Posted by Jerry Silverman on March 17, 1999 at 13:31:53:
In Reply to: Re: Yet another motivation! posted by R. John Howe on March 17, 1999 at 05:19:26:
: Dear folks -
: I too can attest to the fact that some collectors are motivated in the way that Yon describes. My brother is an antique dealer/collector and tells the story of a novice but well-to-do tool collector who became enamoured of American antique "plow" planes. These at the time went for perhaps $2,000-3,000 at the very highest levels of quality. This collector left standing orders to buy anything found of this sort with several dealers and in a rather short time owned nearly all the known pieces. There are very likely rug collectors of this sort too.
: R. John Howe
I wouldn't be surprised either.
About 15 years ago I was told a story by a rug dealer - which means I can't vouch for its veracity, merely repeat it. The story goes like this: When Ralph Lauren opened retail stores he used lots of Baluch kilims on the floors. (His fashions were in their "Out of Africa" phase, and the "look" worked beautifully.) After a few years the stores needed a redesign. (The kilims were getting pretty ratty, as you might expect - but mainly the theme of the clothing was changing to a more "Victorian" look.) A decree went out to find old Caucasian soumaks - any size, in good condition. At the direction of dealers who usually supplied the company, pickers were dispatched to "Hoover" the country for old Caucasian soumaks.
And that's why for about two years in the mid-'80s there were so few good Caucasian soumaks to be found. Prices experienced a significant increase for this now-rare type from which they have never retreated.
Like I said - a dealer's story. But the details fit the reality.
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