Home > Archive >Is This the Tekke?
Thu, Dec 30th, 2004 02:54:38 PM
Topic: Is This the Tekke?

In response to the posting of our viewpoint concerning the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's purchase of the supposed early Turkish Rug from dennis dodds, one of our readers, who uses the name "remeli", contributed the following:

"While I was viewing his collection, Mr.Dodds produced a smoked Tekke six gull torba (since I expressed interest in Turkman pieces),still pictured on cloudband, insisting it was circa 1800,which he felt was a bargain at 14,000. The generous dating of this piece, in addition to the wildly inflated asking price, immediately made me suspicious of the seller. I found Mr. Dodds completely preoccupied with money and attaining the highest possible prices for his pieces, irrespective of their merit. The entire experience was quite a let down."

We do not know who this reader is but we do know the comments laid on mr dodd's doorstep are true to form.

RK.com has known mr dodds for more than 25 years, watched him in action and has heard similar tales to remeli's in the past. While we do not think it is correct to down anyone for asking high prices for their goods we do agree they deserve censure when the quality of the offering is not commensurate with the price.

In this regard, we looked at dodd's online offerings and wonder if this is the Tekke piece remeli mentions:

If so, we would appreciate a confirmation from him as RK.com has something quite interesting to add to his story.

Author: jc
Thu, Dec 30th, 2004 02:54:38 PM

yes, it is...but it's not as nice as the best....and they are quite hard to come by

Author: remeli Thu, Dec 30th, 2004 01:00:19 PM

nice torba.

Author: jc
Wed, Dec 29th, 2004 12:36:06 PM

Greetings, remeli:

Speaking of exceptional Tekke torba, here is the photo of one that was, a few years back, on the market and up for grabs.

Asking price, if we remember correctly, was $18,500.

We like this piece and from the photos believed it was circa 1800 and not actually 18th century. After seeing it in the flesh we knew so. But still it is very noteworthy and beautiful, especially the main border and glossy tomato red field color.

The most significant clue to calling it 19th rather than 18th is the rather non-descript and rote rendering of the minor gols. Their somewhat chunky drawing and the slightly ungenerous spacing between them and the majors are the main points leading us to this position.

Regardless it is a superior and rare example and, had we been a torba collector, we’d probably have reached for the checkbook pretty quickly.

Author: jc
Sat, Dec 25th, 2004 11:34:36 AM

Hey remeli:

How about double bird heads and double crests?

Just joshing…

No, I have always found those who equate a single criteria -- like crests or legs etc -- as a be-all and/or end-all indicator of age, or some other factor of importance, are way off base.

Early rugs, whether Turkish or Turkmen, Persian or Caucasian follow certain indelible rules and if those rules are ignored or violated, no matter what else is hyped, that weaving cannot be what it is being cracked up to be.

So whether or not mr dodd's torba has double crests, or even quadruple crests, is not enough to support his dating contention nor can it make the piece anything else than what the rest of it tells us it is - a nice, circa 1820-1850 Tekke torba.

Author: remeli Fri, Dec 24th, 2004 01:52:34 PM

Oh yes. If anyone has seen a truly old Tekke torba with "double crested birds" please let me know... I'd be interested in seeing it.

Author: remeli Fri, Dec 24th, 2004 01:50:28 PM

I'm glad Mr. Cassin posted a detailed photo from a genuinely old Tekke torba (above). Pieces like this one, the ex-cassin piece with the meander border sold at Sothebys, the Hoffmeister six gul torba and the ex-Amstey six gul torba pictured in Vanishing Jewels (the better of the two pieces shown and by far the best piece in the entire collection) illustrate characteristics of truly archaic weaving.In the photo presented here, the major and minor guls are connected. There are saturated colors. There are tertiary elements and an idiosynchracy to the gul interiors. The elements are spaced correctly. I would argue that the Dodds torba is lacking in most if not all of these characteristics and is clearly several generations younger than its represented age.

Author: jc
Mon, Dec 20th, 2004 09:12:28 PM

Here is a detail of a Tekke torba that could be 300 or more years old:

RK.com has much more faith in its antiquity than in that of the dodd/LACMA rug. And by the way wouldn’t trade it for their's if we could.

Author: jc
Mon, Dec 20th, 2004 07:52:41 PM

Remeli raises some important points, for us the most significant the "holding leaders more accountable for their acts than normal folk". While this sounds good on paper, it doesn't exist in fact and had we not spoken out probably dodds would have gotten away with it.

We sincerely doubt he would have been questioned by anyone and all there might have been were a few wisperers in the wind.

As for the 18th century designation he hung on the torba? Twenty years ago almost no-one believed any Turkman rug was that old. Now it has become general knowledge such rugs do exist.

Twenty years ago a few of us believed there were even older examples - 17th and even 16th century weavings. Our beliefs are now shared by others and it is no wonder dodds wished to make his torba older. While he never was the brightest bulb in the box he was privvy to much inside information and, even though RK agrees with your estimation of his rug knowledge, dodds knows a pre-1800 Turkmen weaving looks almost exactly like a 19th century one. So it's no wonder he asks the price of an 18th century one for his piece which is clear to you and me, but probably not to many others, isn't that early.

Face facts: There just aren't many 18th century Turkmen weavings and whether or not dodds knows the difference is a fools argument but there is no argument his dating and his price were off-base.

Guess the apple don't fall from that tree, as the LACMA rug deal is just the same...wrong date, wrong price.

Author: remeli
Mon, Dec 20th, 2004 05:41:27 PM

Here is the torba I referred to in my previous email.

I do not agree with labeling this piece 18th century for many reasons.

In response to Mr. Cassin, I would agree that one can ask whatever they choose for a piece. However, when that someone is deeply entrenched in the various societies that seek to lend legitimacy to carpets and textiles as a bonfide area of collection and study, that individual should be held to a higher standard.

Asking 14,000 for this torba and representing it as 18th century is in my opinion, unreasonable. I do not possess the knowledge to offer an opinion on the veracity of the seller's claims vis-a-vis the LA Museum piece, but I do sincerely hope that if the carpet is a later copy as asserted here, the parties involved will come to a mutually agreeable solution and that Mr. ICOC will refrain from questionable selling and labeling practices in the future.

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