Examining the career michael franses has had in the rug business on the surface seems to show an impressive and noteworthy one.
But, as often things are, there is the behind the scene truth and reality this surface impression doesn't reveal.
RK surely does not know everything; however, we do know alot both from first hand experience and from other knowledgeable sources.
Much of what franses wrote about his present circumstances in his emails to G.R. did not come as news to us, it did though confirm what we already had learned and seen with our own eyes.
Of course, franses's surprising comments about his being employed in Doha by the Qatar Museum Authority, the organization in charge of all the cultural property including the Museum of Islamic Art(MIA), and those about people he has come into contact with there were unknown to us.
But for RK's readership we are sure what happens in Qatar is of far less interest than what franses has recently done, and is thinking of doing in the world of oriental rug appreciation and collecting.
Perhaps this is unrelated but quite frankly RK seriously doubts franses is a rug lover or has the passion for collecting we have seen certain collectors and appreciators we have met in the past forty plus years exhibit.
Granted, individuals who fit this description are rare, and we could count on our fingers the number of those who qualify.
And undoubtedly franses is not among them. He is just a dealer who is selling a commodity to the highest bidder.
This comes through loud and clear reading what he wrote to G.R..
After all franses readily sent pictures of what he claimed is his private "collection" along with prices for G.R. to consider, and regardless of the excuses franses offered for his selling, he showed himself as a very willing seller.
Giving them a "new home", wanting to let others "enjoy them", selling because his family doesn't "appreciate them", or any of the other lame excuses franses offered up prove beyond a doubt his "collection" was just a savings account time has come to "cash in".
RK knows franses is presently nothing but a charlatan pseudo-scholar playing that role to the hilt. Formerly he was playing the role of the big kahuna of oriental rug dealers. And while he pretends to have left this behind, nothing could be farther from the truth as his emails to G.R. prove beyond doubt.
And this role, as the big kahuna rug dealer, has in the end left him with little.
Sure he is again the owner of that rag hali magazine, which is a losing proposition; an employee/contracted consultant to the Museum Authority in Qatar, a role that according to what he wrote to G.R. he questions; and a failing rug business entrepreneur whose plans have all turned to dust and blown away in the passing wind of time.
The way we see it franses is more than anyone else responsible for the severely declining interest in early oriental rugs and the dearth of new collectors entering this pastime. That rag hali, its failure to maintain its position as a rug magazine and its futile attempts to turn itself into a "tribal arts" magazine; the demise of the nepotistic in-group promoting icoc; and the co-option of acor into the icoc orbit were important nails franses's limited abilities to create something new hammered into the coffin the oriental rug collecting society is now interred.
The intellectually limited and almost always profit driven schemes franses concocted have proven dead ends, all of them gone from the scene except subscriber crippled that rag hali magazine, and we wonder how long it will be until it, too, vanishes.
By bemoaning his financial problems in some of those emails to G.R. franses paints a picture we were already aware of, thanks to certain of his confidents also being ones of ours.
We see it quite just this is the bed he is laying in, as he has made it for himself, and the old "what goes around comes around" saying holding true here.
The self-promoting regime franses concocted and shared with a small group of insiders, who benefitted unfairly from their positions in the icoc, destroyed that organization; the prejudicial editorial policies of that rag hali, which favor that in-group and ignore all outsiders, were both equally responsible for the destruction of the formerly potent oriental rug collecting society.
And for anyone who does not know michael franses was the architect behind all this, and again, we find it fitting he is reaping what he had sown.