Recently, on January 20, 2006, a comic book sold at the Heritage Auction Gallery in Dallas, Texas for $273,125.
Yup two hundred seventy three THOUSAND one hundred twenty five dollars and we believe this is not the record price for a comic book.
Now, fans, RK would like to ask you all: Why a great, truly rare, piece of weaving history would not generally bring even a mediocre percentage of such a price?
Wanna know why? Well it is frightfully simple – there are accepted and universal standards to grade these comic books and guess what – no such standards exist in the world of historic rugs and weavings.
Point of fact is the piece of junk rug dodds sold to LACMA for about the same price.
Which would RK rather have? That answer should be a obvious as the nose on your face – the comic book of course.
Not only is there no comparison of real or perceived value but the comic might really be worth that price in the real world while dodds’s rug surely isn’t.
That’s why he schlepped it around trying to off it unsuccessfully for years until he unloaded it on the naïve curator of LACMA’s costume and textile department.
There is, naturally, another reason why a comic book like this elicits a huge price while a great carpet, a really great one not like the late period genre fluffy pile of wool LACMA is now saddle with, sells for a fraction of that price.
Many people are interested in comic books and few people are interested in historic rugs and weavings.
Why are so few people interested in the rugs many of us appreciate and collect?
Simply put, once again it is those standards, or should we say the lack of them, that hinders enlarging the collector base for these weavings.
Only through the development and implementation of a set of standards will this situation change.
Who, RK would like to posit, in rugdom is working on this issue?
Right, no one, except RK.
So, fans of great historic Near Eastern rugs and related weaving, wake up and realize until standards are installed, carpet-bagging disingenuous blood suckers like dodds will continue to get away with their chicanery and comic books and all other types of commercially produced “art” and “collectibles” will continue to draw legions of fans waving their checkbooks while great rugs go begging for pittances.
We must turn this situation around, clean house and recognize the limitations present in the world of historic rugs and until we do they will remain as under appreciated and orphaned by the art world as they have for the past 80 or so years.
Stand up and be counted instead of shaking your heads or buying more airport art for your supposed “collections”.
RK has spoken, and once again, we are sure our message will be lost because we did not sugarcoat it.
By the way, RK recognizes some Classical carpets from Safavid Persia and Ottoman Turkey do command great prices but there are many other types of non- Classical Rugs, like early Turkmen, Caucasian and Turkish Village rugs, that are as rare or even rarer that sell for the pittances we mention about.
This also -- what we have referred to in the past as the two-tier market for carpets -- must be re-examined and aligned with the reality of the situation and not the old myths and hype this world is mired and still wallows in.