The recent and continuing flow of "announcements" of "events" during what is now being called the upcoming "rug week" in San Francisco, California on the surface appears to be quite interesting.
However, to a seasoned observer like RK, we can only imagine it's 'much to do about nothing' as the bard from Avon quipped.
The Capri motel 'show', the 'anchor' event, has been from the get-go (please remember this is the second coming for this rent-a-room-try-to-sell-a rugathon) nothing but a down-market place for a certain 'group' of dealers to hang out together, get inebriated in various ways, and trade among themselves or with the occasional motivated 'collector' who might wander in to see what is happening.
Last years 12 day extravaganza, which RK immediately told those who told us about the event before it was publicly announced, was stupidly conceived and needed to be shortened to at best 4 days; it has now been justly adjusted.
The Bay Area, and northern California on the whole, does have a coterie of "rug collectors" but most of them are, like collectors in other parts of the world, strapped for cash, looking for bargains, way past the former times of 'buying frenzy', and, quite frankly, often looking to sell their own lesser pieces.
So any ideas of troops of sugar-plum fairy buyers tripping into the asphalt parking lot which forms the central "court" of the rather in need of renovation, if not destruction, Capri Motel are nothing but imaginary, if not completely hallucinogenic.
RK did recently speak with one of the dealer participants who asked us our opinion about the "goods" he was bringing to sell.
Mostly these were the dregs of his "inventory", low-to-middle range 'collector' pieces that RK sees as not really collectible, especially in today's terms of picky collectors who are educated and experienced enough to know the difference.
We directly told him so and suggested instead of schlepping a pile of rugs that he "wants to get rid of" he bring two or three of the best pieces he has and play the big man rather than pander to a non-existent crowd of buyers for such lower range goods.
He listened to what we said, made no reply, and we are pretty sure he will not follow our advice -- we are equally sure when he returns home to his shop we will hear an "I should have followed your advice".
RK is lkewise equally sure there is a possibility there will be a piece or two or three of merit among the 40 or so dealers at the Capri.
Last year the imposter of a cause célèbre was a supposed OK BASH that quickly changed hands and kited in price from 3,500 dollars to 15,000 --so we were told.
OK BASH sold at the Capri event last year
We were also told it was a "great" piece, rare and very old.
Well after we saw pictures of it,which by the way were published in that rag hali magazine, we had a good laugh.
First off we sincerely doubt it ever was an OK BASH, as the alleged missing lappets all OK BASH sport were, in our opinion, never there.
Two, the direction of the warp and weft were reversed which we have never seen in any other OK BASH.
Third, while the design was a rare one (belonging on a seldom seen tiny group of now known Tekke khalyks), the Capri OK BASH was nothing but a late reflection and surely not something to wet ones pants over.
But rugDUMB really is dumb and easily excited, as this example proved.
Though RK has no desire to troop off to the Capri, or any of the other "events" that have been piled on, we sincerely wish all the dealers there success, if only to have a most enjoyable vacation in Baghad by the Bay as Herb Caen, San Francisco's most famous writer of the later part of the 20th century, frequently called it in his column in the Chronicle.
We also hope all the motivated collectors who visit find something to take home.
And please, dear readers, save yourselves the thoughts RK is jealous, envious or in any way is putting down in any way this series of events.
To the contrary, we believe get-togethers like this are good but that said we also know calling a spade a spade is far more realistic and important than falling for a bunch of hype and then going home disappointed.
And quite frankly RK is sure most visitors will be in the latter mode post-rug-week-in-SF.
We are also sure if you don't try you can't succeed and going there should be something all ruggies should do if possible.
Why doesn't RK follow this advice?
Simply put because we have many other means of finding great rugs to buy after our 4 plus decades of sourcing early rugs and textiles has demonstrated.