Home > Archive >jim burns flames on
Sat, Nov 24th, 2007 01:11:26 PM
Topic: jim burns flames on

RK just had a nice chat with our old friend jim burns.

By nice we use the term loosely as burns is a trial lawyer who is always on trial, and everyone, unless you are paying the freight, is the other side.

After some political discourse, burns favoring the politically correct and dumb ass in our opinion idea life under the democrats will be better than the republicans – burns had the stupidity to mention the ok bash LACMA's Islamic Dept. bought from us was a late 19th century "rip-off".

He declared we were "as bad as dodds and we should be ashamed".

After telling him how out to lunch he was and getting nowhere, we asked if he had touched it and burns said “Sure, yeah.”

When we then queried him where that took place, he said “Well it was under glass" and then, incredibly, tried to deny he said that he’d handled it.

No, if he, dodds and others believe the ok bash is not a museum piece, and it is as big or even a 1/10 as big a rip-off as dodds's bogus “bellini”, they are equally as turkmen-challenged and sorely mistaken.

Price is, and should not be, the concern but had dodds sold the bogus “bellini” for the same price we got for the ok bash, or LACMA paid us $250,000 for the ok bash, we wager they would have been better off than they are now.

If you don't believe this, and think you know about Turkmen weaving, you need help immediately.

The ok bash is a 10, dodds’s bogus “bellini” a 3 at best.

And as far as mr twisty burns goes, RK would like to inform him that floating the idea the fragmented yomud group chuval he bought at the tentband sotheby sale was the “best piece” in the group is another dopey, ill-informed one -- he should know better.

When we pointed out the stupidity of this baseless judgment and asked him: Had the S group pieces; the full pile tentband; the chodor chuval; the saryk torba sold for the same paltry 3K$ the fragmented yomud chuval we used to own cost, you’d have bought them, too, right burns began to squirm like a pint of jello after a roller coaster ride and tried to accuse RK of “only (being)interested in money.”

Venus de Milo

No, burns knows next to nothing about real Turkmen rugs, besides the fact he had enough sense to purchase a bargain at the tentband sale and bought the VDM(Venus de Milo) chuval, we offered to prove it to him publicly.

Do we need to go further on burns?

Author: jc
Sat, Nov 24th, 2007 01:11:26 PM

Today RK noticed on the hali website a long, and long-winded, commentary on the textile museum's fall exhibitions, which also included mention of the fall textile symposium held in conjunction with this gala group of exhibits.

While the majority of them, actually there were three separate exhibitions with only one concerned with antique oriental rugs; the conference and the hali review dealt with "modern textiles", there was some oblique mention of oriental rugs.

Frankly, these exhibits and the conference papers are/were of little interest to rug collectors.

However, one of the speakers was jim burns and it is interesting to read what hali had to say about his talk.

We reproduce it here:

"Finally, and most traditionally, Jim Burns discussed collecting rugs, adopting the role of the seasoned old collector speaking in an avuncular fashion to a youthful audience of tyros in need of sage advice. This had its positive moments, including reminiscences about the early days of the Hajji Babas, when he could learn the tricks of the trade from the likes of H. McCoy Jones and Joseph McMullan. A piece of advice from the latter was never to be too fast in buying a rug from a dealer, for he might become convinced that he had sold it too cheaply. Following other stories and advice, he showed a series of images of his rugs that had been in a Seattle exhibit tracing the Silk Road. With all due respect, this was a talk better suited to a rug society meeting, where real pieces could have been placed on view."

"Tricks of the trade?"

Well, jim burns is a trial lawyer, and from what we know and have heard from others about his buying habits, we'd probably have to say burns could have, even way back then, taught those good ole hajji baba boys some “tricks” of his own.

There is little doubt burns, like many other high profile wealthy ruggies, enjoys a reputation based more on his economic rug buying power than on his rug expertise.

To say burns's reputation proceeds his words when he speaks, privately or publicly, would be not out of place.

But should his listener be as expert as RK burns then knows to shut up and listen.

Otherwise to less knowledgeable audiences burns chirps on, and the head nodding from the as usual sycophantic ruggie audiences, he has lately been addressing with regularity, soak up his words like they were manna from heaven.

Shame, really, a proven rug know-little like burns -- witness his rugnick Star Kazak and LACMA Ok-Bash boo boos -- is greeted with open arms by the rug establishment every time he steps up to the podium to pontificate.

RK says it’s high time to call as spade a spade and see burns, and others like him, in the light of reality and not hali-hype.

Author: jc
Fri, Oct 26th, 2007 03:00:41 PM

Actually, jim burns has several factors in his stead which might explain his dumb and stupid pronouncement the LACMA ok bash is a late 19th century piece of junk.

First, let's all remember burns has no collection of Turkmen rugs to speak of, and while this might not imply he knows next to nothing about this genre of weaving, we have some other indications demonstrating he is, to put it mildly and nicely, Turkmen rug challenged.

At the sotheby sale where he purchased that chuval RK used to own for 3.5K$, he could have just as easily and effortless purchased a number of other stellar lots, especially our full-pile tent band that also sold for a mere pittance of its worth(16.5K$).

Had burns, who foolishly believes he bought the "best" piece in that sale(the fragmented chuval), been as knowledgeable about Turkmen weavings as his bluster might erroneously appear to substantiate, he should have been a bidder for it.

