Posted by Marvin Amstey on April 22, 1999 at 19:02:57:
Steve started the discussion with a comment aimed at distinguishing between the terms 'restoration' and 'conservation' followed-up by Yon entreating us not to confuse repairs with rug condition (unrepaired).
Patrick Weiler added a comment about restoration using fine painting as an analogy. This same idea was picked up later by Robert Torchia who deals with old master paintings.
Another aspect of rug repairs was provided by Wendel stating that the repairs, per se, speak to the travels and travails of the rug and may be important in contributing to the documentation of what has been done. Marla Mallett, a well known weaver, continued this line of thought later in the discussion by referring to repairs by the peoples who originally wove the textile. If the repairs were done by the original tribes, the repairs, per se, are important ethographic observations.
Next, a thread was developed about the dyes used in the repairs. Wool from sources contempory with the textile to be repaired may hold up better to further age and light than newly dyed wool. More time is needed to see the possible benefits of this if documented pieces are available with repairs done with old wool.
We finally got to the primary question posed at the outset of this discussion: how does one value a repaired rug? John Downie provided a curve-shape similar to those found in economic texts, and Jerry reminded us about the Bosly "Rugs to Riches" formula. This led to the problem of auction estimates being self-fulfilling prophesies and the confidence of buyers.
The last thread was started by Robert Torchia who deals with old master paintings with an interesting comment that if a painting is restored extensively, perhaps the name of the artist should be changed to that of the restorer. Steve concluded with a comment about fakes not being a significant problem with rugs at present. However, it does exist and might make an interesting topic for future discussion.
I don't think that we came to any scientific conclusion about how to value a repaired rug: rarity, quality, extent of repair, quality of repair, buyer confidence, estimates all play a role. However, perhaps we have some better understanding about how we make decisions about rug purchases. Thank you all for participating.
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