Re: Rarity

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Posted by Tom Cole on March 24, 1999 at 11:01:43:

In Reply to: Re: Rarity posted by Marvin Amstey on March 23, 1999 at 19:45:07:

: : Dear folks -

: : My take on "rarity" is that it is fairly far down the list of criteria in terms of which I usually collect.

: : I think that the reason for that is that "rarity" says nothing by itself about some of the other quailities that I find important like "do I like it?" and "what is its quality?" It is obvious that some things that are "rare" aren't beautiful. I'm not attracted to most Arabatchi weavings because I find the color palette of the great majority of them unattractive. Yet dealers seem never to fail to mention "Arabatchi' nowadays if there is any suspicion that a given piece could be one. Rarity apparently both sells and pays.

: : Now having said that I admit that I sometimes too have tendencies in the direction of rarity. The fact that I had not seen one "in the wool" before, was a factor in my purchase of the humble little Tibetan pony neck band that I have up on our show and tell board. And I also plead guilty to having a taste for quirky weavings, and part of this quirky-ness is usually that they are unusual (this latter tendency is strong enough that I probably own some things I shouldn't own). This aspect of my taste is hard to distiguish from the humbler varities of rarity. Notice, too, that rarity can be a factor in quite inexpensive weavings as well as in those at the top of the market.

: : Regards,

: : R. John Howe

: You certainly hit the nail on the head when you used Arabathchi pieces as examples of "ugly". The piece on offer in this issue of Hali - in the gallery section - is a good example of very rare and "ugly". Who wants it? That's not to say that there are not beautiful Arabatchi pieces, but this one is not one of them. Marvin

Declaring a piece on the market as "ugly" from a photo in HALI seems to me a bit out of line. I would confine yourself to the discussion at hand rather than rugs you probably have never seen. I have seen this torba, in Tucson, and it is not "ugly". Your statements regarding its desireability in a collectors's market is something to be left to the marketplace in general and not your unilateral declaration. I am sure Mr. Terry does NOT appreciate your comments nor would you in a similar position. Taste in rugs is subjective.
To the discussion at hand, I am glad someone else flashed on the postage stamp mentality in collecting, something I mentioned previously which brought no response at the time.

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