Home > Archive >NERS Newsletter Jan.2008
Mon, Mar 17th, 2008 08:10:11 PM
Topic: NERS Newsletter Jan.2008

NERS, the New England Rug Society, is one of the largest and most vocal of all the "rug clubs" that have sprung up on the rug-scene over the last 15 years or so.

Mostly, might RK opine always, these "clubs" advance nothing other than the status quo, and often even worse, in their attempts to expound, explain and "share" the wonders of Near Eastern antique and historic rugs and related weavings with their members, the rug-world and the public at large.

And although the old saying "Even bad publicity is good publicity" might hold water in some people cans, it surely doesn't impress RK as anything other than more BS in Rugdom, where there is little evidence of anything that might qualify as genuinely "good publicity".

Well, perhaps this might confuse some readers, so let RK explain a bit more.

We believe anything but factual and truthful publicity, or reportage for that matter, only advances rug-stupidity.

And, that being the case in point here, RK can honestly say this is the reason why no one refutes, or even tries to refute, what we claim – they can’t. PERIOD

RugKazbah.com's discussion board documents this stupidity-- everything from the lack of public outcry concerning the LACMA/dodds fraud to the continued damage the revolting penchant hali magazine has for placing its own advertising revenues before factual and truthful reportage causes.

And although there are other Topic Area's on our discussion board where we could have placed this first posting, we decided to inaugurate a new one to demonstrate our increasing displeasure and disapproval at what passes for fact and truth in our field.

OK, enough preamble, now let's get into the meat of the matter.

The latest, Jan. 2008, NERS newsletter is a perfect example of rug stupidity, as it contains some truly lame and absurd comments.

First of those concerns the introduction for a forthcoming talk to their society jurg rageth will be giving in March.

The name, jurg rageth, should not be an unfamiliar one to anyone interested in Anatolian Kelim or Turkmen weavings. However, calling rageth "...the author of numerous papers and articles on rugs, textiles, dye analysis, and carbon dating." is just too much bullshit for RK, or anyone who knows the truth, to swallow.

Yes, sure, rageth has published but the sum total is next to nothing, especially concerning any of the "scientific" subjects the author of the NERS introduction mentions.

Plus, rageth is not a "scientist" but rather just a layman concerning dye analysis, carbon dating etc and his writing on the subject limited to recital and come-on.

Furthermore, rageth has not written any articles of merit on any types of rug, kelim and textile, PERIOD. He did publish some books and in them recite what any first year chemistry student might learn about "science" or any ruggie could cut and paste from their library.

And the dumbass statement:

"Before turning his attention to the scientific examination of rug history, Jurg was a dealer in antique Anatolian kilims."

is unbelievably flattering and false. It is true rageth tried to be a dealer in Anatolian Kelim, but he failed miserably.

Don't believe us?

Well, go look in the Kirchheim book and see all those mediocre and totally unimportant Kelim.

Most of them came from rageth, at quite high prices we can mention, and in the end they were discarded from the collection because my friend to the end Heinrich finally realized how badly he had been taken.

RK can cite other examples of the failure of rageth to do anything as a dealer but why bother?

Like every ambitious con-man rageth kept trying to get into rugdom and finally found a way to slip himself in – hustling C14 dating.

Now realize RK is on record, since the mid-1980's, as not countenancing the efficacy of this procedure (C14) for dating oriental rugs and related weavings and we are not going to re-discuss our positions other than to say the "contamination issue" is the greatest obstacle for trusting any date for a carpet derived by C14 analysis..

Surprisingly, we have heard rageth, who proves himself to be a very slow learner, has also now finally realized this and is backing away, quite steadily we have heard from reliable sources, from promoting C14 testing.

That in itself shows the fallacy of the NERS introduction, however, we can go further.

In Fall 2006, rageth appeared in Hamburg, at the Gallery Azadi Turkmen show of Tekke Main carpets, and gave, what we believe, is the same talk he will give to NERS.

At that time rageth was ridiculed for his amateurish effort and its say “nothing new” content.

Mostly this centered around his "dye analyses" and their nothing new findings.

We can go on about rageth but, as we said, why bother -- the facts prove he is nothing but a rug know-little and his "scientific" work is nothing but shilling for labs that do the work and receiving "commissions" for his introductions and business he generates.

Is NERS so hungry for "speakers", and so willing to introduce a "salesman" as a "scientist", that they will stoop to introducing him with such trumped-up accolades?

We do see this "talk" has already taken place and RK would be curious to hear from anyone who attended, particularly if they can prove we have NOT stated the truth about rageth and his alleged knowledge.

Here's a chance for all you RK non-believers to prove we are full of crapola. However, we realize you will not be able to and that is the gist and reality of why RK continues to try and bring some reality into the fairy-tale field NERS, hali and the rug-world sheeple seem to believe is anything but illusion and bullshit.

Onward to the NERS reviewer, yon bard, who scribbled the following comments about the latest michael, aka “I am a rug-expurt” grogan’s auction.

The bard of NERS needs to seriously examine his statements, as they are not only misleading but incredibly stupid. We begin with his “opinions” about:

“The other stars of the show were two East Caucasians, a yellow ground prayer rug (lot 62) and a light-blue ground Shirvan (lot 79C)—each selling for a well deserved $70,000 (20,000-40,000).”

