
There were several "topics" this person squawked about and since a few concerned the review of the Morton sale, we decided to address them in public rather than not.
The first "issue" this person was agitated about concerns the manner in which RK.com deals with certain events in the rug world, like that sale. Particularly the way we have called Bo Bo ryan's purchase of that Salor kejebe torba fragment foolish and way overpriced.
Stating that ryan was a "hard working rug dealer trying to ‘provide’ for his family” as a beginning to his argument, this person, who we will call Mr. X from now on, demanded to know why RK.com put him down.
Well after getting over our attempt to keep from laughing out loud over this myopic vision of who and what Bo Bo is, we remarked that, since Mr X apparently knows nothing about the water under the bridge that has flowed around ryan and RK or the flood waters that separate RK from a neophyte rug wanna-be like ryan, we told Mr X his "opinions" about this subject were not supported by anything other than innuendo and hear-say (all of it his own).
Passing the "personal" comments, Mr X then went on to say "I think its great ryan bought that piece for even too much money. What's wrong with that, it only helps the market.”
Again we had to contain laughter because:
1. there hardly is a market for antique weaving
2. whatever market there is has no real bottom to it nor does it act on anything other than the capricious whims of a few "big fish" buyers and sellers (though ryan is neither he does have the family checkbook and that entitles him to big fish status in some people’s eyes).
In fact, we told Mr X a purchase like the Salor fragment hurts rather than helps any real development of a market he so flippantly just referred to.
No boys and girls, when a 3-5000 dollar item sells for almost 15,000 dollars (12.5K plus a 15% commission) it only creates confusion, not substance. And remember markets are made by substance and not herky-jerky egoistic auction bluster -- the only real way to describe the sale of an item like that kejebe torba (or many others for that matter).
Guaranteed neither Bo Bo, the "successful" buyer, or the "successful" under bidder on the phone would have reached for their wallets if you or I had offered them the same piece for $6000 or even $5,000.
I am willing for bet dollars to donuts that is a FACT – no auction, no sale.
So the supposed "market building" Mr X foolishly believes a sale like that creates is, in our opinion, total BS and malarkey. Period.
Mr X then went onto even more shaky ground and accused RK of being a rug ignorant, having no collection other than the rags sold at sotheby's in 1990, and in general having no right to publish any views about rugs or the rug market in public.
"Who the f-ck do you think you are he said? You know nothing and are just a big mouth."
Probably as most of you might realize RK then gave him both barrels, right? Au contraire, Pierre, we listened to his ludicrous attack in its entirety and then said "Obviously you know even less about rugs than I ever imagined" That was the end of the conversation as we politely said "adieu" and hung up.
We waited several days and weighed our options and then called Mr X back.
During this second call, Mr X, seemed far less certain the statements he had made were accurate and he actually back-peddled a bit on those mentioned above.
He is presently "...thinking about his position, vis-ŕ-vis RK, and informed me he would call when he decided "what to do".
We mention this only to highlight what, we feel, is the greatest problem with raising public consciousness and appreciation for Antique Oriental Rugs -- the people who are involved with them.
There is no doubt the best examples are Great Art and that this Art appeals to the general public in a big way.
So why are they, and do they remain, the forgotten child of the Art World?
Simply put because of the mini-minds who are active in buying and selling them. We could write a book about the pompous fools @ the icoc and acor who think they control the rug world and the deaf, dumb and half blind collectors and dealers who empower them and constantly turn the other cheek to the transgressions, lame and petty in-dealing that runs rampant in rugdom.
But, in the end why should we bother? No one even lifts a pinky-finger to help change the status quo.
We are all to blame for weaving being at the bottom of the Art ladder, don’t forget that.
RK has surely tried to make changes but, quite frankly, we are growing tried of the lack of support we receive.
So folks, get off your butts and if you don’t want to march to RK's tune at least play your own -- or how about even trying?