Allegedly the infamous American circus-owner, P.T. Barnum, uttered this expression; however the actual history of who said it, when, and where is in doubt. But what isn't in doubt is its meaning....
Yesterday at Nagel auction the most 'surprising', (might we say absurd?) result was the 50,000 euro plus premium paid for this Turkmen trapping
"lot 162, seven sided, red field, Yomud asmalyk from a private collection in Bavaria"
Earlier today RK wrote about this asmalyk in our short commentary of the sale, in which we mentioned we would not be amazed to see some of the lots sell for too much.
That said we did not possibly imagine some would-be sucker, to use the Barnum axiom, would be naive and motivated enough to spend 50K euro for a heavily dog-piss stained, coarse, end of the line tree asmalyk like lot 162.
We readily grant this is a rare type but, please now, what two turko-addicts, remember the underbidder always makes the price, would want to own such a stained and mediocre example?
We are also sure neither the new owner, nor the disappointed under-bidder, would have paid even half that price would it have been offered to them face to face without an auctioneer as arbiter.
RK knows well Turkmen weavings and the pseudo-market for them and we can only agree with Barnum, or whoever first uttered the phrase, there sure as shootin' is a sucker born every minute.
Please note: RK is not jealous, after all we have owned three far earlier, better tree asmalyk of this type, nor are we trying to rain on someone's parade...our comments are only presented publicly to offer some perspective to what appears to be but another loopy, loop-sided and ridiculous auction result.