Home > dennis dodds >RK Critiques dodds's letter of expertise: Part III
Sat, Oct 6th, 2007 11:57:20 PM
Topic: RK Critiques dodds's letter of expertise: Part III

Let’s continue where we left off on dodds’s letter of expertise:

“In this stylized manner, the drawing of this central medallion is similar to a small carpet in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Central Anatolia, 16th-17th century, the Joseph Lees Williams Memorial Collection, 55.65.18 (Oriental Rugs from Atlantic Collections, p.17, pl.17).”

Below is the referenced small medallion Ushak(by the way, this and the dodds/LACMA rug are not “Central Anatolian” as the catalog’s erroneous, and curious off-the-wall, provenance attempts to forward):

However, once again here is another viable link of provenance for dodds’s “bellini” to the Ushak region, and not Konya, central Anatolia.

This not accident or coincidence, as dodds’s rug is not from Central Anatolia but undoubtedly somewhere farther west, like Ushak.

Also in comparing his rug with this one dodds does nothing but blow hype and hot-air, since Plate 17 is so superior, in every regard to his, it makes comparison moot and quite laughable.

It is also clear no one with expertise, and the intention to offer an honest comparison, would ever mention the two rugs in the same breath because there is no veritable and factual comparison here, only sales-talk and BS.

“Smaller octagonal medallions are centered in two reserves formed from deeply indented niches at each end of the carpet.”

Huckster, carpet-bRagger, dodds can’t help but show himself as rug challenged: the only deeply indented thing here is the dodds’s dopey perception the rug is important.

For starters, his last statement totally begs the question of the highly compressed and uninspired drawing in these medallions and their equally ungainly placement within those niches – be they deeply indented or not.

The upper medallion lost in too deep a space and the lower one squeezed into one too shallow, both mistakes hallmarking the weaver’s ability to copy their form but not their complex woven environment and proportions.

This is expected in later weaving, and is one of the main reasons we’ve claimed dodds’s rug was a late pastiche copy since the beginning.

“These medallions are typical of the “small-pattern Holbein” style of 15th and 16th century Anatolian village carpet design.”

This is not the place to trace its origin but neither was it the place for dodds to claim the medallion is “Typical of small pattern Holbein(SPH) style of…village carpet design rugs.”

FACT: It appears on almost no SPH rug, save ones of a type very rarely encountered. The fragments covering the back and seat of the chair below, which formerly belonged to the Bernheimer family collection, being one of this group’s most well-known examples.

Described and pictured in the “Eastern Carpet in the Western World”(where this photo was found) as a:
“variant…which is obviously related to the small holbein pattern, but the details of the octagons and the crosses are quite different; the octagons resemble those in large-pattern-Holbein rugs. This pattern could have been an antecedent of the small Holbein pattern or, more probably a less successful competitor.”

We’d vote it probably is the ancestor, not contemporary competitor, of both the SPH, and large pattern as well, with the variant’s far more complex and hard to articulate medallion the reason hardly any rugs of this type were produced.

Plus the fact there are no later copies(we are not including 19th/20th century “revivals”) also bodes well for the variant being from what we call the earlier archetypal period.

In all respects the chair fragment appears to be early 15th century(maybe even earlier?) and, therefore, precludes dodds rug’s pastiche, imitation, copy being made within a century, or even two if you ask us.

Regardless of these possibilities, the dodds/LACMA rug’s version of this medallion surely isn’t anything but a late, and not so great, copy having little in common with the wonderfully articulated archetypal ones seen on the chair back.

“The carpet was first exhibited in October 1981 by the noted Mannheim dealer, Franz Bausback.”

We have already commented years ago and extensively on the rug’s appearance in that 1981 exhibition and urge all readers, who haven’t already read it, to do so now.

The thread is entitled “Another Shoe Drops re: LACMA/dodds” and is located in the “LACMA’s Questionable Rug Purchase Topic Area” (http://rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?id=1181&refnum=1181).

