Home > Archive >Stupid is as Stupid Does
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Wed, May 17th, 2006 01:27:26 PM
Topic: Stupid is as Stupid Does

Stupid is as stupid does:

Who is the moron who wrote the review of the acor auction sales at skinners and grogans?

We spied fat boy schaeffer waltzing around like another pooh-bah at a snake-charming fest, just like his mate dennis dodds, so it’s probable he penned the nonsense below.

We have, for levity’s sake, reposted it in its entirety along with a few added morsels from RK, in bold italics, wherever we felt it necessary to add some reality check to counter hali’s fanciful views.

“The gathering of the clans in Boston for ACOR 8 was seized upon by two of the 'local' auctioneers as a heaven-sent opportunity to mount sales.”

Whether or not they seized the opportunity is debatable but the fact the acor committee should have never allowed them to surely is not.

The dereliction of duty on that committee’s part is ghastly and shows how little any of them respect the hard working dealers whose booth rentals, by the way, provided the largest share of their operating capital.

RK has called these self-professed acor mini-grandees out for this and other transgressions. Clearly, hali, too, should be embarrassed not to have voiced them loud and clear as well.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you is very apt here and, while acor and the icoc pay lip-service to “helping” the market, their help is about as valuable as throwing an anvil to a drowning man.

“Skinner, who are within spitting-distance of the conference hotel, made few friends by setting themselves up in competition to scheduled ACOR activities, holding their large sale of over three hundred lots on the afternoon of 22 April 2006.”

Cute analogy but hali should have saved that one to describe the rugs at skinner’s where the majority were examples RK wouldn’t waste our spit on, let alone our greenbacks.

“The quality of the offering reflected Skinner's decline in importance as a supplier of collectable tribal and village rugs, as did the lack of an illustrated catalogue.”

What self-serving BS. Bet if hali had printed and/or helped write that catalog those words would never have seen the light of day. And we’d like to ask: When was skinners ever a important supplier?

There were, years ago, a few great piece that straggled thru their Bolton auction gallery (this sale and almost all their sales are now held in their tiny Boston location) but that’s now ancient history.

The fact hali is just waking up to that is typical of their revisionist bend and/or their penchant to chastise those who do not advertise enough with them.

Clearly this is skinners crime, not their having a crappy sale or having it on acor’s sacred Saturday afternoon.

“That having been said, the sale was reasonably successful, with the New York trade sweeping up lots for reasonable prices.”

Reasonably successful, compared to what – not selling anything?

We have heard they surpassed the 50% buy in rate but that’s just gossip on our part, as we don’t have the time or desire to bother to add up the figures ourselves.

Regardless, it was a nothing sale, catalog or not, but to rebuke skinners and let grogan off the hook is an even greater gaff on hali’s part.

“Joint top price on the day, $24,675, was fetched by a Bijar carpet, and a Daghestan prayer rug.”

At least the Bijar could be used as furniture, the Daghestan prayer rug( and its not a Daghestan by the way) was a misery to behold, let alone hold.

Our condolences to the misfortunate checkbook buyer who now is the proud owner.

“Later that evening in Dedham, about half an hour out of the city, Grogan's sale (187 lots) had more for the collector, with several lots performing extremely well – helped by the food and drink laid on for the ACOR crowd, who were bussed from their hotel.”

RK has heard some interesting scuttlebutt about those busses and the grogan sale in general – the most salient being grogan contributed $5,000 to acor and in return received their mailing list.

Nice move, mikey.

Bad move acor committee honchos.

Had RK been one of the dealers row participants, we’d be preparing a nice big bonfire to roast the chestnuts and melons of acor’s central committee members for perpetrating such a blatant and underhanded sellout of trust and responsibility.

RK is sure when this becomes general knowledge acor will have a hard time signing up any other than the most desperate come time for their next event.

“Best of the bunch was lot 110, an early Borjalu rug (HALI 145, p.37), very fine, rather worn.”

Best in whose eyes? Fat boy schaeffer’s? Or does the price realized determine what is best?

All RK can say is with such brainless commentary hali’s reputation for quality reportage is sinking even faster than skinner’s importance as a “supplier”.

“It sold for a very substantial $69,000 to a Swiss-based dealer.”

Let RK translate hali speak for you all -- substantial means ludicrously expensive, if not downright stupid.

We identified the buyer as ebberhard herman and, know for a fact, if he was shown the rug in person and asked even half that price he would have passed faster than an eigen blik (a German idiom for blink of the eye).

“a(sic) Second highest price, $48,875, was paid for the carpet used on the cover (detail right), lot 112, a Revival period west Persian (Farahan Saruk?) runner, with eccentric outsize palmettes and cloudbands.”

Please now, revival? What does that mean?

We saw the rug and, unlike fat boy schaeffer, whose girth is only exceeded by his belief he knows something about historic weavings, we CAN bend down to examine something.

This rug was what we have now decided to call a high atelier piece made somewhere in the 1830-1860 range.

While that date surely could be considered “revivalist” compared to the classic period of Persian pile weaving (1500-1700), it is poorly put and never should have been used in this context.

Take it from RK, the rug was a great piece of decorative art and, unlike the Borjalu or the Tekke ensi, actually not stupidly overpriced though it, too, was well auction fevered.

