What is written below was posted to RugKazah.com in October of 2007. The egregious "crime" it details has still to this day gone unprosecuted.
Simply put because the perpetrator is a high placed member of rugDUMB's "establishment" and no one, except RK, has the courage and balls to call him out for his crime.
RK has uncovered voluminous information proving what a liar and thief the "criminal", dennis dodds, truly is but the most obvious and damning evidence is the very instrument dodds used to perpetrate his crime.
That instrument is the letter of expertise he sent to the now dismissed and disgraced Los Angeles County Art Museum curator, Dale Gluckman.
Sadly for Gluckman she trusted dodds and for that trust she lost her job and caused great difficulties and embarrassment for her employers at the Museum.
Worse than this, if that is really possible and it is, she then defrauded the 100 people, members of the Museum's Collector's Committee, into believing the lies and deception dodds used to deceive her.
The letter of expertise dodds submitted, which we republish below with our comments in bold type, was used by Gluckman to defraud the members of the Collector's Committee. It is a heinous document and undeniably proves what a liar and thief dennis dodds truly is.
Read it for yourself and no one with an unprejudiced mind could possibly believe the contrary.
Our original comments appear in bold type and our latest comments, added today, appear in brackets(...) and underlined
the dodds/LACMA late genre period bellini
"CENTRAL ANATOLIA, KONYA REGION, 16-17TH CENTURY, 5’1”X8’0”
“This rare and beautiful carpet is an important document that records a geometric style more prevalent in early Central Anatolian Turkmen weavings than in the floriated interpretations that issued from Ottoman Court workshops in the 16th and 17th centuries."
Rarity is nothing to brag about, especially in rugdom where such a comment can be hung on a Belouch bag made in l920, an Afgan war rug made in 1990 or a Turkish Village rug made in the 16th century.
We will gladly admit dodds's "bellini" is a rare form but, as anyone who is expert in this genre of rug knows, calling it "rare" is a non sequitor -- a meaningless comment that is, in this instance, more misleading than it is informative.
RK would have preferred atypical, which is far more descriptive, and honest.
As for dodds calling it "beautiful"?
Well, as we all know, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and, since the "bellini" remained unsold on the market for 25+ years, it might be far more factual to say only dodds, himself, finds it beautiful.
It is not hard to deduce words like "rare" and "beautiful" are huckster's terms and dodds's reliance on mouthing them at the very beginning of his spiel bodes poorly for what follows -- and the rest of what he wrote well proves this idea.
"For this reason, Charles Grant Ellis and other scholars placed the origin for this carpet in the environs of Konya, the seat of the Seljuk empire. Ottoman production from farther west around Ushak was basically well organized with skilled artisans working in the Sultan’s court ateliers, nakashhane."
To say dodds is name-dropping here is a given because to the best of our knowledge Charlie Ellis NEVER commented about dodds's "bellini" publicly.
We challenge dodds to prove Ellis or any other scholar besides michael franses (who seems to have been at least at some time previous to dodds the rug's owner) believed the "bellini" was what dodds claims.
It is also as apparent the "bellini" was NOT made in Central Anatolia(Konya) but rather farther west -- somewhere between Ladik and Ushak would be our rough estimate.
And dodds’s referring to the Seljuk Empire, in the same breath as discussing his "bellini", is nothing but more senseless name-dropping.
The rug has nothing to do with the Seljuk Empire or any weavings ascribed to it -- even a rug know-little like dodds should know this.
But perhaps he does, and only made such references because he KNEW gluckman didn't and was sure his words would never been examined by anyone who does.
The jig is clearly up for dodds, who we are sure never thought his "bellini's" letter of expertise would be published publicly or receive the critical commentary we are now making.
"Their designs, while elegant and refined, were often predictable and consistent within the tradition – to the point of being almost painterly in their precision. This is understandable, for many of the cartoons, or sketches, for court manufactured carpets were drafted by manuscript painters, who then turned their designs over to weavers for their interpretation."
Of course this is factual but what does it have to do with the subject at hand --dodds's "bellini" rug, which has surely not be produced from an artist cartoon?
Nor could anyone, other than a carpet-bragging salesman like dodds, claim his "bellini" is "painterly" with a straight face.
Actually, so far, dodds's spiel says nothing true or factual about his "bellini" and is, once again we defy anyone to demonstrate to the contrary, nothing but innuendo, fluff and a transparently pathetic attempt to describe it as something it clearly isn't.
