"Swindle", as old-time east coast ruggies nicknamed wendel swan long years ago, is not only challenged when it comes to the kejebe as his recent expounding on engsi reveals.
Swindle, errrr RK means wendel, has been around oriental rugs for decades, we are not sure if he has been at it longer than us but it matters little, as swan has at least 30 years under his belt in rugDUMB.
Wendel got his nickname, and by the way it WAS NOT from RK, for his modus operandi of fleecing old time hajji baba rug collectors, who had lost touch with what happened to prices and information during the 1970's explosion of interest in 'tribal rugs'.
But before we delve into swan's gold-digging we'd like to say a word or two about just exactly how, ie what words, RK uses to broadly describe the rugs we collect.
For many years we called them "low culture" weavings to differentiate them from the "high culture" classical rugs made for the Safavid and Ottoman in atelier and workshop.
However, a number of our ethnographer colleagues convinced us to avoid the pejoration associated with high vs low by using the term 'small scale society'.
See many of the rugs called tribal were made by weavers living in towns and villages, some probably in small cities, which in our opinion was the situation prior to the 18th century. But NOTE: These weaving cultures did not live in those places all year long -- they would at least once a year spend some months in a yurt or encampment to avoid the baking summer sun.
Transhumanence and not nomadism described these people and it is a very important distinction which we do not have the time or energy to spoon-fed to our readers.
Instead we prefer offer up such topic for research in the hopes others will want to learn what we now know.
FACT: The social melieu or environment, the term we prefer, an archetype weaving was made in can rarely be identified.
What we wrote is, again, our opinion after much research and thought.
Nomads wove and no doubt a percentage of extant pre-18th century small scale society, ie 'tribal', weavings were created by them but, again in our opinion, most of those produced were not complex patterned.
As an aside history proves RK point because the most complex iconographies known belong to 'settled' people and not nomads and this too can be researched -- go do it, RK bashers, instead of flapping your jaws and blowing useless hot air.
Here's another point that RK is sure, we have never read anywhere and if we are wrong we'd appreciate someone tell us why: Weavings displaying complex iconographic patterns were only made, as we claim, by certain special weavers, ie weaving culture.
Who were they?
Frankly we don't know and while we'd surely like to know the fact we don't is irrelevant to our lines of inquiry.
Likewise, it does seem to RK these rare early weavings with complex iconographies were the source for most post mid-18th and later 'tribal' weavings done in we believe to be completely unrelated weaving cultures.
The proliferation of sacred symbols and complex patterned iconographies could not begin until the weaving cultures of the originators and their descendants broke down and were exposed to outside scrutiny and reproduction. There is no doubt in RK's mind this is what happened to cause that proliferation.
RK can't prove this thesis, which also includes geo-political and economic forces, but we can provide loads of supporting evidence, tho no magic bullets.
Beside the lack of proof positive, our position becomes apparent when similarly patterned weavings are closely compared and studied, and because RK has a number of early archetype, ie original, weavings it is no problem for us to make these comparison.
When the weavings and not their pictures, digital or otherwise, are shown together its obvious to any unprejudiced viewer.
It's not just the weaver's 'skill' that makes one example an archetype and another not, not even close. It's the weavers connection to an archaic weaving culture -- don't forget that or doubt what RK says, to do so is foolish go study, read and see for yourself.
Several times RK has published an archetype and its woven descendant and we suggest motivated readers search them out in the ARCHIVE, as we are no longer going to play teacher.
We prefer commenting on what we observe in rugDUMB and this was our sole reason for resuming posting after the year or so hiatus we declared with rugDUMB's tombstone post, which we are sure few readers have forgotten.
Anyway back to the ranch and how wendle became swindle.
Seems wendle was up on the escalating price structure that accompanied the new scholarship while many of the wendle's now departed hajji baba marks were old codgers who had bought rugs in times when when they cost 10-500 dollars and there was very little knowledge--witness Salor MC being called "Afgan" and many other similarly misplaced gaffs.
So swindle, then a young hajji, hunted the old hajji or his widow and then offered to buy those old rugs and take them off their hands.
From what we have heard and believe is common knowledge amongst a small coterie of old-timers wendle the swindler bought pieces pennies on the dollar.
Not so nice, swindle, but then again haven't rug dealers, and make no bones about swan is a dealer he just doesn't have a shoppe, always been of the cheatin'type?
By the same logic RK is also a rug-dealer who has bought many many great rugs for ridiculously low prices but we bought them from dealers and not little old ladies over tea or alzheimered out old hajjis, who probably were dribbling their lunch on their nicely pressed oxford button-downs as swindle was pitching pennies at them.
OK, so wendle took "advantage" of a situation, fine, but swindle is not on our shit-list for his beating up collectors with one foot in the grave.
Actually we can't stand wendle because he, like price, cannot after decades of rugDUMB membership differentiate between an archetype and a copied but still early example.
Just for easy proof witness the fact wendle, like 100 percent of rugDUMB, doesn't know dodds's bogus 'bellini' is bogus.
Worse, a schmuck like wendle either never read what we have PROVEN, or if he did he did not believe it.
So is wendle worth listening to?
To answer this question all one has to do is read what swan has most recently written on engsi in price=clown's turd0tek.com disgusting, errr we mean discussion, of the moment.
By the way, RK has never read or heard swan say or write something brilliant or original, have you?
But we have observed him tying the proverbial rope around his neck, as he is doing now by begging the reality a rope does not an engsi make or break.
Yessshh, what a nonsensical discussion rug-poseur like mr muffins, price=clown, swindle and the rest of the turdOtek.com crew can put on.