While earlier today we have written about Sartirana, and why we did not attend this year’s event, elsewhere on RugKazbah.com we did not include what we have heard from others who did. So we would now like to take the opportunity.
RK knows a good number of the dealers and attendees, and over the past few days have heard their first-hand reports.
Not one of them had glowing comments and, in fact, they all told us there were no top pieces and business was slower than slow to virtually non-existent.
The Sartirana event has, in the past few years, gone down hill for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact no dealer will hold onto anything top when it can be immediately sold.
This then precludes anything but the chance a top piece will fall into a dealer’s hands just before the event or, even more improbable, will go unrecognized.
Today every dealer, or their client(s), are aware enough to spot a winner and the chance one will slip through is basically impossible.
That said, it is no surprise nothing great was on offer at Sartirana.
We also heard the Tuesday preview and the five days afterward were poorly attended with very, very few sales made.
This repeated the same circumstances seen in Stockholm at the dealers fair. However, there were several top pieces in Stockholm and they were quickly gobbled up.
This brings RK to mention another undeniable trend in rugDumb: The propensity for pieces that are not really the best to nevertheless bring exceptionally high prices at auction.
Far higher than they would bring at a show like the icoc dealers fair or a Sartirana event.
Recently, in fact while Sartirana ws happening Christies held a “house sale” in Sussex, England where this “S” group MC was offered.
”S” group Main Carpet, lot 1126, sold for $88,965 at the Cowdray Park sale
Estimated at an absurdly idiotic $3,945 - $5495 the hammer price was not nearly as stupid but, in our eyes, twice what it should have been.
We are not going to dissect all the obvious reasons for our statement but we will be glad to mention any "S" group main carpet with 66 gol, 6 by 11, cannot be anything but a late example.
We are equally sure the fact it had a “curl-leaf border” was the driving force in this damaged and boring example making the price it did.
That border, by the way, is unknown on any other S group MC…but so what.
There’s little doubt some of the big swinging dicks who are now active buyers of Turkmen carpets are not nearly as expert as their wallets are full, and though we do not at this point know who was the buyer, or underbidder, we are sure one or both were one of these guys.
And besides the border we are again sure the fact it showed up at auction was equally as influential in making the price what it was.
A price, mind you, that compared with the several considerably better and earlier examples of "S" group MC with the more standard border that are presently on the market, and unsold, in the 100,000-125,000 dollar range should seem as out of line to you as it does to us.
Like the WH “S” group engsi sold in Dedham, Mass, USA earlier this year, the Cowdray Park “S” group MC proves there are auction buyers, and not face-to-face ones, who will shell out big bucks to own damaged Turkmen, particularly “S” group, they believe are “early” and “important”
Time will tell, and we are positive as well on this one, they are wrong – both in believing rugs like the WH engsi and the Cowdray Park MC are ”early” and “important”.
Time will also tell, and prove, the prices they are paying are not going to provide a return on capital that will even equal the 2-3 percent money now earns in a bank account.
Fact is their purchases will not only fail to provide a decent return on capital, they will fail to even return 100 percent of the capital.
Of course, today's increasingly rapid rate of inflation will save them but by the hamburger index, ie what a hamburg costs today compared to what it will cost sometime in the future, they will lose.
Watch and see...
And besides potential profit, who wants to look at a boring, late example, even when it is a sought after "S" group thingy?