"Away from these Ottoman centers, however, villages were populated by weavers less familiar with the fluid renderings of courtly drawings. Theirs was an environment in which a geometric style predominated, often as small medallions repeated over the field – more pattern than portrait, more abstract than literal."
Again dodds relies on false parallels -- his rug is demonstrably not a "village" production but rather one made in a commercial workshop.
We have already mentioned the rug's easily noticeable warp depression as far more likely to part and parcel of workshop production than what is referred to as "village".
Adding to this idea is the rather monotonous and limited color palette and highly derivative, and totally unoriginal, design and articulation.
Again, even a rug know-little should recognize these factors and, most probably dodds did, but his overwhelming desire to sell the rug pushed him to mislead gluckman by avoiding reference of these and other unflattering aspects.
"Sometimes these medallions were extracted from an overall repeat pattern and exaggerated, with one, or a few dominating the field. Such is the case with this carpet. The dramatic open field design features three smaller medallions. The central ivory one is quadripartite and displays a lobed medallion defined by four split-leaf arabesques on diagonal stems and whose petals gracefully join to form the medallion’s outline.”
This paragraph is laughable and, once more, demonstrates dodds’s belief he could kite any idea, no matter how specious, because gluckman was totally rug ignorant and as trusting as a lamb.
For your information, mr dodds, there is nothing “graceful” about your “bellini’s” central medallion. It is clearly a brutish attempt to re-create the medallions seen on many other types of Turkish rugs, both court and village.
And it is especially reminiscent of those found on small medallion Ushak carpets, which is another link your “bellini” shares with Ushak and not Konya.
“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).
“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, 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 (in fact it is now proven to be almost 50 percent of the rug is repiled restoration), 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.(Now, in 2009, it is positively known Planner returned the rug to Bausback after the exhibition and soon afterwards dodds got it. RK has personally spoken to Planner and he told us "I returned the rug to Bausback as I was unsatisfied with its quality and age". Therefore, RK believes Bausback returned the rug to michael franses, the rug's true owner, and franses then shuffled it off to dodds. So the only person who ever bought the rug, Heinz Planner, was displeased and returned it to the seller. This and the fact the bogus bellini subsequently remained unsold on the international rug market for almost 20 years is proof positive it is not even close to what dodds deviously writes in this expertise.)
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”.(RK recently discovered and published a photo of dodds standing in front of the bellini in his booth at the 1990 icoc dealers fair where he is clearly trying to SELL the rug to any taker. This photo moots any statements from dodds that the bellini was in his "collection" and patently demonstrates what a liar and cheat he is. Here is that picture.
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”.
“Both Franses and the author of the entry for the Austrian catalogue joined Mr. Ellis in pointing to Konya and the Turkmen in that region as the likely geographic origin and weavers of this rug.”
Although dodds cites the published references supporting his disjointed claim others, like franses and the author of the Austrian catalog, agree with his Konya provenance, he mentions them both as being subordinate to, and “joining” in with, Charles Ellis’s allegedly similar opinion.
However, dodds produces NO proof or reference to substantiate what exactly Ellis’s opinion was and, since Ellis is dead, there seems little chance at this point in time to query him concerning dodds’s allegation.
RK has pointed this out before and we do so once again only to reinforce this important point.
After all, the entire premise dodds’s letter of expertise to LACMA rests on the ‘idea’ the Konya region, and not Ushak, was the place the “bellini” was woven.
We have offered dodds, or anyone else, the opportunity to produce proof and to this day none has been forthcoming.
To us this implies dodds has nothing to support his claim Ellis ever seriously discussed his “bellini” rug.(To this date dodds, nor anyone else, has stood up to support dodds's specious claims or to try and refute RK's. Again this is damning evidence that goes miles to prove RK position dodds is a liar and a thief)
We also believe it pertinent to reproduce what was actually said in the published references dodds mentions and will do so now, adding some of our comments to demonstrate his errors and fabrications in citing these references.
We already, several years ago, published the Austrian catalog entry on RugKazbah.com’s discussion board and will repost it here for convenience, along with franses’s hali review of the Bausback exhibition.
For readers who have not seen this, here is the URL where the Austrian catalog entry still remains online on RugKazbah.com:
First, the scan of the relevant pages of that catalog where the entry fortunately appears in both German and English. Below that, a transcription of the English text, since the photograph can not be reproduced large enough to facilitate reading online.
