Home > JC'S Corner >translating hali speak: Part Two
Author:jc
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Fri, Mar 7th, 2014 01:50:35 AM
Topic: translating hali speak: Part Two

The following two paragraphs appear on that rag hali's preview of the Christie London upcoming carpet sale.

RK believes many readers are still not conversant enough in translating hali-speak, so we offer translation in bold typeface below.

"In the past year the structure of the top end of the international specialist rug auction market has seen some radical changes"

First off those "radical changes" just did not pop out of nowhere. RK has been talking about them, well really it as that is the case, for several years now.

Frankly, there is only one "radical change" and that is the polarization of the market for all types of oriental rugs. Now the top end has put the pedal to the metal and zoomed onward and upward. The mid-range is mired in disinterest and dwindling activity. And the low end has even moved lower.

This is what is happening, and those turko-dolts at that rag hali either are too used to pontificating nonsense or just too dense to realize what is really going on.

"– both in the wake of the triumph of SNY’s single owner Clark Collection sale last summer and the very successful follow-up of Carpets from Distinguished Collections in January 2014,"

Calling the Clark Collection sale a triumph is also perpetrating myopia.

The Clark sale was a once in a lifetime event -- the dispersal at public auction of an important museum's carpets. A few of which were both rare and extremely desirable, both for their provenance and place in carpet history.

And those few carpets brought eye-opening prices.

That was the only triumph, the rest sold but surely not for similarly notable figures.

So where the great triumph??

Surely only in the star lot of the day, the Sickle-Leaf.

And here's the story: it was only kited to its enormous record-breaking price because a fabulously wealthy half senile old man, as we have heard it, advised by an Antique Road-Show pundit/presenter who is surely not a leading light of knowledge or expertise in the oriental carpet world but rather a schlepper of his goods to high end 'antique shows', cheer-leadered him on to be the underbidder at 30 million dollars.

Face facts: had this underbidder been offered the same carpet privately for even 10% of the price it brought at sotheby he would have passed, and not even bothered to make a counter offer.

This was klieg-light bidding bravado, the likes of which the oriental carpet market has never seen before, and probably never will again.

"and through the arrival on the scene of a serious new competitor for consignments in Vienna."

And who might that "serious new competitor" be since that rag hali neglects to tell readers? Is is Austria Auction or the Dorotheum?

"First and foremost, the trend is clear – the way forward for the majors is to focus on fewer, smaller, sales of well-provenanced high value collectables."

Duhhh, what else is new boys?

RK has been talking about this for years, and that rag hali's suddenly mention it now, like it is front-page news, makes them into johnny-come-lately and worse shows the moribund editorial level to which this magazine has descended.

"Gone are the days of 300-lot sales bulging with unsold and often unsightly dealers’ stock."

This is laughable shooting oneself in the foot, or is it the butt.

Where or when, might RK ask, did that rag hali ever describe those "now gone days of 300 lot sale bulging with unsold and often unsightly dealers' stock" as such?

Of course the answer is never, and to try and pretend that rag hali ever said something even close to that about the hundreds of such auctions they previewed and reviewed is one of the worse cases of rewriting history since the Warren Commission Report on the JFK murder.

No, folks, that rag hali is over-ripened fruit on the vine, ready to drop and spoil unwanted on the ground.

Their self-promotion, their inaccurate reportage, their constant in-group promotion, their constant refusal to promote anyone or anything that does not add to their bottom line, their completely vacuous attempts to place themselves at the center of the carpet world all have doomed this magazine to its coming demise.

And as far as RK is concerned it could not come too soon or fast enough.

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