Many internet ruggies know of, and even visit spongobongo.com the website run by barry o’connell. RK opinions about o’CONnell, his website and his paltry rug knowledge need no recounting here and now as there is plenty written on RugKazbah already.
Today, as we do very occasionally, we paid his site a visit and were quite amused by o’CONnell’s reportage about attending a recent Textile Museum talk given by wendel swann.
Most of you know we rate swann’s rug expertise about as low as we do o’CONnell’s and we found ourselves laughing out loud after reading o’CONnell’s:
“Notes on Wendel R. Swan*One of the world’s great Rug Experts and Collectors.”
Speaking of hyperbole, this might take the cake, as swann is nothing more than a sock-puppet ruggie whose exploits, we have heard more than once in selling pieces to the unsuspecting, border on almost criminal.
However, forgetting about the reality of swindle’s, as he is affectionately known in certain rug circles, rug deals, his alleged knowledge and expertise, as portrayed on o’CONnell’s website, are so over-rated that RK couldn’t possibly know where to begin to counter.
Because o’CONnell knows even less than swan it is perfectly reasonable to imagine why he would hold swindle in such high regard. Too bad anyone, who is not totally conversant in rugdom’s pathetic penchant to hold ruggies, like swan, dodds and other famous icoc/acor grandees in such high regard, will probably believe the hype.
But as lame and sycophantic as o’CONnell’s praise rang for swann, his even more outrageous spiel concerning john weretime made us convulse with laughter even more. And we quote:
“Of all of the experts on Oriental rugs and tribal weaving one of my very favorites is John Wertime. John is a serious scholar who studied under the late Professor Martin Bernard Dickson at Princeton and then followed that up with an extended stay in Iran. John is also a prolific writer, author and translator.”
Like many in rugdom, o’CONnell is far too quick to place the expert label on grandees, like weretime, whose rug-dealing career’s look much different to those in the know.
Unlike swann, who is a rug poser of great and wide dimensions, weretime has had a far more notable, but in our opinion checkered, influence. But calling him a serious scholar, or “brilliant” as he does elsewhere, is surely way, way out there.
Another rug-star promoted by o’CONnell and his website is jim aka jimbo allen, who like O’CONnell, has been no stranger to getting into hot water selling pieces that are far less than they were supposed to be.
Compared to weretime, and even swindle, allen is truly someone who should have been run out of rugdom on a rail long ago.
The fact o’CONnell keeps heralding the likes of weretime, swan and allen, as do others who are equally as rug-deaf and dumb as he is, bodes rather poorly for any semblance of the self-governing any field, yes even oriental rugs, should exhibit.
We should also quote o’COnnell on himself:
“I am not all that bright and lack much of an education but by carefully fitting together little pieces I can understand a little.”
Need we say more?
Yes, we must as the following, which is more classic o’CONell nonsense needs another public airing:
”Swan’s great weakness is that he does not write more. If he would sit down and dash off a book his considerable contribution to rug studies would be that much greater. It is a shame he does not publish his collection. Maybe for ICOC in Washington he will share with the world.”
Now, after that bit of outrageous stupidity, we know it’s time to say enough and “Good night, Gracie.”