Greetings John, and thanks for the kind words.
Money is not everything, in fact nothing is everything; but as an old friend of mine used to say "Money is not everything but it is way ahead of what's in second place".
Oriental carpets should be up there with the greatrst art forms, but they are not thanks to the inability of those involved, and anyone who has read RK knows where that blame lies, to properly create a foundation on which to build real, widespread appreciation.
Perhaps when we are all long gone new interest in these unsigned and mysterious woven masterpieces will rightfully acknowledge them and their value.
The near future looks bleak from our perspective but this will not stop RK and our Weaving Art Museum from working to fulfill its mission: To raise public awareness for historic masterpiece Near East weavings.
Nor will RK stop writing when we see the need, and when we feel we can make a difference even if it is but another grain of sand blown on the beach of indifference this art area has been consigned to by all concerned, save the few who know how foolish and unjust this truly is.
Very timely. I was in the process of writing a post on my blog about collecting and in particular about Arthur Negus (died 1985), the expert on English furniture who used to appear on the BBC programme "Going for a Song".
I have just finished re-re-reading his book about furniture. Arthur had a lovely west country accent some wonderful stories about pieces that he had found. Like you, his interest was born out of a love of the art form. Try and find a recording of him talking about a piece of furniture that he liked or read one of his books - they are written as he spoke.
I have been following you for many years and I doubt that many people (even the people you have upset) would disagree that you are (probably) the greatest living expert on rugs. It is clear that you have a passion, a thirst for knowledge and have made an outstanding (and unrecognised) contribution to "rugdom". You have also exposed fraud and hypocrisy.
You say that you have not made a lot of money from your studies but you have helped many people (like myself) appreciate rugs more. Like you, I have not made any money from them, or from the furniture I have collected (the value of Georgian furniture has really tanked) but I have passed my interest in both rugs and furniture to my children, so "does it really matter?".
In the meantime I have lived amidst rugs and furniture that I can look at every day and enjoy. Some people collect pictures, others stamps or cars - it does not really matter what - collecting leads to a widening of knowledge. Collecting rugs led me to study the ethnography of the Turkmen, taking me away from day-to-day issues and broadening my mind.
I respect your view and am tempted to say "So long, thanks for all the fish" but I won't.