Rumor has it ownership of that rag hali magazine has recently changed.
For the past years sebastian gandchi and his supposedly wealthy boyfriend "partner", who bankrolled the purchase of the magazine so gandchi could prance around as its editor, have owned hali and now, as we have heard it, they have sold a majority share to michael aka little lord franses.
As all rugDUMB knows franses started that rag hali with robert pinner’s checkbook and then when franses sucked all he could out of the situation sold the magazine to a publishing company which had strong links to Ivan Boesky, a former "international financial big-wig".
Just to recount a bit of hidden history alan aka markupsome marcuson was installed as hali's editor when franses and pinner departed.
Mr marcuson, who prior to his appointment as hali editor was a rug dealer with a rug-shoppe in Little Venice, London, went bankrupt and left the rug scene owing tens of thousands of English pounds to many of his former friends and colleagues.
Among those debtors was michael little lord franses. RK well remembers franses telling us how marcuson went bankrupt owing him somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 pounds and that he (franses) would "...over my dead body never again talk to that snake marcuson."
Well, when franses needed an editor to sell the magazine, and he couldn't find anyone else, he recanted on that "pledge" and that's how marcuson got his butt into that rag hali's editor's chair.
By the way, marcuson was the one to bring Daniel Shaffer along as deputy editor and, when marcuson was subsequently fired by Centaur Publications who bought hali from Boesky's company, Shaffer then inherited the editor’s swivel chair.
Also for the record, another of marcuson's ventures in rugDUMB, "cloudband".com, likewise went brankrupt owing as we heard it hundred of thousands of dollars to its creditors after squandering well over a million dollars of capital raised from marcuson's family and friends.
By the way, marcuson was the only person to have profited from cloudband's demise, as he made sure his absurdly high salary and "executive director's compensation" never went unpaid, while creditors and others were left holding the bag. Nice job alan marcuson, you greedy rug-slut.
So now franses is back in control of hali and frankly RK cannot imagine why he would throw good money after bad, as the old saying goes.
But then perhaps the deal was too good, ie gandchi's boyfriend wanted out at any price and selling franses the 51 percent share rumor has it franses purchased was dirt-cheap, or franses just wanted to save face and keep hali running because it was going to go out of business on account of ever decreasing new subscriptions and renewals.
Another explanation might be because franses has given up his other public activities in rugDUMB, and according to his own public statements allegedly retired, he felt the need to continue to exert control over rugDUMB which he feels is his personal sovereignty.
Regardless, we cannot think of any intelligent reason a good businessman would make such a move, but then again RK has never believed franses to have any real acumen in that department.
One thing is sure his now being the majority owner will once again allow franses's all too sticky-fingers not only to be all over what appears in that rag hali but will again hold what, regardless of its declining finances, is one of the central hubs of rugDUMB.
Just for those of you who are not privy to the inner-working of rugDUMB, those other hubs are controlled by the carpet departments at sotheby, Christie and rippon-boswell.
RK rarely reads hali, or its website besides it's "news" section, but just now we clicked on their "about us" link.
Here, including our as usual unabashed and insightful comments in bold type, is what we saw.
About us - Who we are
The world leader in its field, HALI (the name means carpet in Turkish) is the glue that holds the international rug and textile art market together.
RK would rather opine hali is one of the major gobs of glue that have gummed-up and brought to a halt real progress in getting far wider public appreciation and respect for historic oriental carpets of all types, especially non-classical rugs like Anatolian village and Turkmen weaving.
Described as "the benchmark against which all other art publications measure their quality", HALI is an international quarterly magazine of exceptional style, brimming with information.
RK would like to know who hali is quoting here as this statement flies in the face of reality in a major way. There are a number of other art world publications that really deserve such praise and for hali to pretend it is the leader and sole arbiter in this or any other art world publication category is nothing but blatant hubris and bullshit. Period, end of discussion.
It is essential reading for the amateur and the connoisseur alike.
RK will not comment on this statement, as what is "essential" or not is an opinion unlike the "benchmark all other art publications..." statement that is presented as a fait accompli fact.
Unlike other art and antiques publications, it is the single most influential force within its specialised constituency.
Again influential is an opinion and we need not comment but we will say from our side of the fence this statement does nothing but demonstrate the heavy-handed, biased, prejudiced, yellow-journalistic, totally unseemly and jaundiced 'control' the owners and editors of hali have exerted on rugDUMB for the past two decades.
HALI plays a pivotal role in the field of carpets and textiles, leading trends, tastes and opinions as well as promoting the business through the comprehensive nature of its editorial coverage.
This too goes miles into bullshit territory as hali is famous for "promoting the business" of its advertisers at the expense of fact and truth while ignoring and not promoting the business of those who are not advertisers. To say hali's good words and beneficial opinions can be bought by becoming an advertiser is a far more realistic and true statement than implying its opinions and editorial coverage are impartial and of high journalistic standards.
HALI covers the textile arts of all cultures and periods in an eclectic mixture of articles which range from sumptuously illustrated original scholarly features to lively, provocative reviews of exhibitions and books.
The former "sumptuous" printing hali used to exhibit has, like its subscription base, declined and all one needs to do is compare the paper and print quality it now exhibits with any old issue and this becomes obvious.
Plus calling its "reviews provocative" is nothing but more horseshit as hali has avoided like the plague any really provocative issues in rugDUMB; for instance the dodds bogus 'bellini' affair, the bogus “new group of Ottoman embroideries” allegedly discovered by gerard pacquin or the blatantly stupid and comical dating of kaitag embroideries to the 17th and 18th centuries forwarded by franses and other kaitag dealers.
Furthermore, the dire paucity of "original scholarly works" to appear in hali makes supreme mockery of such a ludicrous statement.
These are balanced by the up to date news-oriented market sections which include reports of dealers' shows worldwide, and a unique and extensively researched illustrated price guide (the most popular item in the magazine) to the most important items sold at auction.
Here again, the lacky who wrote this is doing nothing but blowing a horn that is better left silent. Over the years of its publication their price guide can be readily demonstrated to be nothing but a nepotistic display of praise or deference for its advertisers and in-group clique at the expense of those who are not advertisers and in the larger sense the real facts and truth about what should be a market for historic oriental rugs.
Lastly, the vast majority of the dealer shows hali reviews are those of, once again, its advertisers and in-group clique.
All in all this paragraph is so disgustingly deceptive it reeks of yellow journalism, an epitaph hali deserves to have written on its tombstone.