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email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Sun, Apr 15th, 2018 01:35:53 PM
Topic: One down, one to go

(This post and the few older replies below were first published here on RugKazbah.com in June 2007 under the title "RK's Challenge and Some Memories". Since then, it has remained online in our Archives where you are now reading it. However, we moved it from its chronological position to the top of the list to redraw attention to it and reflect our adding this preamble.

Since one of the recounted memories was about jurg rageth, the other dennis dodds, and rageth has now passed away we decided to change the title to "One down, one to go".

RK was no fan of rageth, and serious readers of our website know why. Neither are we a fan of dodds.

We find it totally amazing these two have been accorded such high regard. But that's rugDUMB for you.

In fact we are totally amazed they have any reputations at all considering the facts and not the hype about their careers in rugDUMB.

Anyway, we will let our already written words suffice in support of our position vis-a-vis rageth and dodds.

But we must say compared to dodds the worse downside and truth about rageth makes him a choirboy in comparison.)


Today, many in rugdom believe a C14 date is not only acceptable but fact. This is anything but reality.

RK has decided to challenge rugdom's leading proponent of C14 dating for oriental rugs, jurg rageth, to a debate.

Here is our email, we sent to him today.

Stay tuned for any developments.

rageth, you fool

it's amasing a former low-level, unsuccessful rug dealer and peddler and presently pseudo-academic poser, like you, has any standing in our field.

your "work" is at best meaningless and seriously flawed.

C14 dating is a parlor game for old oriental rugs and the "Dye-analyses" you have done are equally as ludicrous and challenged

i would look forward to debating you and meeting you on any public stage. in less than one hour i will make you look like the monkey and ignorant pompous clown you are.

so here is the challenge, mr rageth. Are you man enough and serious enough about your "work" to accept it?

We could also discuss Kelims, Early Turkish Rugs, Turkmens -- lot of topics.

Of course should you accept our challenge, you will end up learning more than you know now(that won't be too hard, now will it) and at the same time realize, in fact, how little you know and how worthless your "work" is

I am here and anytime you want we can set this up for sometime in the near future.

We could even do it online, live.

Author: jc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Tue, Jun 19th, 2007 04:37:37 PM

Today we sent the following email to dodds:

"dodds, you POS

why don'y you take our challenge and get up on a stage, real or virtual, with me and try to debate the "importance" of your dud bellini

go ahead,dodds, show everyone how much you know and try to debate us...

if you do, and we doubt it because you are a chicken shit know-little, better bone up because we will shred your "rug expertise" to bits and make your specious bullshit arguments look just as they are - crapola

many in the rug world now know of our challenge to you and soon even more will -- so put up doods and remember a naive trusting audience like dale gluckman, will not be there and instead you will be reduced to looking like the jerk, cheat and liar you ARE

the walls are closing in on you, dodds, and that whisper in the wind you characterized our position as will soon blow you down, boy, down to the ground where a carpet-bagging creep like you belongs.....
jack cassin

Author: jc
Sat, Jun 16th, 2007 02:28:43 PM

Memories of dodds and rageth

The fact dodds bamboozled LACMA by telling tall-tales, misinformation, exaggeration and outright lies to make the sale is nothing new -- he has been doing that for years. And he’s been getting away with it.

But as egregious as dodds's salesmanship has been over the years RK has observed him, and we have heard such stories from others as well, we believe recounting the following story will amplify his lack of character as well as rug expertise.

We probably met dodds sometime in the mid-1970's, maybe 1974/5, when berj andonian took us to dodds's place in Philadelphia.

In those days long past, RK used to attend many, many east coast auctions looking for old oriental rugs and the other objects we collect.

Sometimes on these excursions we would make arrangements to travel with another dealer to relieve the boredom of the road and, on that particular day, we were with andonian to attend a sale a Freeman's auction in downtown Philly.

During the sale, andonian suggested we visit a rug dealer he knew and that dealer turned out to be dennis dodds.

We agreed but actually we had no choice as we drove with andonian in his car, so after the sale we tagged along.

When we got to dodds's place, he welcomed andonian, who instantly introduced us to dodds as someone he should know.

As an aside let us mention a bit about andonian, who was introduced into the rug business by Berj Abadjian.

