This morning we moved all the pinner sale threads into the Turkmen Topic Area. Beginning with pinner's Gamble Part I and ending with the sale's review Part II, Rk.com's coverage, which was described in one reader's email as "...reportage from cradle to the grave..." (under the circumstances an epitaph RK.com wouldn't have chosen to employ), provides a comprehensive look at both the sale itself and some of the behind the scene maneuverings the varied participants in this event staged.
RK is positive the "results", which our coverage deemed unsuccessful, will be both spun in a different light by those participants - little lord franses of Mayfair, hamburger danny of hali, and the two stooges detlef maltzahn and hans sienknecht who wrote the catalog descriptions and estimates - and debated in rugdom for some time to come.
No matter how thin or thick you slice it, it's still baloney and, unlike the thompson sale, pinner's had just too many lesser examples, worn and tired ones and, most importantly, just too many pieces for the small coterie of real Turkmen collectors and wannabes to absorb.
This, more than any other reason, was the primary cause for the disappointing results.
A comparison to the thompson sale, which took place 11 years ago, demonstrates how little the market, not only for Turkmen weavings but all antique, non-classical "collector" rugs in general has expanded. Calling thompson’s an unqualified success is undeniable and while it is sure the vast majority of his offerings were of a higher standard than pinner's and that the marketing effort and choice of NY rather than Weisbaden were seemingly better designed RK.com doesn't believe these outweighed the effects of the sheer number of examples on offer on sale day (61 in thompson's sale and over 120 in pinnner's counting those in the general sale).
Since the mid-1980's the rug world has bemoaned the lack of "new" collectors but, like most other aspects of this art collecting area, it's all talk and no walk. Greed, stupidity, malfeasance, manipulation and the overwhelming lack of viable standards, not only to value but also to differentiate these "art-works", plague this art area. These reasons and unmentioned others, not the appeal or importance of the material, prevent and discourage additional people from becoming involved.
In any other collecting genre a dispersal like pinner's would have engaged and encouraged a tremendous amount of interest, both from within the field and outside it. Its failure to do so is both a cause and result of this central issue and until all those involved with antique non-classical "collector" rugs wake up and address this fact the status quo situation will remain.
Selling "collector" rugs for high prices is not the gist of RK.com position so don't miss the forest for the trees here - Rk.com is far more interested in raising respect for them. Classical carpets (those made in courtly surroundings) have successfully crossed the barrier and are accepted and respected far and wide. Why aren't non-court examples - Turkmen, Caucasian, Turkish and others - equally regarded?
The answers to this question are obvious and until all those concerned recognize the necessity of bringing new and higher standards they will remained mired in the "my piece is better than yours" and the pseudo-mumbo-jumbo that characterizes this field.
Time is running out and, when a few square inches of a classical court carpet demand an obscene level of interest and equally historically important surely far more visually arresting complete non-classical examples go begging for recognition, what more proof does the rug world's need of its failure?
The pinner sale failed miserably on all levels, except one – the buy in rate, almost every lot sold. However, like a pilot who escapes injury but in the crash destroys the plane, pinner gave away many of his pieces for ridiculously low price and more significantly saw 40 plus years of his life carelessly dispersed and, as stooge number one in this fiasco, detlef maltzahn, wrote in the catalog, “…scattered in all directions.”