During the 1980's, particularly in the middle of the decade, interest in the Anatolian Kelim was at a high point, and since then has precipitously declined.
The reasons for this are many but several major ones are well worth noting:
1. the publication of numerous books, RK's IMAGE IDOL SYMBOL: Ancient Anatolian Kelim and The Goddess from Anatolia which we also played a large role in bringing to publication, allowed collectors and researchers to learn about the subject and to refine and enlarge their ideas. Mostly this proved problematic, for with this increased knowledge many of their former positions, ideas, and opinions became obsolete and negated.
2. While the supply of examples coming to the marketplace, particularly from Istanbul, Turkey, has remained plentiful no major archetype/prototype examples have since come to light.
3. Because these archetype/prototypes are incredibly rare -- we refer readers to our Anatolian Opus, published here at RugKazbah.com, where we set out our theory there is a small group of only 11 archetype/prototype Anatolian Kelim from which all others can be shown to have developed and evolved
-- and since none of these have ever come onto the open market there is a large gap in what has been sold compared to these masterpieces. This means auction prices for the Anatolian Kelim have remained in the middle ground, and no high prices have been achieved because no Anatolian Kelim worth paying a notable price for has been offered to buyers.
4. And speaking of prices paid, many pieces sold during the mid-80's heyday were over-priced thanks to the over zealousness of both collectors and dealers, who now have had their horizons broadened, their enthusiasm dampened, and their hopes they bought "great" pieces disappointed.
These are the main ingredients for many rug collectors and dealers belief the Anatolian Kelim's Last Supper has been had.
But like a phoenix rising from the ashes interest in the Anatolian Kelim refuses to die, as the unbridled success of the recent revival exhibition at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco shows.
It's time for another, more original, museum exhibition to happen.
One that will have the 11 archetype examples and a group of related archaeological objects for comparison. This type of exhibition will be a blockbuster and one which will no doubt loft the Anatolian Kelim phoenix back into the heavens.