ENGLISH TEXT TRANSCRIPTION FROM THE CATALOG:
"The floral border indicates the relationship to the inner border of Number 6 from this catalog.
The floral wreath laid around the central medallion of this piece seems to have been taken from the trellis-connected floral spray of the star Ushak field.
The starkly geometrised(sic), hooked, eight-cornered bands recall Bergamas. The octagonal rosettes and also the violet “elem” (supplementary border) point to central Anatolian Turcomans. Hence Konya is suggested as the provenance of this piece.
Such wide, ribbon-like borders for the mirhab are also seen in Seljuk carpets and on Timurid tiles. Here the Turcoman geometrical design again prevails over the floral style.
Dimand Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Herman III Von Konya bis Kokand 12/13.8
McMullan plate 96”
While it is apparent the author of this catalog entry does use the term “central Anatolian Turcomans”, this should not in any way support dodds’s regurgitating it more than twenty plus years later, as no one else has even mentioned it, let alone as a provenance for a Turkish Village rug supposedly made circa 1550-1650.
It should be perfectly clear this term is not a very valid one nor one to hang ones hat upon in trying to provenance a rug like the LACMA “bellini”.
However and regardless, an interesting question remains: Why did the author of the description for the “bellini”(Plate 7 in the Austrian catalog) title it “DOUBLE-NICHE USAK” and then, in the short description, mention a Konya provenance?
Perhaps this was rug-politics, or was it just confusion?
Whatever the rational, it doesn’t change the fact the “bellini” is not a central Anatolian rug, nor does it have any real connection to this mythic “central Antolian Turkmen” blah-blah provenance.
The “bellini” was quite positively made farther west, just as we have stated numerous times in the past.
In light of this, it is also interesting to note the cataloger compares the “bellini” to Plate 6, which is undoubtedly an Ushak weaving, as well as to Star Ushak rugs.
Here’s a scan of Plate 6 and, below that, a scan of a wonderful, and very early prototype, of the Star Ushak form:
One does not have to possess a genius IQ to see the more numerous relationships the “bellini” shares with Ushak area weavings, as compared to those from Konya or any other locale in central Anatolia.
RK will, we hope, soon learn who wrote the “bellini” entry for this catalog and question them about this confusion.
But for now two decades plus afterwards, it is sure dodds, or anyone else who might try, is on incredibly thin ice trying to float a central Anatolian provenance for this late, genre period reproduction “bellini”; not to mention proving dodds’s other pie-in-the-sky opinions.
RK believes it also might be enlightening to reproduce franses’s hali review of the rug after it appeared in the 1981 Bausback exhibition.
Here’s what franses wrote about the “bellini” back then (Remember franses was most probably the OWNER of the rug at that time and his writing about it without revealing that is improper, highly unprofessional and dishonest. One thing is sure after Planner returned the rug to Bausback it ended up in franses's hands and this is all the evidence RK needs to opine it was ALWAYS franses's rug):
“Equally interesting is the rug in figure 2 (ed. figure two is a photo of the dodds/LACMA rug), attributed to 17th century Ushak. Examples of this rare family of early village rugs have survived mainly in fragmentary condition; by contrast the Bausbak example is almost complete, except possibly for a few row of knots at each end and some at the sides.
The rug is superficially similar to small double- niche medallion rugs which are more likely to have been made as part of organized commercial production in the area although the central medallion of the Bausback rug is also found in a number of the latter type. It is interesting to note the minor borders are similar to the “column ladik” rugs which are now also believed to have been woven in the Ushak area, while the octagonal medallions at both ends of the field are also found in the McMullan and Volkmann rugs mentioned above.
The tiny swastika in the blue green field border is a rare ornament although it also occurs in much the same form in one of the Seljuk carpets(footnote 5), while it is also instructive to compare the rug with an example published by S. Yetkin(footnote 6).
Early west Anatolian rugs can not be clearly comprehended in isolation from the numerous examples extant in the Istanbul museums(footnote 7)”.
We will avoid commenting on franses’s opinion “column Ladik” rugs were made in Ushak, or showing the absurdity of comparing the LACMA “bellini” with the referenced far older and better rugs in the McMullan or Volkman collections.
We will also let slide his rather oblique reference to Seljuk rugs, which by the way, was surely the source for dodds’s similar name-dropping.