“(T)His exhibition was reviewed by the international journal HALI, in Vol. 4, no.2 in that same year. Michael Franses, founding Publisher of Hali and author of the review, is a recognized authority on these early rugs.”

From RK’s investigations it appears to us franses was, at the time, possibly the owner of the rug and it was consigned to the Bausback exhibition by him or someone else on his behalf.

This is speculation on our part but, as we said, from all we have learned about the rug it does seem to us an educated guess of what might have happened.

“He(ed. franses) wrote “Examples of this rare family of early village rugs have survived mainly in fragmentary condition; by contrast, the Bausback example is almost complete, except possibly for a few rows of knots at each end and some at the sides”.”

This is also not the place to discuss franses, or our belief he was not then, nor is he now, on very strong ground when trying to discuss any early Turkish Village Rugs. However, we would like franses, dodds or anyone else to show ANY other examples of this “group”.

As for his assessment of its alleged superior condition? Again franses is not only on shaky ground but, in fact, his comments are either total lies or he just plain doesn’t know how to differentiate original knotting from restoration.

There is little doubt there are large and significant portions of re-piling in the field, not to mention a myriad of other, smaller areas.

Why franses and dodds would both be so foolish as to disregard this, when it is quite easily determined, bodes poorly for their honesty and supposed expert status.

”There is expert minor repiling in other areas of the field.”

Well, at least dodds did mention this to LACMA but par for the course the repiling is NOT minor, nor it is very expert, although that said to a layman’s eye it might appear so.

“Sometime between late 1981 and 1983, the carpet was sold and entered the noted Planar Collection in Graz, Austria. It was exhibited at the International Conference on Oriental Carpets, which was held in Vienna in 1983 and was published as Plate No. 7 in the conference catalog, Antike Anatolische Teppiche aus Osterreichischem Besitz. A few years later, the carpet was acquired by Mr. Franses and I purchased it from him in 1987, adding it to my personal collection of early Anatolian village carpets.”

First off, this exhibition was NOT part of the Vienna International Conference on Oriental Carpets in 1983.

That conference was in 1986.

The exhibition and accompanying catalog dodds reference did occur in 1983, not in Vienna, but in Graz, a town in southern Austria that boasts a rather active group of rug collectors.

It is interesting to note the rather unclear transfer of ownership dodds describes parallels the results of our ongoing investigation, which still has not determined exactly what happened to the rug post-Bausback.

This and some innuendo led us to the scenario franses was the owner all along.

However, there is no conjecture Heinz Planner(the correct spelling of his name) did at some point after 1981, but prior to 1983, purchase the rug and submit it for inclusion in the 1983 Graz exhibition and catalog.

But, and this is a big but dodds forgot to mention, right after the show Planner decided he did not want it anymore and returned the rug to the seller.

RK had an Austrian colleague of ours talk directly to Planner on our behalf and, from their talk, we learned:
1. Planner definitely owned it for a short period of time
2. Planner definitely submitted it for inclusion in the 1983 Graz exhibition and catalog
3. Soon after the exhibition Planner decided not to keep it and then returned it to the seller.

While are in limbo as to how the rug got to franses in dodds’s version of the story, we still harbor the notion it was franses’s all along.

The exact circumstances under which dodds acquired the rug are also in limbo but one fact here that positively isn’t in question is dodds putting it into his “private collection”.

There’s an old saying “A dealer’s collection is nothing but the pieces he can’t sell” and we’d opine this is the fact here.

There is no doubt dodds is a dealer and RK has demonstrated, by recounting incidents from our personal contact with dodds, how he would use his “private collection” to elicit offers from potential buyers.

So although we do not know exactly when dodds first offered the rug for sale, or to whom, we would not be surprised to learn it was pretty soon after it magically ended up in his “collection”.

That’s all the time we have presently and will, asap, continue to comment on dodds’s letter of expertise. So stay tuned….

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