(ed. this was written and posted here on RK.com earlier this year)
Is the LACMA/dodds rug really a "dud" as it has been characterized here ?
Is all the fuss RK has stirred up about it justified?
We say compared to the best of its type it is. And that's what's at the bottom of this whole brouhaha - To what standard should dodds's rug be accountable.
RK.com believes museum quality is recognizable one and not just "sales patter". And, of course circa 1600 means just that and circa 1700 or circa 1800 is not the same in reality. However in “sales patter” these terms are frequently thrown around without any reasonable grounds. From all the information available it seems, dodds did just that – threw them around his his “sales patter” pitch to convince gluckman to buy his rug.
On these bases alone our public and private objections are more than warranted. Considering there are others, we feel totally confident anyone who has all the facts, and not just dodds’s hollow sales pitch in their ear, would feel likewise.
We know our stance is politically incorrect but to champion, or even condone, mediocrity and falsehood is far worse.
Then, of course there is the truth about the history of dodds's self-proclaimed "masterpiece" that he claimed has been never for sale and was in his private collection. Allegedly he acquired it "in Turkey" 25 years ago, or so the story the story goes according to gluckman’s account of what dodds told her.
Most of these facts of the matter are well-known to our readers to be quite different than dodds’s expression of them and now RK.com will expose its real ‘history’:
in 1981 it appeared in a Bausback catalog on page 11:
In the catalog Bausback called it “Ushak 17th Jahrhundert Westanatolien” (17th century from West Anatolia) and published a long caption in
German describing it.
RK.com has translated in and in Part II of this post we will provide that for our dear readerships edification.
Since the Bausback exhibition was held in October of 1981, dodds’s claim to have had it for more than 25 years, like many of the others he uttered about his rug, is totally specious.
RK.com spoke directly with Peter Bausback, a longtime acquaintance, and was told the following:
“My firm purchased this carpet from a south German collection. We offered it for around $30,000 in the exhibition. I do not remember who we sold it to but I do feel it went to a collector.”
When we asked Peter if that was dennis dodds, he chuckled and said no. We then asked Peter if he knew where the carpet was now or what had happened to it recently. He said he had no idea and when we told him dodds had recently sold it to LACMA for $250,000, he chuckled again andf said “ Ah, very good.”
At that point we told him that isn’t very good as the rug is not a museum piece, circa 1600 nor worth such a large amount of money. Peter than said “…there should be a carbon-date…” to decide such questions and when we explained to him the lack of validity C14 dating has for rugs like this, he chuckled again and said he had another call and we said our goodbyes.
RK has some other ideas about where the rug was before dodds got it but as these have yet to be proven as fact we will not mention them until they are substantiated.
No doubt the rug was in dodds's stash for some years and not "openly" offered for sale.
Like most not-know-enough dealers, who like to show the "private collection" to elicit offers or "opinions" from other recognized as more knowledgeable, RK can vouch from experience had anyone wanted it dodds would oblige.
But alas, that scenario didn't play and after schlepping it around to show after show he successfully unloaded it "years" later. Should we say Bravo or Boo? Guess you all know what our response is, right.