Everyone in Rugdom who has enough interest in rugs to spend even an hour a week perusing the web knows about the “celebration” planned around the 75th anniversary of the hajji baba rug club.
While RK has been around Rugdom since the mid-1960’s, we have never been interested in joining the hajji baba “club”, nor have we even ever been interested in attending their “events”.
Well let’s just say most of the current crop of hajji’s are, at least in our opinion, as pompous, and unfortunately as rug-illiterate, as most of those who were members way back at the beginning.
Sure, Arthur Dilley, who is credited with starting the “club” and some other “names”, were knowledgeable. However, most others were, like today’s crop, nothing but checkbook wielding rug collectors whose expertise and understanding of historic non-Classical rugs is not exactly noteworthy or commendable.
Regardless of what the hype and publicity about the hajji’s and their efforts in Rugdom, like this 75th gala affair, seem to imply, RK’s opinion stated above is one that is far and away more truthful than what hali, and others in the “club”, try to float.
A perfect example of this is demonstrated by the following picture:
Here we see john thompson -- aka johnny-boy, who if there is a “darling” of Rugdom thompson must be that darling -- “inspecting” what appears to be a Turkish “yastic” during his N.Y. trip to select the “pieces” for the anniversary exhibition and catalog.
In light of the above, RK truly wonders what johnny-boy is telling the overstuffed shirt onlooker, presumably hajji member ted mast the “yastic” owner, about this highly questionable, and in our opinion recent reproduction, i.e. a fake.
RK has a good memory for rugs and, in fact, we remember writing about this bogus “yastic” several years ago.
Below are the group of posts we published on RugKazbah.com about it and which our diligent and talented new webmaster has copied from our ARCHIVE and placed here for convenience.
We said it all back then, but before we sign off, we’d like to add a few comments about the highly, and incorrectly, respected john thompson.
First and foremost we recognize and applaud thompson for the good work he did on the Bogolyubov translation book and, of course, on his identification of “S” group.
However since then (the thompson annotated Bogolyubov book was published in 1973), thompson’s published scholastic achievements in Rugdom have not been nearly as commendable.
Actually, in our eyes, thompson has done little at all during the ensuing years to genuinely amplify the well-deserved reputation the Bogolyubov work brought him.
In fact, any cogent, honest review of thompson’s succeeding efforts would conclude they have often been purely commercially driven or seriously flawed academically.
Don’t believe us?
Well, let’s all remember the 1980 textile museum Turkmen exhibition and catalog/book where thompson exploded the highly specious, and incredibly dumbass, “Imreli” nonsense.
With that pseudo-academic stupidity thompson, the highly acclaimed Turkmen expert, fell flat on his face and finally, after much effort on his part to the contrary, was forced to admit his piss-poor scholarship.
But even then johnny-boy thompson vaingloriously, and unsuccessfully we must add, attempted to laugh it off as a “joke”.
Needless to say that effort belly-flopped as badly as the identifications of alleged “Imreli” pieces he wrote about in the Turkmen Catalog, and the only joke presented here would be believing thompson’s excuses.
Then, there was the ridiculously dubious thompson proclamation concerning the fake “dragon/phoenix” rug fragment -- a serious sign thompson knew, and knows, veritably little about historic Turkish weaving.
The fact thompson then went ahead some years later to stupidly vet, as circa 1550, the bogus “bellini” dodds unloaded on LACMA solidifies the fact thompson should never open his yap to discuss any historic Turkish rug.
Well how about because he has proved he does not know the difference between a fake and the real thing.
On another tack, how about the fact thompson’s several published efforts, which were written expressly for ebberhard herrmann’s early catalogs, though glib easy reads, forward little if any new information.
The fact thompson, and the hajji’s, ignore these efforts in describing his bibliography hints at the truth RK is not afraid to disseminate.
In fact, even the “catalog” he wrote for Moshe Tabibnia in 2006 is omitted.
RK can understand why it, too, went unmentioned as that work, like the others, is glib and smooth but devoid of any new information or salient ideas.
Listen and listen well readers: In any other field someone who had made these serious errors would not be heralded in his field as thompson is, but rather rejected and shown the door.
Frankly, we respect thompson for only his Bogolyubov effort, as that is the only superior work he accomplished.
The rest of his Curriculum Vitae in Rugdom is, as we said, either purely commercial or irreparably flawed by sloppy scholarship and/or questionable expertise and rug knowledge.
We could go on about thompson’s over-inflated reputation but, honestly, why bother as most of the idiots in Rugdom believe its “leaders”, like thompson and dodds, are beyond critique and review.
And that, dear readers, is the only reason a pseudo-expert like john thompson, and a cheat and thief like dennis dodds, retain reputations that are as bogus and fraudulent as the LACMA’s bogus “bellini” and the fake yastic in the picture above.
Read what we wrote about it in 2006 and the next time you are in proximity with thompson ask him yourself for his “opinion”.
RK will be really surprised if he knows enough to identify it as the reproduction and fake we claim it to be.
Yastic Sets Europe to USA Flight time Record
Published on RugKazbah.com Feb. 28, 2006
RK.com is no stranger to the notion of “flying carpets” but those we know about “fly” on account of their amazing iconographies, proportions and colors.
None of which, mind you, are possessed by this late, two-dimensional, pastiche of a yastic:
that has flown from a European auction sale to dodds’s show in Philadelphia with remarkable alacrity.
It is one of the more prominent so-called “stars” of dodds’s Arthur Ross Gallery Anatolian exhibition and one example RK has questioned.