“Described by Michael Grogan as a 'sleeper', lot 106, a Tekke Turkmen ensi, rose to $40,259 due to its rare design, despite being dingy and dirty (to the extent that people said that it was chemically washed), and with lots of moth damage.”

Sleeper or big time goof up on his part?

We have expressed our opinion on grogan’s, at best, journeyman status as rug cognoscenti, and for him or anyone else to claim the foolishly low guesstimate was anything other than a major screw-up would be as disingenuous as president bush’s saying the excursion in Iraq is a success.

Plus, rare it wasn’t -- there was nothing per se rare about the design, only the manner in which it was expressed.

We called it a pastiche and stand firmly by our statement, regardless of the price it achieved.

We should take this opportunity to briefly explain our use of the term high atelier and state we probably should have used the term, atelier and not workshop when describing it in our other posts.

After researching early pre-commercial period carpets of many different types for three plus decades we have determined there were a number of various circumstances these weavings were produce in and since there is no written, or even oral, records to consult, we have only the objects themselves to prove, or disprove, anything about them.

The grogan ensi,in no way, relates to any other Tekke ensi we have ever seen. In fact, we hardly believe it is really a product of the Tekke and, if so, was made by a citified Tekke weaver(s) who was quite removed from the social framework that produced the usual type of weaving we have come to call Tekke.

There were a number of easily determined features that led us to this conclusion, not the least of which was the braided warp finish and ‘workshop’ look we spoke of.

However, we are sure there are others and when we are finally able to forensically examine a weaving like this, we are convinced it will yield positive, unassailable, data to support our contention and many others we have made and know of.

Intensive fiber and dye analysis of a rug like the ensi will, we are sure show minute differences when compared to other ‘early’ Tekke weavings.

Let’s remember though there are only a few way to tie the knot, there are many way to spin and ply the fibers.

Don’t forget dyes as well carry wonderful differences in how they were produced and mordanted and these components will yield the data we speak of.

We grant our plans for developing the testing procedures and building the necessary database are grand and although we have been trying to raise the money necessary to begin, and to fulfill, them since 1990, we have little to show for our efforts.

It is truly a shame our plans have fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes, had they not we are positive we could prove beyond a doubt our belief the Tekke ensi is not the product of any mainstream Turkmen social context.

But regardless of the small amount of substantiation we have published to support that contention, it’s clear hali has no clue, nor would they be able to recognize a workshop produced piece, like gorgan’s ensi, from a clan one even if it took out a full page ad to announce that fact.

We know hermann bought it on the phone just like the Borjalu and the cover lot as well. Based on those expenditures it appears not every old customer, or is it a new one, has flown the coop because of his obnoxious bravado, absurd rug ‘theories’ and failure to honor his word to his creditors.

Let’s remember hermann the german didn’t decamp Munchen’s fanciest shopping street so he’d be closer to the Matterhorn. He left because he couldn’t stay around and still bilk his bank, the bozwells and who knows who else at the same time.

Considering these criminal actions and the multitude of brutish business capers he perpetrated over the years, it’s a wonder anyone would let him bid at a sale, let alone be successful without putting money up front to assure he would pay for what we won-- but that’s airhead, brain-dead rugdom fer ya, now ain’t it.

“Like Skinner, Grogan was castigated by some people, specifically the less successful on Dealer's Row, for adding to their woes in commercially uncertain times, but frankly it would have been unrealistic for the auction houses to have done otherwise.”

”Unrealistic… to have done otherwise”? Yesshhh, this is big time spitting in the eye of reality, let alone almost every dealer who went to Boston for the acor dealer’s row event.

Guess hali is bonding with the acor committee, proving garbage really does seek the same level, now don’t it.

Author: jc
Wed, May 17th, 2006 01:27:26 PM

Let us explain:
We refer to danny schaeffer as fat boy not only because he tips the scales over but, more so, because his fat head is stuffed with the grandiose thought he is a rug expert and capable of holding court like the Louis the XIV of rugdom.

Compared to the few individuals who do know something more than average about historic rugs, schaeffer is nothing more than a wannbe lout and poseur.

We have, in the past, challenged him, or others like him, to get on a stage with us, whether that stage is virtual or real, to debate the finer points of rug identification and history.

Since we are not interested in Classical rugs or Chinese ones, though we do know something about them, we wish to limit any such contest to non-Classical rugs from the Near East.

RK has had about enough watching dumb bastards like schaeffer, price=clown, dodds and most of the other rug world grandees and wannabes cavort like Nero while rugdom burns to the ground.

Too bad for them RK has the knowledge, time and inclination to call them out for their stupidity, selfishness, greed and duplicity.

Our actions speak louder than words but what is ever more audible is the silence and lack of action any of these individuals have taken to try and silence us or to counter our claims.

RugKazbah has a strong readership now and what we have written has been read and thought about by many, many people who are interested in old rugs.

Were the situation reversed, rest assured, RK would have taken legal action to prevent anyone from falsely accusing us of the transgressions we have accused others of perpetrating.

We are ready, willing and able to defend ourselves with the facts and that, dear readers, is why none of them make even the slightest sound of protest or take any action.

They are all a pathetic bunch of slobbering sycophants and, frankly, RK rues the day we ever decided to enmesh ourselves professionally in the cesspool rugdom has become.

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