Unfortunately, hali magazine enjoys a reputation that might be called holy, however, in our estimation this is as bogus as that enjoyed by certain rug dealers, two of more egregious examples were recently mentioned in another topic area here on RugKazbah.com.
The level of expertise many articles and "reviews" hali publishes has gone progressively down hill for many years now -- and as we have heard we are not the only one to notice this, as their subscription roles are getting thinner and thinner each year.
The "review" of the Sartirana fair published the other day on their website is case in point.
The majority of the dealers mentioned are hali advertisers and while it is natural to favor those who favor you, ignoring the others is totally improper for a "journal" that casts itself as the mouthpiece of this business and collecting arena.
Far worse than the nepotistic coverage is the quality of their commentary.
For everyone's information, especially the apparently ill-prepared reviewer, the "star" of the show was not the intriguing and beautiful fragment hali chose to picture at the beginning of their piece but the "S" group chuval belonging to Albert Levi, from Milan.
Levi's chuval was rare bird indeed, exhibiting a minor gol only one other example, which by the way is a pair and illustrated in tzarava's book of the Russian Collections, has.
There is no other, and considering the intense interest in Turkmen weavings the boob who wrote the hali review should have been smart enough to call it, and not the fragment, the star of the show.
This "S" group chuval was not only eminently mentionably for its minor gol but also for the intense red color, which seemed to drip off it and on to the wall it was displayed on because the coloration was so outstandingly saturated and rich. Few other "S" group pieces could even come close, and that quality, plus the next to unique ornamentation put it head and shoulders above anything else in the show.
RK has written about "S" group, we do not like to call them Salor nor do we necessarily believe they were made by the Salor. The term, "S" group, defines a structure they all share and this technical differentiation is 100 percent accurate whereas the moniker, Salor, is far from as positive or provable.
By the way, another piece of information for the hapless reviewer, Levi's chuval does not have, in the strictest sense, "chuval"gols but rather what might better be referred to as a combination of a classic chuval gol with what is known as a "banner"gol.
This demarcation, which we are sure is an arguable point, is a subtle one, but nevertheless one that is far more descriptive than just slapping the "chuval" gol name on them.
The interior of the gol center is almost never found any other "chuval" gol and the somewhat less articulated drawing of the area between the center and the gol outline somewhat different than normal.
Plus the extreme plumpness, rotund shape and vertical elongation are additional factors we consider distinctly different enough from a normal "chuval" gol to be worth mention.
Granted, these are fine points and the fact they were glossed over in the review bodes poorly for hali's belief and, one they trumpet at every opportunity, they are the experts in this field.
So not only was the reviewer lost when it came to the fine points, but hali's rather rug-dopey editor, benny-boy evans, should also have been expert enough to catch the difference Levi's chuval shows before publication.
Here's a rather poor snap-shot of Levi's "S" group chuval that even though is color challenged, which the piece is the flesh surely isn't, conveys the rarity and beauty this piece exudes.