Well-deserved? Is bard playing his fiddle to the foolish, and still quite inexpert, NERS collectors like mitch/ rosey rudnik or j.smith, who might think rugs of this ilk deserve outstanding results at auction? Or is he just expressing his own gullibility and rug-know-littleness?

If those rugs “deserve” such prices then real ones, those that are 50 years earlier and far closer to their archetypes, should command double or triple results.

No bard's opinion and the “market” for these pretty but soulless weavings is hyped and the market nothing more than a “bubble”, a term that should be familiar to anyone who even occasionally reads the financial pages of any newspaper in America.

The disparity of prices in Rugdom is another of the apparent and unsightly boils bubbling-up on Rugdom’s face and you don’t need to be a cosmetic surgeon to see them, either.

But deaf, dumb and blind rugdom’s sheeple, like bard and most of the rest of NERS’s committee – like that of every other “rug club” as well as Rugdom in general – either can’t, or in some instances won’t, face the truth.

The bard of NERS continues: “On the other hand, the $20,000 (10,000-15,000) brought by a Soumac bagface (lot 14) seemed on the high side.”

Sorry Shakespeare, errrr we mean bard, your prose and point miss the mark by miles.

Why pick on that poor soumak bag, with its cutesy animals and boring static design, when it is no worse iconographically than the two rugs you just got finished raving about?

Frankly, we put bard’s dumb-bell commentary down to his lack of real expertise, either as a collector or commentator.

But let’s mush on thru his report:

“Among the few Turkmen pieces, lot 11, an enigmatic small trapping of unusual design, was the most interesting. Described merely as “Turkoman” in the catalog it was deemed to be Yomud by some observers, but I think it is likely Tekke, the evidence being the tight weave and thinness of the fabric. It fetched $7,500 (2,000-4,000).

The other Turkmen of interest, lot 72, was the very beautiful but fragmentary Yomud chuval which had been exhibited at ACOR 8. It brought a disappointing $2,800 (3,000-4,000).”

Disappointing to who? The owner? Or someone like bard, who has bought lots of Turkmen rugs of similar stature – interesting but not historic?

Frankly and since bard is supposed to be a knowledgeable Turkmen collector his take on the Turkmen pieces in grogan’s sale is as lame as his take on the Caucasian high flyers.

Actually, Lot 11 is probably some “Eagle”-group Yomud spin-off made in the early/middle 19th century.

It is not a “trapping” but rather what RK coined the phrase “small format” rug to describe.

It was not much of anything and the buyer, who we will have a go at shortly, will be able to double or even triple the price it made – not to say that is warranted - as the piece is nothing special historically though we will agree “decorative”, which is afterall herrmann meat and potatoes.

We close with this from bard:

“The sale’s “flagship” was a rare Persian garden carpet dated 1806 (lot 65; see picture on back page). It was over 19 feet long, and brought $70,000 (30,000- 50,000). It would undoubtedly have done even better had there not been areas of significant wear.”

Duhhhh, with rug acumen and insight like that we wonder if bard has trouble putting the left foot in the left shoe and tying those laces.

Yessshhhh, but then again since bard is a sometimes contributor and magpie on price=clown’s sandbox rug discussion board, what else to expect?

Oh, we almost forgot our go at the buyer of the small format piece:

Though the live audience was not very large… Even the long absent German dealer Eberhart Hermann made an appearance, snatching up several delicious plums.”

Now, please, not to mention why herrmann has been “long absent” borders on complicity – fact is herrmann is a thief, who stole from those who helped him and the reality anyone could accept him in any salesroom, exhibition or stage where antique and historic rugs are on view for sale or discussion is disgusting.

Like dennis dodds, herrmann’s actions are despicable and a miscreant like him should be shunned not lauded.

Here, as elsewhere, bard's proven himself to be a jerk when it comes to his rug-expertise; proven himself, like most of you, to be a gullible sheeple in his failure to confront the many serious issues of the day and with his herrmann comments showed how politically correct behavior is just as ethically bad as the criminal activity he avoided mentioning.

Author: anon
Mon, Mar 17th, 2008 08:10:11 PM

RK Replies:

As we stated above this is appears to be the same "talk" rageth gave at the meeting in Hamburg.

RK is sure had we attended the only thing we would have "enjoyed" would have been peppering rageth with the same sort of comments he faced then.

In fact, the lac/cochineal distinction in Salor weavings was reported many years ago by Siawosch Azadi and rageth's recent "investigations" do nothing other than restate what Azadi reported way back when.

Fact is rageth's a slow learner and, once again, he demonstrates it -- this time by his giving the same "questionable" talk after having been critiqued in Hamburg for its frailties and weaknesses.

And BTW: should you or anyone post the various "points" rageth raised in his "talk", RK will be glad to rubbish them with fact and truth.

Need we say more?


The Jurg Rageth NERS talk was on the evolution of the Turkmen design pool, specifically Salor main carpets.

Carbon dating played a moderate role, but not a huge one.

Mostly the talk was about the connection between a group in East Persia who were wiped out circa 1000, presumably by the spread of Islam, and the Salor border designs.

There was some dye analysis, mostly to show the lac/cochineal distinction for Salor vs. other Turkmen tribes.

Most of the talk was on a hunt for old pieces that showed the design evolution, and analyzing the languages to find common words for motifs.

Actually, I suspect you would have enjoyed the talk.

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