Home > Turkmen Rugs >RK reviews rageth's New Perspectives Part 9 - end
Thu, Feb 22nd, 2018 11:13:32 AM
Topic: RK reviews rageth's New Perspectives Part 9 - end

Detail ancient western Ersari Balkan Mountains chuval, major and minor lower borders and flower elem; ex-RK collection, published Weaving Art Museum “Turkmen Trappings” plate 6

In the previous eight installments of this review RK has pointed out enough inconsistencies, errors of judgment and editing, opinions presented as facts, as well as conclusions drawn from inconsequential and irrelevant evidence to distrust what the author, jurg rageth, claims to be anything but in this publication. There is some good here, but it remains deeply submerged under these and other faults.

We are sure many will disagree and point to glowing reviews that, in their eyes, prove how wrong we are. This is to be expected. For as ignorant as jurg rageth is about the historic Turkmen weaving culture, he has had lots of company -- his main collaborator, hans christian sienknecht, and many of the financial sponsors who donated considerable cash to the cause enabling rageth to live for many years on the long promised and awaited publication of this book.

Those benefactors all believed the hype rageth pumped into their ears about the efficacy of radiocarbon dating for historic Turkmen rugs, and most of them are the owners of the examples published in this book. RK is positive none of them will bother to read our review, nor will they discuss our proofs of both the inaccuracy of this dating method for historic Turkmen weavings and rageth’s inabilities to place these weavings in any believable and realistic historical perspective.

They are “believers”, and like all believers are convinced what they believe is real regardless of anyone showing them it is not.

So now Turkmen carpet studies has an 880 page two volume publication that is as flawed and questionable as the existence of the Loch Ness monster or ETs. Only the doubters harbor questions, the believers surely don’t. This is just the situation Turkmen studies and carpet collecting did not need, and anyone who does not realize this has either not been paying attention or is semi-brain dead.

“Turkmen Carpets: A New Perspective” can be well likened to the emperor’s new clothes tale. Those who know better see it for what it is, and those who don’t only see it as they want it to be.

We have already bemoaned the fact had rageth been more knowledgeable, or willing to find better consultation, the money he raised could have produced a work of lasting quality, and more significantly a work that would have pushed Turkmen studies to new heights. But he didn’t, and all we are left with is a monument to late 20th century carpet collecting hoopla.

Detail, ancient Yomud chuval; RK collection, published “Turkmen Trappings” Weaving Art Museum plate 9

We intended to add one more installment of critique that was planned to examine several of the weavings illustrated in color and their descriptions. However, we are tired of not finding anything of value worth characterizing as positive. So instead we will list a number of suggestions we would have given rageth had he asked.

1. The landscape format, basically almost two times as wide as high, is not a conducive one to illustrate Turkmen MC. It would have been far better to turn the book 90 degrees and produce a book that is almost two times as high as it is wide. Also we would have never used hard covers and rather bound the volumes in soft cover. Producing a two volume book that weights 6.5 pounds per volume is surely not considerate of reader easy of use or comfort. These were major errors no competent designer or book publisher would have allowed. Remember this is an ‘art’ book, not a reference manual or university textbook.

2. Dividing the book into two volumes, volume one basically for the color printing and volume two for the black and white text is a way to save money on printing costs. However, it is a false economy and one that really in the end does not save much. Better would have been to print both volumes in color but pare down the text to a far more manageable size, and select more carefully examples to illustrate and what is written about them. By doing this a far better looking book would have been the result.

3. We have also called attention to what we called rageth’s shot-gun approach in choosing Turkmen weavings to illustrate and test with both radiocarbon for age and dye test for information. Far better would have been to limit greatly the radiocarbon testing, which was dubious from the beginning and as more testing ensued could not have helped but become more so. And increase the dye testing and add intensive fiber analysis, both techniques without the problems and unreliability of radiocarbon analysis.

4. By selecting weavings that fit into groups -- for instance by tribal attribution, design similarity, color palatte, structural techniques – and then testing these groups comparatively, using dye, mordant testing and fiber analysis, the results would have been far more revealing than what rageth ended up publishing. Also we would have only chosen masterpieces, the earliest we could find and not the smattering of lesser examples that fill the pages of rageth’s volume one.

5. Instead of two volumes we would have wanted to make three and put them in a slipcase. One for the color plates, one for the ancillary photos and figures, and a third for the text. This way readers could have at their fingertips the ability to properly read, see and understand the subject with volumes that were lighter and far easier to use. What rageth produced is a nightmare to read and handle, and as we wrote we expect these books when well used will fall apart, already the bindings on our are sloping and becoming loose just as we predicted

6. There is no index to the subject matter and rageth’s failure to provide one is another major error we would have never allowed into publication. An index, rather than the bunch of hard to navigate charts and appendix he did include, is a far better and expeditious way to allow readers access to information.

