So the dust has fallen and the sickle-leaf rug is presumably on its way to its new home or already ensconced therein. But the hype continues, in fact it grows, and grows.
Somehow after selling for such an immense sum, gosh as much as a painting (but still not in the league of a great painting like a Van Gogh or a Leonardo), long dead and gone senator Clarke's carpet's 'importance', and reputation, continues to increase.
Forget the fact it is really not that great, not only according to us but also to the authors of the highly respected "Eastern Carpet in the Western World" catalog.
RK quoted it sometime ago but let us repeat what they said here, once again:
"This exquisite rug has the same technical characteristics as the vase rugs and its field and border designs are closely related to the earliest examples of that class. But the swelling blossoms of the vase rugs are here reduced and the energy of the design has been transferred into the pairs of sickle-leaf leaves…The present design lacks the severe internal logic of the vase design…and is a sophisticated hybridization…the main stems bearing the sickle-leaves and large blossoms meander inconsequentially, intersecting with a variety of trees and shrubs depicted on a much smaller scale, as if the garden landscape were glimpsed through a tangle of briars.
Well, they did say it is "exquisite", even if it were " a landscape glimpsed through a tangle of briars".
So you decide, but don't fall into the briar patch.
Likewise, don't be swayed by the hype and exaggeration both sotheby, who had some skin in the game as the seller collecting at the least a very healthy buyer's premium--if not more, and that rag hali, who had no skin in the game but acts like they did.
Perhaps the best and most interesting event of the sale was, at 16 million, mary jo otsea, acting as auctioneer, flummoxed and called out 16,ooo. Then, realizing her error blurted out a dopey "Sorry, I'm not used to all this".
Right she was, otsea is not used to anything other than place holding a chair that says carpet 'expert'.
Well, not to say all her predecessors RK has known: first Kurt Igler, then John Edelman, then michael grogan, then william ruprecht knew a whole hill of beans more than she.
So now a carpet has been catapulted to the nose-bleeding heights of thirty million dollars and most of rugDumb continues to rub its eyes and try to figure out what this means to them -- you know, the bottom line 'what's my stuff worth' -- what's next?
Just a word of reality here, and RK's not trying to burst anyone's bubble.
Remember the bidding seemingly would have stopped at around ten million had peter pap's money-man, right the guy who put the 29 million dollar paddle in pap's sweaty palms, not gotten himself into a nationalistic tizzy trying to prove his patriotism by bidding to keep the sickle-leaf in America.
Frankly, RK sees this as bogus as we do having a rug schlepper, know-little, like peter pap, as a trusted advisor.
Lastly, one thing RK is willing to bet a handful of sand against a stack of benjamins. Had you, me or even p.p. pap wheeled the sickle-leaf carpet into money man's living room and asked him to purchased it for a million you can be sure he would have said "thanks but no thanks".
Auction fever can be a heady brew, especially when a feeling of jingoistic fervor is a major ingredient in the mix.
To quote Richard/Jagger "it's the singer not the song".
Nitey, nite Gracie.