We first met hans sienknecht, our dumb bastard #2, in the mid-1970’s when he was, to the best of our knowledge, beginning to buy Turkmen weavings.
At that time he relied on the expertise of an English dealer and was, pretty much what we have called, a checkbook collector, who knew little about Turkmens. However, thanks to that dealer and knowledge he gained from him buying his pieces, sienknecht did get some impressive ones, particularly an Arabatchi main carpet RK miss-played(but that’s another story).
Sienknecht also bought some duds, quite a number in our opinion, and, not only mind you, from that English dealer.
At the time we met sienknecht, which was by the way because of our miss-playing that Arabatchi main carpet, and subsequently thereafter we found sienknecht to be an educated “gentleman” who was passionate about these weavings.
By expressing these qualities he soon became a “client” and we sold him, over the next years, a number of pieces. In fact, there is little doubt all these pieces are still in what anyone would consider the top portion of his collection.
Sometime around 1985, sienknecht’s gentlemanly attitude began to change and, quite frankly, he began to act in a boorish and rather unbecoming way towards us.
Naturally, we did not appreciate this and began to distance our self from him. However we did, from time to time, offer him pieces and one in particular—a Salor kedjbe torba—ended up being what we like to call the strike one.
RK has a tried and true modus operandi concerning our relations with others, whether those relationships are business or friendship oriented. Actually, to be quite honest, we only have business relations with people we would, and can, consider to be friends. Granted, there are many levels of friendship and what should be considered a minimum level has never been lost on us. However, we recognize there is a feeling that goes into calling someone a friend and, no matter how superficial that feeling is, it must be there.
Another point of fact is we have little in common with sienknecht, besides our common interest in Turkmen weavings:
1. we chose in our life to be self-employed, he chose to work in a large banking organization
2. we did not have rich parents, he did
3. we are heterosexual, he is homosexual
4. we live in America, he lives in Germany
5. we are informal in all aspects of our life, he is formal in all aspects of his.
We could go on citing differences but feel you all get the idea about the differences between us. We also trust you all understand commonality does not necessarily breed friendship nor does the opposite.
Those differences aside, RK must say they never interfered in our contacts until sienknecht began to climb on the high horse of ego and act like he was master and we were serf. We do not intend to analyze why this happened and will only mention it was, undoubtedly, due to the influence of other rug dealers.
Regardless of why he began to think he “owned” us, fuck that shit is what RK thinks about those who might assume such a posture.
Anyway, back to the Salor torba and sienknecht.
We purchased the torba from the grandson of an old time Armenian carpet dealing family that had been in America since before World War I. Many months later, we told sienknecht about it and arranged to meet in his house in Hamburg to show it to him when we would next be in
As soon as he saw it his eyes lit up and there was little doubt he was very interested.
We are sorry but we have no digital photo of it to post here now but we do have a print photograph of it and the next time we are where our photos are stored we will endeavor to find it and post it.
After he held it in his lap and fingered it for some minutes he rather hesitantly asked the price.
We told him what we wanted and instantly could see the look of despair and disappointment come over his face like a dark rain cloud.
He asked us if we were joking and we told him, “No”, we weren’t and this piece was well worth our price.
After he began to disparage us and demand we sell it to him at a far lower price we quickly left his apartment with our piece in hand. But, before our exit stage right and from his imaginary high horse antics , sienknecht said some entirely inappropriate things to us and acted like how dare we had tried to steal his money and not agree to the paltry price he was prepared to pay.
What BS that was and, not only did it cause a major rift between us but it proved to us how possessive and insecure this gay blade truly is.
It’s one thing to not agree with the price of an item and it’s quite another to be offended.
Let’s face facts—we live ostensibly in a free world and anyone is entitled to ask any price for anything they are willing to sell.
RK has many times been offered pieces we have some inkling of interest in only to find the seller’s expectations are not ours.
We have never, nor will we ever, take offense at this, nor have we, or will we, ever berate a seller.
The fact sienknecht did both was for us the strike one.
Remember, in baseball you get three strikes and the same goes true for relations with RK.
So when we left sienknecht’s apartment we mentally noted strike one next to his name in our rolodex.
Not to belabor the story of the Salor torba, we’d like to state soon thereafter another German collector, by the name of Werner Logis, readily bought the piece at our asking price without so much as asking for one deutsch mark of a discount.
After this incident with sienknecht, we did not call him and avoided him whenever we happened to be in public under the same roof.
But little did we realize sienknecht’s imperious and totally out of context feeling he was the konig(the German word for king, ed.) and we were but mere chattel would, sometime later be so revoltingly expressed.
That’s it for today and stay tuned for the rest of the RK/sienknecht story.
We’d like to mention sienknecht is not the first, nor do we think be the last, to believe they can, for whatever reasons no matter how trite or absurd, get a leg over on us.
Our recounting Kirchheim’s attempt in the king of the yellow rugs story or, of course, sienknecht’s strike two, which will be forthcoming, are not unique events – there have been others, as well.
RK does not suffer fools well nor do we bow to those who believe their alleged social and financial imperiousness will make us. In all instances we have shown transgressors, like Kirchheim and sienknecht, our ground is inviolate and trespassers do so at their own risk.
More to come...