Instead, let’s concentrate on franses’s realistic idea the “bellini” rug was made in the Ushak area.
The fact the author of the Vienna catalog ignored this and confusingly mentions it, as well as a Konya provenance, is especially questionable, as franses’s review was written less than two years before.
RK has no answer for this one but we do place our belief, dodds’s 20 year later, off-the-wall idea of a Konya provenance, down to his desire to ‘re-define’ the “bellini” in hopes of convincing a buyer, any buyer, to purchase it.
Why else would he fly in the face of good reason and numerous statements to the contrary from previous author’s?
But let’s get back to dodds’s letter of expertise to LACMA:
“Certainly the two end panels, with their elegantly ornamented pentagonal medallions and deeply saturated purple dyes, hold clue to this claim. Too, the “wide ribbon-like borders for the mirhab are also seen in Seljuk carpets and on Timurid tiles”.”
Hello dodds, you hyperbolist, stating the amorphous elements in the rug’s end panels are Turkmen inspired is but another of your dumb-bell dodds-isms.
Adding to this idea is dodds’s strange belief the appearance of purple dye might likewise provide any Turkmen connection.
No, once more, dodds’s belief he can kite any idea, no matter how curious or unsupportable, is the only explanation for such ridiculous statements.
So too is his notion “the ‘wide ribbon-like borders’ for the mirhab are also seen in Seljuk carpets and on Timurid tiles’ has any relevance or genuine meaning – it doesn’t and is only more name-dropping and hear-say.
“In the HALI review, Franses cites that the repeated, small interlace element “within the blue-green field border “ is a rare ornament although it also occurs in much the same form as one of the ‘Seljuk’ carpets”. The approximate date of ca. 1600 is consistent with current scholarship.”
No one with any developed rug-intellect could help but recognize both franses and dodds’s belief the occurance of a ‘swastika’-like motif in the “bellini” has any real meaning in comparison to those on a Seljuk carpet other than more name-dropping.
In fact, to do so demonstrates both of them have nothing really to say and are grabbing at any straws in their presentations.
While a date of 1600 might have been passable in the early 1980’s, for dodds to claim it as being acceptable with current scholarship in 2004 is nothing but transparent sales-patter.
Let’s remember Walter Denny, one of the three LACMA experts who vetted the “bellini” for gluckman, immediately changed his opinion the rug was circa 1600 to a far more plausible “1650-1750 but at the end of that continuum” position after viewing it personally.
The rug is assuredly not circa 1600 or 1650. Nor is it mid-16th century as dodds originally claimed at other times according to what gluckman told us when we first spoke to her. (In fact RK has published a picture of the dodds bellini when it was first hung in a galley in the Los angeles County Art Museum where the Museum's label can be seen clearly stating a mid-16th century date.
Here is that picture and on the stand in front of the rug the description LACMA presented):
"Turkey, Anatolia, Konya region
In sixteenth-century Europe, carpets from Turkey were luxury imports. Rarely placed on the floor, however, these richly patterned textiles were draped over tables, beds, or chests to proclaim the wealth and status of their owners. The natural dyes in this carpet are barely faded, providing a rare opportunity to experience their original vibrancy. The clear shapes and clean lines of the carpet’s design give it an unusually strong architectural quality.
Knotted wool pile on wool foundation
98 1/2 x 64 1/2 in. (250.19 x 163.83 cm)
Gift of the 2004 Collectors Committee"
If dodds, anyone at LACMA, or anyone else truly believes a 16th century date, or even a circa 1600 one, is “ acceptable with current scholarship” we urge them to first look up the word scholarship in a dictionary, because this dating, or dodds's equally flawed letter of expertise, is not scholarship, even in the unscholarly field of Oriental Rug publications.
We’d then suggest they read some of the better rug literature where veritable circa 1600 Turkish Village Rugs are illustrated, as then it becomes impossible to intelligently countenance such a date for the LACMA “bellini”. (RK has stated before and will state it again dodds bellini is at best a mid-18th century rug -- though we believe a far more real and honest assessment would be circa 1800. But regardless of its date the dodds/LACMA bellini is nothing but a later genre reproduction, and a rather disappointing and boring one at that.).
If is excessive over-dating wasn’t enough, dodds’s listing of the exhibitions and publications his “bellini” has appeared in, as proof of its importance, could only impress the unknowing, as all of them were, in fact, nothing more than glorified commercial attempts to find a buyer.
