Hello again Dave and welcome back.
First off please inform us, and everyone else who reads this voice in the wilderness, why you are accusing RK of being an arrogant name caller?
Did we offend you by asking you to put up or shut up? Or was it implying you are a kool-aid imbiber?
Let's not bicker over the small stuff and get right to the meat of the matter.
The carpet and textile study dating-game is a slippery slope. That said, there are some solid points one can hang a hat on and others that are even more slippery than oil on ice.
For instance, an example of both:
A painting done by an artist, who lets say died in 1800 where a kaitag might be shown is pretty good evidence in this field.
However, in fact, even if the kaitag looks exactly like one you, franses, Chencenir or anyone else owns, this does not really establish 100 percent evidence.
But a kaitag with incontrovertible museum or institutional dating records that was acquired in 1800, has remained in their collection since and is still available for viewing, is what we consider to be almost 100 percent evidence.
That, dear Dave, is as good as it gets.
Finding a kaitag with a date of 1814, or even 1600, is circumstantial evidence at best, as the date might refer to a million other reasons, not necessarily the date the kaitag was produced.
Still with me, Dave?
So, yes, you are right. RK sees little to no concrete proof a dated kaitag proves anything about the age of any other kaitag or even it, as the weaver might have put it there to commemorate many other possibilities, not just when it was made.
Taking it one step further, even if it had an accompanying inscription stating this was the date the kaitag was made, that too is not real proof as there is no way to determine if that inscription is true or false.
We can easily provide countless weavings with bogus dates, so why would a kaitag be immune from this practice?
Your next attempt to prove your contentions, and of course disprove ours, was this statement
"Recently, I was shown allegedly much older pieces by local, native collectors/producers."
We see this as but more worthless hearsay.
Need RK remind you that you said, and we believe, you are NOT a weaving expert. So how then can you substantiate someone else's claims to have "much older" examples is anything but more hot air?
Of course you can't and throwing up "evidence" like this, or the kaitag with a 1814 date, does little to buttress your position.
In fact it only enhances ours that there is no proof any kaitag is older than the 19th century, and most are late 19th or early 20th century.
We have given you two types of "proof" we, or anyone who is not drinking franses/Chenciner kool-aid, would accept as real evidence.
Let us reiterate:
1. a painting showing a totally recognizable kaitag, done by an artist who died in 1800, would be good proof that kaitags existed prior to 1800.
2. a kaitag in a museum collection with an verifiable accession date of 1800 would be even better, and just about irrefutable, proof kaitags existed prior to 1800.
But since neither of these two are available, RK will offer a third possibility to prove the seemingly smoke and mirror nonsense kaitag dating you believe.
It is called art historical analysis.
Make a continuum of examples which clearly demonstrates a time-line that stretches over many generations.
This, naturally, is far lower on the scale of "evidence" than 1 and 2; but one RK and others will readily accept, since carpet and textile studies rarely have the good fortune to have proofs like 1 and 2.
If the kaitag tradition goes back to the 16th or 17th century, a claim you made based on franses and Chencenir’s claims, this would enable such a continuum to be easily constructed. Four hundred plus years is a long time.
And over such a long period of time such a properly constructed continuum would show distinct changes in technique, materials, dyes and iconography.
We need to mention these changes exist, and are demonstrable, in every other Near Eastern carpet/textile tradition.
But, dear Dave, this situation does not exist with kaitags where invariably the technique, the materials, the dyes and the iconography show little to any differences.
Hmmm, so what does this mean?
Is the kaitag the only Near Eastern weaving tradition and culture to have remained unchanged over a 400 year time span?
The answer, once again, Dave is No – it is totally unbelievable a 400 year old weaving tradition could, or did, remain unchanged.
Please also note: RK has seen many kaitags but, frankly, we cannot remember ever seeing one with synthetic dye.
This is quite significant because it is unheard of in Near Eastern textile studies where every other type of weaving has examples tainted with a datable synthetic dye.
So was the kaitag so sequestered no synthetic dyes ever penetrated its weaving culture?
Or did it end prior to the production of synthetic dye, i.e. in the mid 18th century?
Of course not, and these questions just provide more question to an already questionable supposed 200 plus, forget 300 or 400, year old tradition.
So there you have it.
We have given you two possible avenues of proof: The first, number 1, providing real good evidence and the second, number 2, providing concrete evidence.
But since we know you cannot cite either RK has given you a third avenue to prove your belief kaitags could be 18th, 17th or even 16th century – the construction of an art historical continuum.
Also, we do not need to prove they are as recent as we claim.
Remember we, unlike you Dave, have no skin in the kaitag dating game.
We do not own any, we never have ones one, we don't really care about them other than the fact they are considerably ower-dated and rated. What we write is to try and set the record straight.
Plus let us remind you we have credentials to prove historic Near Eastern weaving expertise, particularly those made outside the confines of the Safavid and Ottoman court, or those made in city, workshops.
More specifically to this discussion we have been researching and collecting Caucasian embroideries since the early 1970’s, we own two of the most archaic examples, and formerly owned a number of later ones, all of which are demonstrably earlier than any kaitag you, franses, Chencenir or anyone else has.
And although this might be sneered at by you it gives us a powerful bragging rights -- we are the expert you are not.
Now we have provided you with three different parameters of proof you or anyone else needs to provide to back up your contentions about kaitag dating. We welcome your reply to do so.
However, know it is impossible and that, dear Dave, is the reason our position on kaitag dating is fact while yours, franses’s, Chencenir’s, are nothing but laughable fiction.
Wow, RK. You amuse me, really, whomever you are. Perhaps the real proof of my ignorance is choosing to continue such a dialogue with you. I fear it may only prove fruitless.
What kind of a documentation or 'evidence' would you accept or regard as legitimate? Please inform me. In my spare time, I'll do my best to mine it out for you (more so, for any reading public).
E.g., two weeks ago I was shown a Kaitag dated 1814, early 19th Century which you steadfastly deny. It was a part of an official, Russian government exhibition hosted at the central library in Makhachkala. I doubt that suffices as evidence for you on any level, but it's clearly not a concoction of Chenciner's. It's the position of the local government scholarly community, many of whom (due to ethnic loyalties and prejudices) would prefer to de-emphasize Kaitags if they could themselves be persuaded of evidence in the contrary.
Recently, I was shown allegedly much older pieces by local, native collectors/producers. So I ask you, what method of dating analysis would you accept as 'proof' since you apparently place zero stock in personal testimony or the collective opinion of a diverse community of local scholars and craftsmen?
Clarify for me which kind of scientific measurement or testing you demand, and if possible I will seek to employ the test locally, and have it administered independently. I am not a collector; I have nothing to lose. Kaitag's age or youth affects me in no way.
It does startle me to find a lone voice in the wilderness (yours) clambering on like so. Even if data testing were to prove that Kaitags only emerged in the late 19th Century (something that would truly surprise a multitude of scholars locally and elsewhere), I still find your overall assessment of them inexplicably lackluster.
The ball's in your court, arrogant name-caller. Do the civilized and educated world a favor: clearly delineate the manner of evidence you demand from others; and use that 'evidence' is supporting your own claims. Otherwise, this entire debate delves into a freak show of he said/she said.