A few readers have emailed me about the preview of the sale and although I can appreciate their concerns I do not share their views. Few collectors of Turkmen rugs have enough experience or perspective to understand why, in one readers words RK.com has "..trashed pinner, who is the most important Turkmen expert and collector." This is absolutely not true and although the opinions expressed here are not flattering, they are truthful and factual. If, in that readers words, presenting fact and truth is trashing, well then pinner has been trashed here on Rk.com. What else to say?
As an answer I emailed: "Sorry, mate but robert pinner is far from the most important Turkmen expert or collector. His writings on the subject are, not only in my opinion but others as well, typical old school thoughts and there is not one ground-breaking idea or concept presented in all the verbiage pinner has issued over the years." I requested this person find one and email it to me. So far nothing has been sent and I seriously doubt anything will.
Being an expert is more than just making status quo remarks, and while wild speculation presented as fact is worse, taking a gamble on a new idea or concept, while clearly presenting it as working hypothesis or possibility, is something that should be expected and welcomed from "important experts".
As far as seeing pinner as the most important collector? Don't make me laugh. His wife, Lesley, was far more of the collector than robert will ever be and had he, not she, passed away in 1982 I am sure the collection would have been considerably different and definitely better. The fact it isn't proves in spades the mediocrity, not "importance' pinner achieved as the collector. "Nuff said on that subject but whether or not his collection is gobbled up at record prices by a group of todays 'riche' collectors won't change for posterity pinner's inability to have formed one of the most important collections in private hands. as it was pegged by little lord franses in the prelude to catalog.
Time tells all and RK.com's opinions about the pinner collection will be around for as long as the catalog will - let's revisit this issue ten, twenty or fifty years from now and see what is what.
There are two other issues to address before we can close the book on the pinner collection preview. First is the matter of who actually wrote the catalog descriptions. After a considerable amount of sleuthing, RK.com has learned the following from the horse's mouth - maltzahn and sienknecht are responsible for them. According to our source maltzahn consulted with sienknecht on every piece but because maltzahn knows the clients, as he put it, he was the lead actor and sienknecht only played a supporting role.
The high hopes for this catalog, as expressed by maltzahn in his section of the prelude to "...create a catalog raisonne of the Pinner collection before it is scattered in all directions." is a lofty one indeed. Did it succeed? According to what is written here, on this website, Rk.com obviously believes not only didn't it but, in fact, it failed rather miserably to achieve this goal.
A catalog raisonne is more than a list of similar items or statements which are obvious, or in this example comments made only to "sell" the objects - the main achievements in this catalog. It should be more - an intensive and intelligent examination done by someone who has great experience and knowledge in the field. Someone who brings to the table an all encompassing perspective. Someone who not only mouths what has been referred to here as old school thoughts but also can furnish a new idea or two, especially ones able to shed light on aspects formerly ignored or misunderstood.
Clearly maltzahn and sienknecht didn't spend the time or were unable to reach these regards.
The second issue is the remaining pieces in pinners collection and the already organized plan to disperse them in a Part Two pinner collection auction that will happen at ripppon boswell in October 2004.
Again from the horse's mouth RK.com has been informed this Part II will be the lesser half of the collection, the best pieces sold this Saturday, May 15. Since this is something RK.com hasn't personally verified we, like you dear readers, will have to wait and see but, as our source is about as close as you can get, i.e. the horses mouth, RK.com believes this to be fact. However, since the source has made a judgment call, i.e. judging the piece through their "eyes", RK.com realizes this opinion might not ring true here.
One thing is sure, maltzahn and company have not publicly announced a Part Two and RK.com finds this to be just one other disingenuous move on their part. Again, time tells all and God willing we all will be back here for a preview of Part Two.
So all to you prospective bidders for pinner's "treasures" - do your due diligence before raising your paddles and remember you, not maltzahn, pinner or Rk.com, should be the final arbiter of your decision what to bid on or what to pay for it. But one bit of advice to you all: Remember it is better to miss a winner than to get stuck with a loser.