Exceptional early non-classical weavings are rare, they always were and they always will be.
But prior to 1990 anyone with enough time, or money, preferrably both and KNOWLEDGE could assemble a superior collection.
Today even if you have all three this is virtually impossible for several reasons. The main ones are:
great competition for them from other collectors, dealers and auctioneers
increased knowledge due to the publishing boom from 1975-today that has made many who formerly did not know about these hard to learn about weavings smart enough to know one when they see it(or think they do but this is another story)
diminishing supply because most of the old homes in Europe and America where such weavings were sleeping un- and under-appreciated on floors, in trunks, in basement and attics have been sold along with those rugs and carpets
diminished supply from Turkey where formerly many early pieces made their way from the provinces into Istanbul, stolen or not, and then were gobbled up first by western dealers beginning in the 1980's and then by active collectors a few years later
diminished supply from countries in western central asia which formerly made their way into Istanbul and the international marketplace
For a collector today to enlarge an already existing collection, or start one, there is little hope for success.
There are far fewer dealers today than before and far more clients for the remaining ones to sell to.
So that leaves a pretty desolate path for anyone to walk down and try to pick up masterpiece weavings.
RK saw this trend forming in the mid-1990's and since then each year not only do we find fewer and fewer pieces to interest us but we spend less and less time trying to find them.
Some might argue the ever proliferation of rug auctions and rug shows have
made it possible to score pieces but RK knows this is totally a fallacy as we see everything that comes to the public marketplace and rarely if ever find something we are interested in.
And while the internet has changed things it has not changed the dwindling supply and has in fact increased competition for it.
Granted our orientation is extremely discerning but this has not changed over the past 30 years, during which time we were able to find each year enough to make us satisfied.
We are not dismayed by this situation, as we already have a goodly number. However, the desire for more is always present and we have not given up looking, we just do it less and less.
What's the moral of this story?
There really is none other than the truth: It is impossible to create a collection of early non-classical rugs today, and chances of finding pieces to add to an existing collection are bleak, and get bleaker each passing year.
Maybe we all should start collecting stamps, as we have heard nobody is interested anymore in these bygone relics of snailmail in the interenet age?