Earlier this afternoon RK called walter denny and had, as always, a very pleasant, honest and open discussion with him. Denny is a very educated, charming and affable man and, throughout the period of time we have been acquainted, he has always proven those attributes.
From our conversation, which was specific and not general, RK now has direct quotes about how denny views the dodds/LACMA rug and would like to share them with you, our dear readers.
First off denny told us he spent “two hours with the rug”, which he told the museum he had to do if they wanted him to lecture about it. After this lengthy examination, denny unequivocally has the belief the rug dates in the period from 1650-1750. But he stressed only at the end of that continuum and not at the beginning.
Secondly he also unequivocally stated “the rug was made in Ladik” (a famous rug producing town and area) and, as such, was one of the oldest rugs of that type he knew of.
Thirdly he proudly said “it was one of the best, if not the best, Turkish rugs on view in any museum in America”. Adding to that rather remarkably outlandish statement denny went on to say "Surely it is better than anything that was shown in the Metropolitan Museum when the pieces from Orient-Stars were on there."
Rk listen carefully and did offer some rebuttal to denny’s three points, which we will also share.
As to the rug's probable age? We surely would not quibble with denny's stating it was circa 1750, even though we are sure that, too, might be still generous. Again, we'd prefer late 18th century, which is the date we have always maintained.
But what about denny's second, and in our estimation, highly specious idea the rug is from Ladik? To us this appears to be nothing more than an errant shot in the dark and frankly we are incredibly surprised denny has stuck his neck out that far. But pressure often causes mistakes/errors and we are sure denny was under great pressure concerning his role in the dodds/LACMA debacle.
We queried denny as to what characteristics the rug displayed to have brought him to such an off-the-wall position. He told us the warp depression was a Ladik feature.
We, of course, realize that and although warp depression is not unique to Ladik rugs (something denny admitted), we offered another possibility that he remained silent to after hearing.
Many later Turkish rugs, we are talking here of pieces produced post 1700, were made in workshops that in all intents and purposes were more like un-mechanized factories than the Town/Village/Clan circumstances in which earlier, and even some later, rugs were created. Having a good deal of warp depression definitely speeds up and facilitates the weaving process and this is our take on why the dodds/LACMA rug exhibits warp depression. It is an almost universal feature of weavings made in those circumstances. We. in no way, agree with the denny explanation, i.e. a Ladik provenance. He did offer some other, lesser points, which we also do not see as anything supportive of his Ladik provenance
As for denny's third statement, concerning Turkish rugs in American museums? Well, let's say we had to contain our self but as soon as denny finished we told him, in no uncertain terms, how ludicrous his belief was. In fact, some of the best Turkish pieces from the Orient-Stars collection were on public view at the Met and all of them are far superior to the dodds/LACMA rug - in terms of age, historical importance and beauty.
Actually we remarked to denny the LACMA rug couldn't be the water-boy on any team they were on and we found it amazing he could even harbor such a thought.
We were ready to continue but denny begged off further discussion citing a lack of time at the moment to pursue this call. When we mentioned we'd call him back sometime soon to continue it, denny said “sure”.
So that's it folks, according to denny the rug is circa 1750, made in Ladik, one of the oldest examples of that kind?, definitely a museum worthy piece and something LACMA could be proud of.
Nice spin, we'd have to say, but nothing that is in anyway salient. Nor it is anything dodds or LACMA can hang their hats on. Rather, to us, it just confirms our statements and continues to make us believe LACMA will continue to try and cover-up the fiasco purchasing that rug from dennis dodds has caused everyone concerned. That is everyone except dodds - well at least for the moment.