Since 1990 the rug world has witnessed, and experienced, several big sales that from most people's perspectives have been good for the market.
Fine well and good for what most people think but RK knows this is just more pie-in-the-sky window dressing that has no real effect other than stuffing the pockets of the consignors for those events.
Well, basically put, these sales have not, in reality, had any real effect on raising the two main issues rugdom needs to desperately address.
Those are, for all of you who might be a little confused here, raising appreciation and prices for historic, non-Classical, oriental carpets.
We don't intend to get involved in a long dissertation to stake out our position and then prove it but let's just take a cursory look at what RK is talking about.
First there was the jon thompson Turkmen sale in December 1993. Next, the Bernheimer sale in 1996.
At both of these sales great prices were achieved across the board.
However, prices on similar pieces offered in the weeks, months and years afterwards, both by dealers and in other auctions, did not nearly reach the heights establish then.
Next came the pinner sale and now the Blau sale at sothebys.
Again several stupendous, blockbuster prices were made for some pieces but what was even more impressive was, once more, the breath of the overall uplift.
We all know the effect a name like thompson, Bernheimer, Blau or pinner lends but, really now, is the market place for historic rugs so pathetically ignorant and insecure to only value the name and not the article?
Well, rug fans, apparently so and this is something RK wishes would finally change.
But this is not the only issue we wish to address, as there is another equally significant one.
The hundreds of thousands, no wait a minute, the millions of dollars these sales have generated has done nothing but siphon those funds from the worldwide market for antique and historic weavings.
This is, perhaps, the most detrimental effect big sales cause and, while RK is no economist, we are savvy enough to know if such monies had been spent with rug dealers, instead of auction houses, there was a far greater chance that cash would have remained in the rug market.
In fact, we’d be willing to bet that would be the case.
Did thompson, Bernheimer, Blau or pinner go and take their newly minted riches and go by more carpets?
We might agree with any of you who are thinking the jury is out on that one because three of the four are no longer are alive.
This is true but the one who is surely hasn’t continued to buy now has he?
One might also argue against us by stating goods of the caliber these sales offered are rarely on the market.
We can’t agree with this either because RK knows masterpieces show up all the time, however, they are rare and so naturally are their appearances.
Also, when these examples do appear they always sell at often huge discounts compared to their auction records and accordingly they are instantly snapped up by buyers who are first on the scene.
Regardless of all this, so far not one of these sales has had any really genuine effect on the two concerns we presented at the beginning of this thread.
Maybe, you might say, they will? Well, once again, since RK doesn’t believe in fairytales and rather trusts what is called past performance, we highly doubt this will come to pass.
We need real research and science, not big name sales.
RK knows if the world of oriental rugs ever establishes the concrete foundations such research and science can provide, then and only then, will a real market for historic weavings take off.
So forget about any trickle-down from the recent Blau extravaganza at sotheby. That is unless possibly you own sotheby stock.