RK’s been to ‘stanbul and we have seen some of the published and unpublished rugs in the museum’s storage.
But before we ever set foot anywhere near the shores of the Bosphorus, we knew how fantastic genuine, period (pre-1650) Turkish non-classical weavings can be.
Comparing even the worst, most provincial example with the far more plentiful city workshop copies, like the dodds “Bellini”, undeniably proves “Vive la difference!”.
Yes, sure, connoisseurship is mostly learned, and arbitrary. But the majesty of the best, like many of those on view in the TIEM exhibition, needs no lessons to appreciate.
That’s why the novices at hali can write such sophomoric drivel, they do not know la difference:
“In addition to the known TIEM masterpieces on display there were a number of previously unexhibited and in some case completely unknown carpets from the stores, all freshly presented, washed and hung. The sheer impact of the previously unrevealed beauty of early Anatolian carpet art with its unsurpassable colours led the participants to very different reactions.”(underline added, ed)
The ambiguity of the above is only surpassed by the idea the scrivener had never seen a real period Turkish Village Rug before.
RK can well believe that considering hali missed the boat entirely on dodds’s bogus “Bellini” and pacquin’s fake “Ottoman embroideries”.
The hali scribbler continues:
While some fell into total silence overwhelmed by the greatness of the moment, others had lively discussion about the variations in the large and small pattern Holbein rugs…One American collector standing behind me said in a resigned tone that he would have to burn his rug collection after his return home. A dealer said he suddenly felt stupid thinking about his merchandise. I saw people deeply moved and others very excited.”
Well, now, maybe since there are now all these newly brightened eyes perhaps enough of them will realize how foolish they were to believe the over-dating claims certain high profile dealers and hali have been promoting for the past two decades.
By the way non-classical period Near Eastern weaving was not only produced in Turkey(Anatolia) as Turkmenistan, Armenia and the Caucasus region produced equally as impressive, though perhaps not as extensive, an array of examples.
We are glad and hope in fact everyone who went to the icoc in Istanbul returns home impressed by the rugs they have seen.
Impressed enough to “burn their collections”? Maybe, because in many cases that would not be uncalled for.
But seriously, when enough ruggies have finally learned la difference RK knows our views will be far more appreciated and popular.
We also know we could care less about being popular, for we’d rather be able to say “We told you so”. And that's never popular, now is it.