Abadjian met andonian thru their connections to the Armenian community in New York City and, soon after they met, Abadjian began to tutor him in the fine points of buying old oriental rugs.

At this point in time, andonian was a traveling salesman and, with the knowledge Abadjian shared with him, pretty soon andonian was regularly returning to New York with good rugs for Abadjian to sell.

To make a long story short, let's just say that andonian soon began to sell rugs behind Abadjian's back, often to his customers, and when this eventually came to light, Abadjian gave andonian the gate.

Soon thereafter andonian became a full-time rug dealer and it was during this period RK's story unfolds.

We always liked andonian and although we knew how he had back-doored Abadjian, we did not believe he was going to repeat the moves on others, including our self.

Well let's just say he did, more than once, and it has been more than 20 years since we have had anything to do with him.

It is really a shame because we always enjoyed his company, and did get some great pieces from him.

But, no matter, eventually his one-sided business ethics came between us. Perhaps someday we will tell all but today dodds, and not andonian, is the subject, so back to dodds and that day in Philly.

After pleasantries, dodds took andonian and me into his "rug room" to look at what he had for sale.

We spent some time talking and looking, and at some point, andonian asked dodds if he could use the toilet.

On his return andonian blurted out something like "What about that Caucasian rug I saw in the hallway? How much do you want for that?"

RK remember this like it was yesterday, the look of fake surprise on dodds's face, as dodds stammered "What Caucasian Rug?".

"The prayer rug" said andonian.

Quickly answering "What prayer rug?" dodds gave the impression andonian had seen a ghost, surely nothing real.

But then andonian said this one and both dodds and RK followed him through dodds's place and lo and behold there it was - a rare, silk-wefted prayer rug.

Immediately dodds exclaimed "Oh, that one, really you were not supposed to see it. I made a mistake and forgot to put in away."

Actually we have a photo of the rug but it is somewhere among a trunk full of photos we have and, since we have not digitized it and cannot take the time to find it now, here is a photo of a similar but MUCH later example with a reflection of the iconography of the rug in question.

This one is later 19th but dodds’s was 18th century and silk-wefted; part of an extremely rare group of atelier rugs probably made in Armenia in some high end workshop.

Regardless of its origins, the example dodds had was the best one we have ever seen, not to say we have seen many because probably less than 5 are known.

We might be wrong about the number of these silk-wefted rarities but we are not wrong in saying the one we saw that day in Philly is the best of the type.

As andonian took the rug into dodds’s “rug room” to look at, RK knew andonian was not going to leave without taking the rug along with us and sure enough that’s what happened.

After hemming and hawing to no get-out, like he was being forced to sell his first-born, dodds finally relented when andonian took out all stops and offered a huge price.

The technique dodds used, which by the way we caught him doing on us one other time as well, is one he did not invent, nor is it unique to him.

But it is unique to those who do not know what something is, or what it is worth.

These know-littles pretend a piece is not for sale, that you(a buyer) were not supposed to see it, or any other lame excuse to get the buyer so hot and bothered that they, like andonian did that day in Philly, go beyond reason just to get it.

There is no doubt dodds’s deception, rather weasel-like and unbecoming actions that day earned him far more than if he had offered andonian the rug straight out.

However, since dodds did not know how good, in fact, the rug was or what it was really worth, he had no grounds to understand it or make any price.

There is little doubt dodds still doesn’t know as much as he should but he surely knows more than he knew that day in Philly.

RK knows dodds is not the only one to use such methods to sell a rug and another serial abuser, runny newman, surely comes to mind.

He, like dodds, is famous for using deception and the same ploy. RK can vouch for this because he played the game with us more than once.

In fact, the last time we visited runny, in 1975, was the last time. Since then, now 30 + years later, we have never gone back or even said a word to runny, who like dodds is about as low as you can go on the rug totem pole, according to us.

RK has many stories about the pooh-bahs, posers, self-proclaimed rug world experts and big-shots but none of them tick RK off more than dodds.

He is truly a nasty piece of work, who thinks and believes he is one of the chosen and can use falsehood, deception and even outright deceit to make a sale.