Regardless of the fact his doing so would have surely pushed the price much higher, possibly to the 50K$ the German collector who won it at sotheby had offered us in private some years before the sale, it still would have been a far better and more important purchase than the chuval, even for an often cheap, and almost always price-conscious buyer, like a jim burns.

To substantiate our statement let's reference the fact burn's had, at that time, two small fragments of another full-pile tent band, which he sold several years later to George Hecksher.

By the way, burns sold the two small fragments for a higher price than our 20 times larger and almost complete full pile tent band brought at the sotheby’s sale.

Had burns really been as knowledgeable as he and some other rug-toadies believe he is, RK is sure burns should have scooped up a number of other lots in the sale besides the full pile tent band; as they too were important pieces, and major bargains as well.

But burns, who is a rich man in almost anyone's eyes, sat on his wallet because he doesn't know much about Turkmen rugs and not because of his stupid belief the chuval he bought was “the only good lot in the sale”.

Rubbish, counselor burns, you Turkmen twit.

And speaking of rubbish and rug-twits, let us likewise mention burns's equally as dumb-ass pronouncement concerning the veracity of the mitchell and rosey rugnik star Kazak.

As the story goes, and from what we have heard about it, when burns saw the "star" Kazak, which was quite soon after the rugnik's purchased it, he told them it was a fake, a new reproduction.

Not only did this cockeyed statement send the rugniks on a long haul journey to nowhere trying and get their money back from the sellers but, finally, when they learned the truth -- that the rug is genuine but not the earliest example and a heavily restored one to boot -- it led the rugniks, who formerly had been sitting attentively at burns's knee and lapping up his rug-utterances like they were from God's mouth to their tin-ears, to forsake their place and never assume it again.

As we explained, we know burns since 1973 or 1974, and although he, like many other rich rug "collectors" we could cite, is really more of a rug “investor” than rug “collector”, we have never mentioned him here on RugKazbah.com.

The "star" Kazak rugnik story is surely an interesting one but, quite frankly, as we care so little about burns or his inflated reputation as a rug connoisseur, we left it untold.

However, when big-mouth burns tries to diss us, our investigations and complaints about the dodds/LACMA fraud, or one of our pieces, like he did with the ok bash, we feel it is pertinent to demonstrate and prove what we believe, and have said, about him.

Granted, burns has a fabulous collection of mostly 19th century Persian city rugs with a smattering of earlier pieces from other rug weaving areas.

But that said, and trust us we can say more about mr burns, a central fact here is the one that burns has always, at least in our opinion, comported himself in rugdom as an investor-collector.

Does jim burns love his rugs?

From our viewpoint, and it’s a long one since 1974, RK would have to say “no” because a bloke like burns appears to only love himself and his bank account.

Should mr burns be upset about what we have written, or believe it is untrue, we welcome him to write in here and try to prove us wrong.

After all, jim burns is a trial attorney who has been practicing forty years or more. He can surely defend himself, especially if he thinks RK has falsely, or incorrectly, portrayed him and his long time efforts in rugdom.

Author: jc
Thu, Oct 18th, 2007 10:02:40 AM

As usual, we have been travelling and have not had much time to spend on RugKazbah.com as we would like.

Today, when we re-read the post above, we noticed a small error.

We implied had LACMA paid the same price for dodds's bogus "bellini" as our ok bash cost, they would have been in a better position.

This is untrue, for had they gotten it for free(a paradigm that would never have happened with greedy dodds who tripled the price on them), nothing would have changed.

It is our position the price they paid is irrevelant, and this should be everyone else's as well.

Our calling the rug a 3 out of 10 was generous -- it is a decorative, reproduction -- not a museum piece.

The fact the first part of the tautology we set up, "had they paid 250K for the ok bash" LACMA would have been better off than they are now(vis-a-vis being stuck with the bogus "Bellini") is of course still true and obvious(well at least to anyone who genuinely knows Turkmen weaving).

The ok bash is a 10 and in our world one can never pay too much for a masterpiece.

The converse of this is also true in our world -- no matter how cheap, an item like dodds's bogus "bellini" is always a loser.

Museums, unlike investor collectors and dealers, rarely sell their purchases when they see chances for gain, but should LACMA want to prove our point(both to themselves and the ever silent head-nodding rug world), and rid themselves of the "bellini" that is now hanging around their neck like a stinking albatross, RK has a suggestion -- put both pieces, our ok bash and dodds's bogus "Bellini" up for auction immediately in a high profile sale(we'd suggest Christie's King Street, London saleroom).

Since the bogus "bellini" spent 25 plus years languishing unsold on the market, RK has little doubt it will sell for a faction of the 250K, if it sells at all.

While the ok bash will not only sell, and sell well, but it will make a record price.

Frankly, we are bored and tired of seeing LACMA try to prove the "bellini" is anything but what we have said and refusing to face the truth.

Likewise, we are even more disguted at present and increasing sniping and BS accusations we are "worse than dodds"(jim burns's ignoramus pronouncement) for selling them the ok bash. The antique rug world has, once again, proven itself to be an Orwellian one, where truth is lie and lie is truth. And rugdom will not changed until the dodds/LACMA "bellini" sale is publicly acknowledged to be fraud and rip-off. Perhaps, then, the bogus big brotherism issuing forth from the likes of hali, the icoc/acor chiefs and "noted", but severely challenged big shot collectors like jim burns will cease to carry any import and finally be seen as ignorant and untrue.

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