RK has now had a chance to peruse the “article” accompanying the glossy photo spread that “introduces” these highly suspicious, and in our opinion totally fake, alleged period Ottoman embroideries, one of which is illustrated above.
The inherent weakness of any other position concerning them is so blatant we hazard to think our dissecting this article is even necessary.
However, considering the gullibility and stupidity that passes for academics and scholarship in rugdom, we realized it is necessary and, in fact, mandatory.
We have chosen to do this by adding our comments to a number of statements contained in the “article”. By no means are these the only places where the writer, gerard pacquin, a small time collector from western Massachusetts who bills himself as an expert of Ottoman embroideries, and the magazines editor, ben evans, have their butts out hanging in the breeze like old glory on a 100 foot flag pole.
Almost every paragraph provides enough ammunition to blow any thoughts these embroideries are genuine and old back to Turkey and beyond.
Why pacquin and evans, a helpless pair of wanna-be rug explorers, couldn’t realize this is pathetic and RK will provide some additional clues as to perhaps why as soon as our research into the mechanics of how these embroideries have entered the marketplace is completed.
For now our critique of the article that follows below will have to suffice.
What pacquin wrote is presented first and surrounded by “quotation” marks. Our comments follow in bold type.
“The arrival on the market of a new cluster of old embroideries raises many questions”
Yes, it certainly does and even posturing an article like this from that perspective can only be called foolish. Why? Simply because the possibility these embroideries are genuinely old is about as veritable as any of our readers winning their state lotteries this weekend. In our eyes it is an open and shut case and neigh on impossible they are old and genuine
“Their uncertain origin, high artistry and the fact they are so familiar, yet so different, is a mystery”
This might be a mystery to an inexperienced gullible fool like pacquin or evans but to anyone with even the slightest understanding of the art world it surely isn’t.
Making fakes that are similar to but yet different than the originals is a time honored tradition in the world of repro artists. The fact pacquin and the idiot editors at hali can’t realizes this is laughable. Plus the high level of artistry and beauty pacquin refers to a number of times questions his rug knowledge as well as his visual acuity.
“This article aims to create a dialogue that will lead to a better understanding of the group”
While pacquin can hide the disingenuity of his position behind such prose and hope it might fool most readers in the rug world it does not fool RK. Any careful reading of the article destroys pacquin’s “is it real or what” position and only shows his belief he has discovered something important. Trust us he hasn’t.
“That the drawing ranges from a higher style to a more provincial one, both within the group and on individual pieces, is seen again and again.”
Well, again, this is statement is completely inane vis-à-vis pacquin’s is it real or not position. Please mr pacquin show us ANY other textile genre where such conditions exists or ANY other period Ottoman textile for that matter. You and your editors must have rocks in your heads if you can not see this one statement answers all your questions about these embroideries.
”Other motifs are striking in their fidelity to classical models”
Gee, pacquin, what else would you expect the repro artists to do put a big woven legend on each piece guaranteeing it is circa 1600? How else could they fool mokes like you??
“So while local patronage must have been obtained for our embroideries, it is likely that the artistic conditions may have been less regulated and structured in a provincial center than in the capital. The remove(sic) from the metropolis meant a distance from both its resources and restrictions.”
These two sentences are the most ridiculous attempt to impress a reader with erudite prose Rk remembers reading in a long time. Too bad the absurdity of the underlying reality is so far from acceptable it strains the belief pacquin is not in cahoots with those fakers who fabricated these embroideries.
“The designers showed themselves much more open to adopting any and all kinds of fashionable designs they could glean from any media”
Again this might sound good on the surface to any naïve reader but to any expert it is nothing more than another amateurish attempt to validate a position that is as bogus as that 4 dollar bill.
“However, many examples diverge from the stylistic norms of known Ottoman embroideries, either in the drawing of the pattern elements or in the overall layout and design.”
Once again any awake reader would have to at least scratch his head reading this sentence in light of those that have preceded it.
“There are also many technical differences. Early Ottoman embroideries are rarely executed on a silk ground: linen is the norm, while the new group is without exception on silk.”
Whoa, here pacquin -- are your eyes so full of stars, or is it dollar signs, that you could possibly scribble such a statement and then still present this exercise, i.e. are these embroideries genuine period examples, as a question? If it doesn’t walk like a duck, squawk like one or look like one how could it possibly be a duck?
“Moreover, the silk is different from atlas, the finely woven satin we see in the occasional silk ground example. Here the ground material is a relatively course, balanced plainweave, unevenly woven, with variations in the thickness of the silk yarns forming sections with different textures. Traditional Ottoman embroideries are typically worked on lengths of fabric about 50 cm (20”) wide, but here the fabric is consistently narrower, about 30cm (12”), indicating the use of a narrower loom.”
If all pacquin can say to answer these huge differences is they indicates a narrower loom we would have to question not only these embroideries but the intellectual capabilities and sanity of a writer and editor who could possibly not realize these differences alone, forget the myriad of others, are enough to nullify the intents and purposes of writing and publishing this article. Well, only those genuinely motivated by anything that could be close to being called scholarship. However if selling them is the idea then, naturally, this article makes perfect sense, now doesn’t it?
“Another notable difference is that the separate narrow lengths of fabric are joined before being embroidered. This means that the embroidered decoration bridges the seams in the ground fabric. As a rule Ottoman pieces are embroidered separately and then joined, producing breaks in the design and slight mismatches at the seams.”
Again if this fact did not raise alarm bells then maybe pacquin's and hali’s smoke alarms need new batteries. Yeeshh, man, are you so intellectually challenged to believe all these divergent technical differences, besides the visual ones, do not demonstrate these embroideries are fakes. Come on wake up, not everyone is as credulous as you and hali’s dopey staff.
“Our group is also different in that in all but one example, the pattern is equally readable from both front and back.”
OK pacquin, that’s it for us and it should have been for you, too. We need go no further to prove our point and make yours look any more asinine.
Did you bother to re-read what you have written for content? If so, how could you possibly be anything but a dunce to overlook the perfect case you present for these embroideries being fakes?
Or is the thought of how much you will make selling these fakes to the unsuspecting so overwhelming to prevent you from seeing the absurdity of even questioning their genuineness?
More to come stay tuned…