The fact this yastic was very recently sold at auction in Europe -- it was lot 93 in rippon-boswell’s November 19, 2005 auction – and then so quickly found itself included in dodds’s show, which opened only two months later, does appear to RK to be a bit suspicious. (ed: But that suspicion pales in comparison to the idea the “yastic” is a recent reproduction)
Now it is perfectly possible there is nothing unseemly going on here but, knowing dodds and his penchant for using his position to further his personal agenda and gain, we would not be surprised if dodds has had some unannounced involvement in this process.
Usually exhibits for any museum show are finalized long before opening. Why this yastic turned up in dodds’s show of Anatolian Rugs, at Arthur Ross Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania that opened on Jan 21, 2006, when it was being sold at auction in Germany just two months before--mid-November 2005, should raise more than just our eyebrows.
By the way, the yastic was advertised by bozwell, who is another outrageous issuer of trumped up provenance and gross over-dating (dodds and bozwell have plenty of others in company with them here) as 18th century and sold with an estimated price of 26,000 euro.
According to the sales results published by the bozwell's it made 22,000 euro ($26,250.oo at today’s rate of exchange).
In RK’s opinion that price is almost as ludicrous and far from what it should be as calling it a Karapinar area weaving and dating it to the 18th century – nothing but nonsense.
Each new photo of this yastic we see only further convinces us it is not circa 1800 and might well be the reproduction, i.e. fake, we have stated.
Regardless of its genuineness, it is not a masterpiece or a gem (few, if any of the pieces, in dodds’s mis-named exhibition are).
We have heard the name of the person who supposedly was the buyer of the yastic at rippon bozwell and, if the name we have heard bandied about is correct, the idea dodds was the buyer’s “expert and/or consultant” would be well-placed.
If so, it again demonstrates dodds’s seriously flawed understanding of historic Anatolian Rugs, as well as his practice of using these museum shows to exhibit his for-sale-inventory as well as his and his client’s supposed ‘private’ rug collections.
Let’s not forget, dodds told the LACMA curator, dale gluckman, the late, genre copy of a pseudo-'Bellini' rug he sold them was “…from (his) private collection…and had never been offered for sale.”
Both of these statements were bald-faced, unadulterated, out and out lies and misrepresentations.
The facts are clear and present for anyone to examine: The LACMA rug and this miserable example of a yastic are not masterpiece, early period, weavings at all but only ones that are hardly comparable to those that actually are masterpieces.
More to come, stay tuned to RK until dodds faces the music and is forced to quit his out of step turkey-trot cha-cha-cha.
Our second post on this topic:
Earlier this afternoon RK called someone who believes he really knows about rugs, and we steer clear of him for just that reason. But we had heard ago he had handled the yastic in question some weeks and that motivated our call -- to ask what he knew about the structure and materials.
To say we were interested to hear what he had to say about those topics and his age guesstimate would be right. But only those topics, not his opinions about other topics of possible discussion, as we could care less what this professor stuffed-shirt has to say.
Of course, we put off calling him until today, long after our view of the situation had been already published, so as not to hear him say it was his “idea”.
Anyway, we came right out and asked "How old do you think it is? You know we have said, and are on record, it is a late repro made to fool and not just as a 'homage' to the past, either".
"Well let me say this" he said "it's more urban and later than village and earlier".
RK agreed but pressed on with getting an answer to the age guesstimate question.
When we reiterated our opinion it is a fake he said "Hmmmm, you might be right."
We then asked about the structure, materials and handle but he did not remember much, actually nothing.
Before we ended the call, bored to tears with his phony-professorial demeanor we told him because of the large size and numerous atypical design features, not to mention the color tonality, we believe it possibly was made in the Balkans, Romania or Bulgaria. It ain't Turkish, nor is it circa 1800 -- you all can quote us on that and don't forget to spell RK right.
Our third post on this topic:
This yastic and the rug dodds sold LACMA both have a two-dimensional quality about them. Adding to this are colors that are extremely uniform and homogenized.
The absence of three-dimensionality results from the lack of subtlety in the layout of their overall designs and the basic color arrangements and juxtaposition the weavers have employed.
RK believes both of these rugs, though made in different locations and probably different time periods (the LACMA/dodds rug being the ‘elder’ in our estimation), were made to reproduce much earlier weaving styles.
Clearly the weaver(s) of the LACMA/dodds rug stuck to a well-defined "classic" pattern (Bellini re-entrant) that apes but does not come close to fully reproducing the majesty and splendor the veritable period "Bellini's" demonstrate.
The yastic, however, departs from any "known" or "classic" form but it does lift some known designs from those earlier "classic" weavings, melding them into a rather "new" overall design.
Actually calling the yastic a yastic is not correct as its size, which we have been informed is more than 4 feet in length, would rather make it a small rug.
Clearly dodds's use of the term "yastic", like may of his other 'inventions' and spurious proclamations, was presumably intended to increase it's reputation and value.
This attempt, as well as the careless and stupid 18th century dating, do nothing other than expose more of the ignorant underside mr dodds totes around with him wherever he goes.
Both these weavings, the LACMA/dodds rug and this yastic, can, could and did fool those whose knowledge of Turkish Village Rugs comes from armchair experience.
RK.com would have imagined, since dodds has been privy to direct exposure to many real honest period Turkish Village weavings, he would have been able to differentiate the blatant shortcomings these pieces cannot help but demonstrate compared to those "originals".
The fact he hasn’t, combined with the other shortcomings and gaffs we have noted in our discussions of dodds’s recent machinations at merchandising his inventory, which by the way he continues to call his “collection", do not bode well for his trying to dispute and refute our statements, now do they?