There is not one of these anyone could point to as an independent desire to illustrate the rug for any other purpose.(Perhaps the 1983 Graz collector's show and its catalog could be considered a non-commercial venue but the errors we pointed out in the catalog's description surely discount giving that appearance any weight or credence.)
Below is dodds's list, errors and all, which undeniably prove our contention:
Franz Bausback Gallery, Mannheim, 1981
International Conference on Oriental Carpets, Vienna, 1983
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, 1996
Bausback, October, 1981, pl.11
HALI, Vol.4, no. 2, `1981 p.166
Antike Anatolische Teppiche aus Osterreichischem Besitz, 1983, p.64, pl.7
Oriental Rugs from Atlantic Collections, Dodds and Eiland, eds., 1996, p.19, pl.19
review of Milan Exhibition, 2001
(Dale, you have a copy of this review that I gave you at the Antiques Show")
The net price is $250,000.”
RK has not seen the last reference, the 2001 hali Milan exhibition review, so we cannot comment.
However, about the $250,000 net price, we surely could and have, and see no need to revisit this issue.
But, in the final analysis, the price LACMA paid is not an issue for RK because even had they paid $10,000, it would not change the fact the “bellini” is not museum worthy or a masterpiece of its type in any degree whatsoever.
In closing we must say the finale of dodds’s letter of expertise was, perhaps, the most egregious attempt he made at pulling the wool over LACMA’s naïve and trusting curator, dale gluckman:
“Dale, other knowledgeable collectors and specialist dealers have commented in the past couple of years that this is the best early Anatolian village carpet of its age and type available. I have tried to document for you some of the earlier published references.”
“One of the best early Anatolian Village carpets of its age and type available”?
'Scuze us but this is a blatant lie and one that proves what a carpet-bragging liar and thief dennis dodds is.
Plus, his saying he has provided “some of the earlier published references” is equally as specious, as they are the ONLY references.
Yes, dodds is a liar and a cheat and he abused the trust gluckman placed in him.
That trust, by the way, was undoubtedly supported by his high profile position as the president of the icoc.
This is why we believe dodds should be removed, publicly rebuked for his dishonesty and run out of rugdom asap.
We will publish the rest of his letter of expertise for completeness, even though it says nothing new and is only summation:
“It is an important example of the geometric style that probably originated in the cultural context of westward migrating Turkmen tribes from Central Asia who settled in villages in the Konya region of Central Anatolia in the 14th and 15th centuries. Thus, the carpet helps establish the existence of this geometric style in that place and time and distinguishes it from Ottoman court workshops in Western Anatolia, such as Ushak.
Subjectively, its large size and overall scale is impressive, with a profound visual impact. The rich, intense palette gives testimony to the very best examples of the dyer’s art. The wool is lustrous and the condition is very good. The spacious composition and spare use of key design elements create an arresting and lasting impact that speaks volumes in an ancient tribal language.
I would be delighted if my carpet found a home in a prestigious Museum where so many people could be touched by its power and beauty – as I have for all these years I have owned it.”
What could anyone conversant with both historic Turkish Village rugs, and the market for them, say except dodds is lying through his dental work
1. There is absolutely NO provable connection between any Turkmen group, migrating to Anatolia or not, and the LACMA “bellini” and we defy dodds or anyone else to demonstrate there is.
2.The “bellini” is clearly not an Ottoman court weaving, but so what? Any claim of importance because of this reality is worthless – it is obvious and meaningless - even a rug know-little like dodds should realize this.
3. The “bellini’s” large size and overscale are not impressive to anyone familiar with real circa 1600 Turkish Village rugs and its monotonous and somewhat boring color palette is surely no testament to any great dyer’s art.
4. If dodds, or anyone else believes “The spacious composition and spare use of key design elements create an arresting and lasting impact that speaks volumes in an ancient tribal language.”, we, once more, suggest they do some study of genuine historic Turkish Village Rugs and that idea will immediately vanish.
Only a lying, dishonest fool, like dodds could present such hyperbole with a straight face.
5. Likewise any one stating the “condition is good”, considering the substantial and obvious restoration that is there for all to see, can only be seen as a charlatan and liar.
6. Of course dodds would be “ delighted if my carpet found a home in a prestigious Museum where so many people could be touched by its power and beauty – as I have for all these years I have owned it.", who wouldn’t. (After all he got $250,000.oo for his deceit and thievery -- plus he got rid of a stone that hung around his neck for 20 plus years. What a duplicious bastard dodds proves himself to be.)
