In 1999, denny co-authored the text for the lavish, limited-edition publication "Masterpieces from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts" whose frontispiece appears below:
This beautifully printed large size book contains photographs of arguably most of the great early Turkish rugs conserved in the museum's storerooms. Naturally, there are a number of re-entrant, i.e. "Bellini"-design", rugs and denny's text, written with Dr. Nazan Olcer, discusses the various examples in some depth.
Perhaps the most interesting part of that discussion is denny and Olcer's description of Plates 11 and 12, as it bears some direct relevance to the LACMA brouhaha.
Plate 11(right) : Plate 12(left)
In their write-up of these two later but charming provincial versions of the "Bellini"-design, denny noted both were "probably 18th century". The authors also tell us Plate 11 is probably "slightly earlier” and RK agrees with these statements.
What we can not agree with, or even understand, is how a bright-mind like denny's suddenly went dark when LACMA asked him to vet the dodds rug.
How could denny date it as earlier than, or even contemporary, with the two re-entrants shown here?
While Plate 12, on the left, has a far more provincial interpretation of the "Bellini" form and iconography than Plate 11, it nonetheless captures some of the magic and mystery the best of these rugs are able to convey.
In comparison Plate 11, on the right, which is only perhaps 25 years earlier, clearly demonstrates this presence with much greater eloquence and authority. It is a masterpiece of color and form considering it is 18th century.
In Part II of this thread we will compare it to the dodds/LACMA piece and are sure few of our readers don't already know the conclusion that comparison will highlight. Stay tuned til' then.