Today's view of the hali website brought us an Istanbul icoc "preview", written by tom cole.
Mr cole bills himself as a "family oriented" rug dealer and a contributor to hali. Bully for his two claims to fame. However, there are a number of stories floating around to suggest mr cole seriously needs some lessons in honesty and integrity, forget about rug studies.
These minor issues aside cole, like most of those who write for hali, has a penchant for only writing about subjects and rug personalities that fit the hali agenda, not to mention their own as well.
Worse yet are the slanted interpretations and one-hand-feeds-the-other orientations cole and other use to get the talking points hali wants to see promoted to its often naïve readers.
Witness this sentence:
"Just around the corner, Yavuz Oran (Silk Road, 165 Arasta Bazaar) has also mounted an impressive display of 18th-19th century Anatolian kilims. Not many people know Yavuz as he is not a regular attendee at any of the conferences or shows in Europe or the USA, but he has a long history in the business and a long association with early collectors of this material, including those who provided material for Caroline McCoy Jones to purchase on behalf of the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.(emphasis added, ed.)
Apparently cole knows as little about the who and the how of the Jones Collection, as he does about historic Anatolian Kelims.
Unlike cole, RK knows the all here and it's about time the reality of the fact all the kelims of any note in the Jones Collection came from only one source: the former collection Gary Muse assembled.
Apparently, when the DeYoung Museum's carpet and textile department was run by ms cathrine, aka flying penis, cootner she tried to float the myth the kelim collection was acquired from various sources and that Muse found the examples in his collection in a variety of places and countries.
Complete hogwash, as besides one or two London auction buys, all the remaining pieces came from Turkey, from suppliers like the one cole mentions.
Frankly, RK is a bit surprised cole, or anyone else, would bother to write about kelims because this area of the market is about as flat as Tiny Tim's chest.
It is no secret RK is a collector of historic slit-tapestry (kelim) and believes, whole-heartedly, they are very important and significant. However, such examples are incredibly rare; this fact being, most probably, why most collectors are completely disinterested in acquiring the less than stellar examples that often appear on the market.
From the pictures cole used to pepper his preview the best piece, at least in our opinion and one which appears deserving of serious collector attention, is this detail of a saph:
As poor as cole’s business and friendship ethics have at time been, so were his organizational skills in ascribing this kelim to the correct dealer who is showing it in Istanbul.
Here’s the caption:
”Sivas kilim saf. Yavuz”
In his preview cole mentions two dealers who are mounting kelim exhibitions: Yavuz Oran and Suat Çapas. He tells readers:
“Suat Çapas of Sude Gallery (1001 Direk Meydani, Iletisim Han 7/2) has already opened his long-planned exhibit of Anatolian kilims…”(and) “…Just around the corner, Yavuz Oran (Silk Road, 165 Arasta Bazaar) has also mounted an impressive display of 18th-19th century Anatolian kilims.”
However, when it came to describing examples these dealers are showing cole states “Suat’s…centrepiece of his presentation, for me, is a beautifully coloured saf from the Sivas region, of which there are apparently only two other known examples, including one in the Vok Collection.”
Clearly, this saph comes from Suat Çapas, and not Yavuz Oran’s gallery, but what more to expect from someone like cole who knows as little about kelim as he does about many other areas he believe he can show his supposed expertise.
RK realizes few people are really qualified to write about historic rugs and, while we talking ostensibly about cole here, there are many others who are as seeing eye dog needy as he is.
Lord knows, lately hali’s pages are filled more and more with rug posers, wanna-be rug experts and cole is, in our estimation, just one more face in the crowd.
Two cents a word is what hali used to pay its off-staff writers and we say: Even that paltry sum is too much when it comes to a correspondent like cole, regardless of the fact he claims to be a squeaky clean “family oriented” rug dealer.
Oh, and by the way, RK seriously doubts the Sivas designation. We're pretty positive this is not cole's error but that of the owner. However, it is also clear to us on his own cole wouldn't know where to provenance it, or even suspect Sivas is incorrect.