7. We would have never allowed rageth to write this book by himself, or with the supposed collaboration of hans christian sienknecht. These two just did not possess enough of a knowledge base, and the proof is in the pudding. The text they produced in far from scholarly, and in our opinion is basically instantly forgettable.

8. Lastly we would have produced a book of art and science, without all the hundreds of pages of rageth’s presumptive and questionable ‘art historical analysis’, and instead worked to produce a far greater number of dye, mordant and fiber analysis results to build a scientific database of information on early Turkmen weavings, but ones of far greater stature and importance than many of those in ragth’s volume one.

We also question exactly where this book was printed and bound. In the credit rageth states:
Printers: Abacherli Media AG, Sarnen
Binding: Buchbinderei Burkhardt AG, Monchalterdorf
Printed in Switzerland

We sincerely doubt this book was produced in Switzerland. No doubt rageth went to see these people in their offices in Switzerland, and paid them to do the job in swiss francs. But we would not be surprised to learn the actual work was done somewhere else, in some cheaper place, like China. Both of our volumes have black smudges on some of the pages, and of course the less than quality binding also raises this question.

This type of printing is not “European”, forget “Swiss”, quality.

So for RK, who knows about historic Turkmen weavings and book production, we cannot characterize rageth’s publication as anything but a missed opportunity and, in the final analysis, a waste of good money that could have been far better spent. At best it’s a mediocre, verbose testament to the history, beauty and importance of Turkmen weavings.

A subject that certainly deserves more.

Detail early Tekke engsi with rare pre-darnyak gol major border, hash minor border, and spinning rosette elem; RK collection, unpublished

Author: jc
Thu, Feb 22nd, 2018 11:13:32 AM

As amazing and cretinous as it is some people continue to laud Ragth's publication as an 'important' addition to Turkmen Studies. One cretin trying to lay praise on it called it "the most ambitious book ever" to deal with Turkmen rugs. It is ambitious, Rageth gets and A+ in that department but fails miserably in every other.

This type of rah-rah cheerleading -- that's really all you could call it as it fail to list anything besides the already well-worn out Sogdian=Salor meme -- flies in the face of the fact this book advances nothing other than Rageth's atttempt tp prove his supposed scholarship and legacy(ugh).

Recently the turk0tek.com clown show has joined the dim chorus. Granted two participants, notably and foremost Andy Hale, have pointed out just how little valuable information this publication contains and how bloated it is with verbage not only RK has called questionable and even worthless.

We cannot fathom anyone reading our extensive review coming away with any other conclusion.

But RugDUMB ain't called rugdumb for nothing and the equally worthless 'discussion' turk0tek.com and profess steve "aka price clown" price have put online is but another perfect illustration how shallow and uninformed most of what passes as commentary and 'news' in our field truly is.

Jorg Rageth was no scholar, nor was he an expert at anything other than living off his rug world maneuvering. First as the failed Anatolian kelim dealer, who stitched up Heinrich Kirchheim amongst others with a load of mediocre over-rated and priced kilims that soon were sold for a fraction of what Kirchheim paid. Then Rageth became a salesman peddling C14 testing to carpet collectors for the ETH Laboratory in Zurich. This morphed into the production of two publications, the New Perspectives on Turkmen rugs and a preceeding one on Anatolian kelim.

RK knows the inside story on Rageth the C14 testing peddler, his former efforts to become an Anatolian keim dealer, as well as his alleged Anatolian kelim and Turkmen carpet research, knlowledge and scholarship.

Sorry folks but Jorg Rageth was nothing but a carpet world hustler, whose name and reputation will never be higher than it is now. Fact, we sincerely doubt he will ever become a more than a footnote in either field.

Read our review of his book and you, too, will have serious questions why RK's refusal to white-wash its faults, ,misstatements, misconceptions and dubious worth has not been more widely discussed.

But the reason is not unique to Rageth because rugDUMB has a well-deserved reputation to circle-the-wagons, cover-up and ignore anytthing that does not agree with the party-line and in group ideology.

And trust us on this one Jorg Rageth was deeply entranced and supported by that small clique that rules the roost.

Too bad time and history has begun to show how self-serving, corrupt and piss-poor their leadership is.

Rageth surely benefitted from it during his lifetime but now that he is gone and the little clique's influence has waned with the severe decline in carpet collecting interest and participants he definitely will have to stand on his own.

