(Note: Part I of the pinner sale/collection preview appears in the Truth Hurts Topic Area on this discussion board. It is advisable to read that before the other parts posted here)
Another point of fact Rk.com finds objection with is maltzahn’s, and it should be added many others, characterization of Turkmen rugs as nomadic. Surely there were, and are some extant, weaving made by Turkmen who were nomadic but the majority of these weaving appear, from all the present available information, to have been woven by semi-settled and settled villagers – not wild nomads as most novice TurkOmanics imagine and dream about.
Since maltzahn presents himself as a qualified expert he should know this, now shouldn’t he.
The sanctity of preacher maltzahn’s “This catalog is dedicated to the Lesley and Robert Pinner Collection” and his “…heartfelt thanks to everyone who selflessly, out of friendship for Robert Pinner and idealism regarding our common aims…” might engender some readers to shed a tear or two. But what, might Rk.com ask maltzahn, are those common aims? To make a buck or two selling pinner’s collection? Or is it to get folks to help in that regard? Unfortunately maltzahn gives us no clue, as nothing else other than such conclusions can be inferred from this vague reference.
Next up at the church of newspeak’s pulpit steps little lord franses who begins his spiel as follows:
“This superb collection is internationally recognized as being one of the most important group of Turkmen carpets still in private hands.”
From god’s mouth to your ears but don’t believe it. Such unabashed exaggeration is not only silly, it’s stupid and blatantly false. This collection is large but sorely short on historical or beautiful masterpieces and franses’s characterization questions both his truthfulness and, more importantly, his ability to discern what is an important Turkmen rug.
He, franses, then goes on to tell us:
“The majority of the carpets were acquired in Britain during the 1970’s, when it was still possible to purchase such fine examples.”
Are we to believe him? Is it not possible to still acquire such fine examples? Or is this sale at rippon our last and only chance? Wake up, mikey, you're not talking to people who just decided yesterday to start collecting Turkmen rugs. This typifies the nonsensical imperious attitude a poser like franses, someone whose formal education ended before getting the equivalent of a high school education let alone any real higher education, assumes in the rug world.
Fact of the matter is franses sold pinner many of the pieces in this sale and his acquaintanceship with pinner is a long one but, of course, this fact remained unmentioned. Here is what franses does tell us about pinner:
“Now retired, Robert Pinner was a metallurgist, a consultant and international expert on the surface treatment of metals, who developed and patented certain important treatments.”
Fortunately franses doesn’t make any pleas to help robert in his hour of need but neither does he mention the fact pinner was during the 60’s quite a rich man, having sold his patent rights for what was then quite a fabulous amount of money. It was this money that drew franses into pinner’s orbit and over the years a quite sizeable amount of it ended up being spent by pinner with him to buy Turkmen pieces. Many of these franses found for small sums and sold to pinner for amazing profits. By the way, I find nothing wrong with this – if franses was able to buy low and sell high to pinner bully for him. But I do find it wrong that many of the pieces he stitched pinner up with were not masterpieces worthy of such sums, in fact most are now considered less than sterling. The fact neither of them was clever or expert enough to know what to buy or how to price it is nothing new in the rug game, it happens all the time.
Another fact here, pinner’s financial predicament, is one I have trouble believing as the money pinner had 35 years ago was sizeable by anyone standards and since he supposedly didn’t buy rugs after his wife’s death (a subject we will look at in a minute), wasn’t exactly a high liver, had no bad habits or addictions where did it all go? Of course this is none of anyone’s business but the pleas to help pinner pay for his medical and living needs do breach the gap anyone who knows his history could rightly question and, dear readers, yours truly does.
Next up at the pulpit is hamburger danny who ends his soppy essay with the following:
“It was always Robert’s hope that one day his and Lesley’s collection should take its place, in its entirety, as a public resource for those interested in Oriental carpets in general and Turkmen rugs in particular. Sadly a combination of circumstances – his own personal needs and the lack of an institution capable of accepting an endowment or bequest that would guarantee public access – means that this will not happen now, hence this sale in Wiesbaden, I trust the auction will be a great success, representing the international rug collector community’s vote of thanks to a man to whom we all owe much.”
Again Rk.com would like to ask what exactly is being said here? Was this lack of an institution due to the fact pinner wanted to get paid by them for the collection? Or was no institution willing to take the collection as a bequest with the proviso of granting public access? If the second reason is, in fact, actually the reason then look no further, The Weaving Art Museum will gladly take on pinner’s gift and guarantee public access for the collection. But if, as I have learned, in reality the first, that pinner wants to get paid for the collection, the reason then it is perfectly understandable why he had no success. Don’t cha think hamburger danny should have spelled this out rather than trying to lead us all down the garden path of his implied prosaic version of the facts?
And please, danny-boy, spell out for us all why we owe such a debt to pinner. Perhaps the only person I see who owes robert a debt is you, as without his starting hali you’d have been out of a job now wouldn’t you.
Last up at the rostrum is hans sienknecht who begins his ‘contribution’ where schaeffer left off:
“However, given the regrettable lack of an institution, whether in Britain, Europe or elsewhere, willing to accept such a collection of tribal weavings and to make a commitment on their future accessibility, he has decided to sell the collection under his own direction.” Like him, hans-y boy wants us to fall hook line and sinker for the same malarkey no institution wants pinners rugs. This is crap and hogwash – pinner never offered them without a price tag and a hefty one at that. As those of you astute readers who read “pinners Gamble” here on RK.com know the pinner collection was trotted around to all comers by little lord franses with no success and any other story real or implied in rippon’s catalog just ain’t so. Sorry hamburger dan and slippery sienknecht, try again.
Rk.com also wishes to question exactly when or how did these pieces come into the pinner collection since this is mentioned in these preludes to the catalog? First we have little lord franses telling us “The majority of the carpets were acquired in Britain in the 1970’s….In 1982 Lesley Pinner passed away and acquisitions ceased.” Then sienknecht says “The main body of the collection was formed during Lesley’s lifetime(she died in 1982), with only a few subsequent additions.”
A few subsequent additions is surely different from acquisitions ceased, now isn’t it? Or was little lord mikey’s comment newspeak doubletalk meant to say acquisitions ceased from him?
Do we really care? I say no but obviously someone does otherwise why did both of them mention it?
But what is even more quizzical than the acquisition date issue is the apparent contradiction the following statements the ex-banker and high school dropout make. According to sienknecht “Since then (1982, ed) Robert has kept the collection as a Sleeping Beauty, dormant in the attic of his Twickenham home: only on rare occasions have friends or colleagues been allowed to look into the treasure chest.”. While franses intones “Over the past thirty years, literally hundreds of carpet experts and enthusiasts from all over the world have visited the Pinner’s home in Twickenham, near London, to admire and study their superb collection.” Seems these two should have followed Bush and Cheney’s modus operandi of appearing together so they could simultaneously get their ‘stories” straight. Shame maltzahn was probably too busy counting his ‘potential’ profits to notice this rather embarrassing contradiction.
Who are we to see as credible here – the rug dealer or ex-banker? My guess probably neither.
So folks, this ends Part II’s look at the pinner catalog’s prelude and are you, like me, wondering what is going on here? Hint: you should be.