By the way, that time in Philly, dodds is the one who got taken as the price andonian paid, albeit a high one, was not nearly high enough. Soon, the silk-wefted Caucasian prayer rug was on its way to Germany and we believe andonian more than doubled his money.

We should also mention, since dodds was andonian’s contact we never did any business with him until more than a decade later and with andonian's permission, as we have always respected the contacts any rug dealer we knew had.

Naturally, we expected the same from others but let’s just say rarely did any other rug dealers honor such a position with us – in fact, we have some equally as interesting tales to tell but they will have to await another time to be aired publicly.

Author: jc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Wed, Jun 13th, 2007 04:56:25 PM

Memories of dodds and rageth:

While RK was never close to either of these two carpet-baggers we did, occasionally cross paths with rageth in Europe and dodds in America.

Our rageth memory, which by the way was the first time we met him in person, took place in johnny eskenazi's old basement shoppe on the via Montnapoleone in Milan.

We were talking with johnny in his private office when rageth stuck his head in and asked eskenazi if he wanted to look at some "pieces" just brought back from Turkey.

This must have been sometime in the mid-80's, probably 1985/6.

Eskenazi asked me if I wanted to look as well and after saying "OK" we went into the gallery and rageth went into his "act", opening up a bag or three filled with kelims.

After he took his wares out, all the time palavering a bunch of sales-talk that RK felt was completely unnecessary since johnny probably knew more than rageth, eskenazi thanked him and said he wasn't interested.

RK was watching rageth pretty carefully and the look of complete dismay and disappointment that came over him was not hard to see.

Trying to make the sale, nonetheless, rageth continued his spiel saying something like “Well, you know, Johnny, these are really great pieces and I can sell them to you, as a group, for a really good price.”

Eskenazi just looked at him and, being the polite gentleman he is, just smiled and said “No thank you” once more.

At this point we were amazed rageth kept on, even asking some questions about his pieces that showed he really did not know much about them or even what makes an outstanding and early kelim, almost like eskenazi was ready to write the check and all that was necessary was a small shove from rageth.

Finally, and well past the right time, rageth got the picture, folded up his tent and departed.

After he left, eskenazi asked me what we thought of rageth's pieces.

We said a curt "Not much", and left it at that.

Some years later we did see some of those pieces again, as they ended up in kirchheim's collection and book.

We heard rageth did real well selling his mediocre kelims to kirchheim. In fact, we are pretty sure he made many times the profit he would have had eskenazi bought them.

While there is nothing untoward about rageth's selling his mediocre "pieces" to kirchheim for way too much money, RK does not believe anyone should get stitched up and bamboozled into buying less than sterling pieces for sterling prices.

Over the ensuing years we did run into rageth and each time we did it left us with the same impression - here was someone who, though he was not very knowledgeable or expert about old rugs, knew he could make money selling them to those who knew even less than he.

Well, somewhere along the line rageth discarded his rug dealer hat and put on his "I am the scientist rug expert" one.

Only in rugdom could a poser like rageth get over either as a dealer or scientist expert.

He is neither and RK will be glad to prove publicly how little he knows about either subject when and if he chooses to meet us again.

Stay tuned for our dodds memory, which should get posted sooner than later.

Author: jc
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Mon, Jun 11th, 2007 11:24:01 AM

In the past we also challenged dodds to get up on a stage with us to debate the inferred importance, age and relevance of his late genre dud of a "Bellini".

Of course, dodds refused because he knew we would shred his flimsy beliefs and prove what a know-little disingenuous carpet-bagger he is.

We are sure rageth will do the same and ignore our challenge.

By the way, messers. rageth and dodds, we could do our challenge debate online, live, for all to see.

RK will be willing not only to set it up, but to pay for and make all the technical arrangements, including publicity to guarantee a large audience, after we have agreed on a mutually suitable time.

Doing this live, online will be a very expeditious and easy way, considering the geographic distances and logistic problems on setting up a physical, rather than virtual, debate.

So here it is again, dodds and rageth, RK offers to debate either or even both of you.

Are either of you two knowledgeable and man enough to face the public with someone who doesn't pull his punches and has the ability to deliver the truth rather than agree with the supposition and fallacious opinions both your efforts in rugdom generally rest on?

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