Too bad for him without that help the decidedly strong 'emperor's new clothes' aspect of his work will replace and drown out today's phony praise and cheerleading rah-rah.

Author: jc
Fri, Aug 11th, 2017 03:09:55 AM

Last month there was a public announcement from rageth his book was "sold out", and immediately following this another announcement the book was now online for all to see for free.

We mentioned this in passing but did not voice the obvious.

First, the book is not "sold out" and rageth's announcement is but another of his stupid and misleading statements.

The book is still available from numerous sources, who have either bought it from him or contracted to sell it.

This is not sold out by any means.

Secondly, and far more telling, is the fact by putting the book online for all to read for free rageth has screwed his distributors and stuck them with a book that can now be read for free.

If you were one of these people how would you free knowing your chances to sell the books your bought, or contracted to sell, have now been severely limited by a stupid publisher who is so greedy for approval that he would stoop to such an act?

Besides the fact that rageth is supposedly quite ill and probably on his way out of this world, RK sees no chance to allow him free passage for perpetrating this screw job.

Not only to his distributors but to everyone who bought a book for hundreds of dollars a few short months ago that is now offered for free online.

Reading our review it is clear this publication is exceptionally flawed and the fact it is now available for free does not make that any better.

So instead of praising rageth for this act, as some morons like mallery have done, he should be condemned, as it does nothing but further promote the con-man, carpet- bagging history of jurg rageth.

Frankly, RK holds no respect or good feelings for rageth and good riddens to him is where we're at.

Author: jc
Thu, Jul 13th, 2017 03:36:48 AM

RK Replies to Mercer:


Now listen up jurg rageth spent 15 years soliciting "support", aka donations of cash, while living off those funds. He also made "commissions" on every C14 date sample.

The book he finally produced is thick of pages but sparse on new and useful information.

All the C14 dating samples are in RK's opinion, and others as well, nothing but a parlor-game of believability, and the art historical anaylses rageth provides are equally as questionable.

The best and only part of this book worth discussing were the dye samplings and analyses but they constitute less than a couple of percent of the text. So in the 800 plus pages there is little of lasting value.

As for the book's production -- printing, layout, binding, etc? Student textbook level at best.

So just because rageth is dying we all should applaud this mediocre effort?

Sorry, but that just does not compute. Making excuses for 15 years and countless tens of thousand of dollars that could have been far better spent by someone who knows something and not wasted by a failed rug dealer turned pseudo-scholar is not in RK's vocabulary.

And it should not be in anyone else's.

Author: Mercer
email: Mercergraham@hotmail.com
Thu, Jul 13th, 2017 02:18:17 AM

Is there no end to your vitriol. The poor man is just releasing in to everyone as he is very ill and has been throughout the period you have been slating his work. Have a little compassion. Youll rest easier...

Author: jc
Wed, Jul 12th, 2017 01:43:01 PM

RK received an email today informing us rageth has supposedly sold all 500 books -- 300 English language and 200 in German -- and is now offering a free download of the book.

We did not bother to note the address as we have a copy of the book. But for anyone who doesn't we are sure with a little effort you can find the address where the free download is available.

We are somewhat surprised it sold out but there was a big publicity push to sell them and apparently it worked.

Regardless, the book is still terribly flawed, and its effect on Turkmen rug scholarship, research, collecting and dealing has so far been non-existent. And we are just as sure the same will hold true in the future.

Next up is probably the has sienknecht collection at rippon bozwell...get your paddles ready.

Author: RK
Wed, Aug 3rd, 2016 01:57:00 AM

Morning Dummy:

First off you spelled michael franses's name incorrectly, it's franSES not franCES.

And pray tell, RK is still trying to decipher your statement "When one reads the rest of the world...", WTF is the rest of the world?

Better luck next time you try to diss RK. Go get someone to translate your broken English into the King's. Maybe your buddy michael frances?

Author: M Frances Tue, Aug 2nd, 2016 04:04:14 PM

you are an idiot who lives in his own world. When one reads the rest of the world they laugh at you.

Author: jc
Wed, May 25th, 2016 12:03:10 PM

The development of the various gol seen on historic Turkmen weavings is one of the most intriguing and comlex questions in oriental rug studies. RK has long been interested in this topic and has spent considerable time trying to understand just how this process occurred.

In 2009 we acquired a fascinating fragment which took our research into a somewhat unexpected and different direction. In 2011 we published it as part of a multi-part study "An Ancient Saryk MC and its progenitor" Parts I - VII.

We mention this as pertinent to the review of rageth's New Perspectives tome and the questions of gol iconography development it tries to address.

We highly recommend our research paper for motivated readers.

Part I:

the rest here at the bottom of this page:

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