But in light of the reality no one, in the 25 plus year history of this rug being on the market, thought the “bellini” had “power and beauty”, dodds’s words ring horribly hollow, untrue and deceitful.
To sum up, RK will be amazed if there is no public outcry from rugdom after we have made public the instrument dodds used to defraud and cheat LACMA into buying his bogus “bellini” rug.
LACMA needs to know the truth and, even more so, needs to hear from those involved in rugdom that we do not condone dodds’s thievery, lies and gross misrepresentations.
This is a very serious issue, both for LACMA and for rugdom in general, and anyone who believes different, or is too afraid or lazy to get involved, should be ashamed and embarrassed.
RK realizes how difficult it is to change entrenched ideas and patterns of behaviour, especially in an arena like the one surrounding historic Oriental Rugs.
The incredible spread of interest, both in America and Europe as well as the Middle and Far East, we have seen growing since the mid-1970's belies the fact below the surface little has changed.
Scholarship and scientific investigation are still only talk, as few examples of superior effort in these areas could be demonstrated by even their most aware and knowledgeable proponents.
RK does not need here to recount the fallacy of C14 dating for 99.9% of the extant carpets, or the accepted belief among those who revolve in this universe that progress has, or is, being made.
Sorry, but this is only lip-service and far from reality. (Let us also mention the three carbon 14 dating efforts the Museum carried out, and have hung their claims on, have been demonstrably proven here on RugKazbah.com to be nothing other than pseudo-science and worthless evidence the rug is, as they now claim, circa 1650.
The rug is a dud, a late genre period workshop reproduction and it will lay in the basement of the Museum forever -- a testament to rugDUMB's silence and dodds unbridled greed, ignorance and thievery.)
As we said earlier in this exercise of proving what a cheat and liar dennis dodds proved himself to be, there is no one to point the finger at as rugdom in general is at fault.
Not to blow our own horn but, really now, who else has publicly stood up and complained about dodds or the other issues we have championed?
Right you are, not a soul, and this more than anything else demonstrates rugdom's most salient and fatal flaw.
Ignoring it, turning ones attention elsewhere, or believing things will change on their own are all part and parcel of this malady, surely not its remedy.
If we all are not careful, such attitudes will eventually return interest in Historic Oriental Rugs once again to the back burners of a stove that is rarely used for anything but boiling the stains from filthy old dishrags, surely not cooking banquet meals for royalty.
Rugdom is run by a graduated hierarchy, an in-group, who far too often place their personal interests far above those of the rugs themselves.
Anyone saying different is either too far outside the circle, or disingenuously inside it.
And while few are as blatantly dishonest as dodds, or as scandalous in their actions, he has company.
We have spoken of this before, it is not the first time.
Nor is our dissection of dodds's disgusting disavowal of the trust LACMA benefited him with, by accepting his letter of expertise and getting their Collector's Circle to purchase his bogus "bellini", any more damning than the other proofs we have published.
Doing nothing only empowers those like dodds to continue on their merry way to defraud, bamboolze and cheat others, be they the lay public, collectors who should know better, or institutions like LACMA.
There's alot wrong with rugdom and even though dodds is the poster boy of late, he could not have perpetrated his con- game without the support and agreement of rugdom.
This is why it is imperative we all face facts, and publicly rebuking dodds and removing him from his president's perch in that birdland that is known as the international conference on oriental carpets(icoc) would be a tremendous start.
House-cleaning, and a major one at that, is long overdue and though in doing so rugdom will have to admit its errors, and admit them for all to see in a somewhat unpleasant way, there is no other alternative.
The reality dodds stole candy from a baby is sure.
The reality he believes he is above suspicion, scrutiny and removal are also givens.
This needs to be addressed and changed, and nothing will be changed until this step is taken.
What more proof could anyone possibly need of this dreadful state of affairs than reading and carefully thinking about the flaws, falsehoods, downright misrepresentations and lies dodds's letter of expertise displays?
Yes, he is no better than the thieving miscreants who descended on the destroyed South after the Civil War to steal and cheat their way to riches.
Remember it was this type of person whose actions originally coined the phrase carpet-bagger.
But, unlike their case, dodds's crowning achievement from his romp through rugdom, cheating LACMA, must not be allowed to stand unrecognized and uncontested.