Since we began to think about, and then pick apart, Ms. Oakley’s article we can’t help having thoughts as to why we are even bothering.
RugKazbah.com get about 100 different readers each week; and week after week those same 100 readers visit.
Some we are sure come to learn, others come because they are curious disbelievers, who nonetheless let their curiosity and not their interest in learning motivate their visit.
And finally we are sure some come to try and find weak links in our chain and then to try and wrap up us in that yardage. Sorry for them but, so far, none have succeeded in actually demonstrating what they believe: That RK is full of you know what.
We know a lot about the weavings we write about and carefully research what we say, unlike other authors who spout-off without any real support for their spray.
The “Karapinar” situation is one RK debunked long before Oakley, who started out in rugDUMB as little lord franses “secretary” and then became Jean Lefevre’s secretary when franses, as he told us, moved her there to have someone’s eyes and ears in Lefevre’s office to “report” back to him.
Regardless of her career history Oakley, unlike another secretary mary jo otsea of sothebys who has gone on to bigger and better things in rugDUMB, has proven capable of learning about oriental rugs and we readily acknowledge the difference between her and an otsea, who after more then two decades is still a major rug-ignorant.
But Oakely’s article is weak; and the weakest parts, which basically are her article, are her descriptions of the illustrations and her attempt to place them and other alleged “Karapinar rugs into “groups”. About the only thing Oakley really got right is the fact there are hardly any, read none, historic rugs that might have been made in "Karapinar" and not one that can be positively provenanced.
RK will offer some comments about Oakley's groupings and other "ideas" but for now, in this installment, we will illustrate the final two examples we chose from those in the article.
The first, and far better of the two, is this fragment
number 23; RK, unlike Oakley who dates this 17th century, would place it mid-18th century; Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
It’s not a bad thing, rather “pretty” and colorful but the iconography screams end of the line.
For instance, notice how the ‘tulip’ motif, which is ubiquitous in these “Karapinar” rugs Oakley’s article illustrated, have become almost unrecognizable – big stoggy bell-shaped lumps pasted on their open end to the borders.
Notice also the lack of elegant proportions all the motif have – most too large and gross and others nothing but wincey little after-thoughts.
This rug typifies what we like to call Late Classic Period weaving; end of the period attempts to recapture the majesty and magnificence the Early Classic and Archaic Period initiated and demarked.
And the last we will comment on is a close runner-up to number 8.
Number 24; ludicrously dated by Oakley to 17th/18th century, a thought that could not be more incorrect. This rug is at best circa 1800 and we’d prefer to call it “early 19th”.
Again, here is rugDUMB’s old boy’s club at work, as this rug was formerly in the possession of John Eskenazi, a major cohort of franses in over-dating mediocre Anatolian rugs, like this one, in his, but actually their, old hali advertisements.
RK has remarked before about the Eskenazi and franses tag team and their hyperbolic and totally unsupportable dating of Anatolian ‘Village’ rugs that are, as we described earlier, not genuine Village rugs but rather town workshop copies, as is this rather insipid one.
We have nothing good to say about rugs of its ilk so let’s just leave it there.
As any open-minded readers of this discussion has learned the dating in Oakley’s article is eminently questionable, if not totally inaccurate, as we would put it.
Equally as questionable is much of the effort Oakley dispensed to try and group her illustrations into batches or clusters.
In the final part RK will take out our scissors and cut to shreds a number of the more nonsensical surmises that characterize Oakley’s groupings, as well as some of her conclusions.
So stay tuned for the finale, it’ll be coming your way soon.