Re: books (for new collectors)

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Posted by Yon Bard on May 09, 1999 at 21:53:13:

In Reply to: Re: books (for new collectors) posted by Steve Price on May 09, 1999 at 12:33:16:

: Dear All,

: Yon's list of 3 "must have" books for new collectors is:
: 1. Marla Mallett's 'Woven Structures'
: 2. Peter Stone's 'Oriental Rug Lexicon'
: 3. Joyce Ware's 'Official Price Guide - Oriental Rugs' (though not the price guide section itself)

: Mallett's book is in a class by itself - there simply is no other source for structural information that comes within a mile of it.

: The other two give me mixed vibes. Joyce Ware's book is full of good stuff, but the title and the part Yon doesn't recommend have too many seeds of mischief for the beginner. The title implies that there is an official price, or that reading a couple of descriptions and auction results is enough to tell you how much you ought to pay for something. He's as likely to be fooled into thinking an outrageously high price is reasonable as he is to be fooled into thinking a bargain is outrageously expensive. I'd steer the beginner away from this one.

: Peter Stone's "Lexicon" troubles me very much. The idea of a rug lexicon is wonderful, and every beginner (and most of the rest of us) really can use one. It's well written, and Stone has done a thorough job of rooting things out; it's almost impossible to come across a rug-related word that isn't in it. The problem is that it has a number of errors. I'd guess, around 0.1% (that's about one in a thousand) of the entries includes an error. A baseball player hitting .999 is beyond belief, but a dictionary with that many errors is of limited use. And beginners, who need it most, are those least likely to recognize the errors when they see them. I think it's a "must have" book, but not for the early stage novice collector.

: Steve Price

Steve, I think there are few reference books that are 99.9% accurate! Aren't you asking a bit much from the poor book? If I have complaints about the Lexicon it's the occasional incompleteness - for example, it gives only the nw Persian meaning of 'mafrash', not the Turkmen one. As for Joyce Ware's book, I too find the title objectionable and the eponymous section inadequate or worse; but otherwise it's the best general guide for the neophite collector. Have you ever browsed through the typical 'Introduction to Oriental Rugs'? It's full of antiquated misleading information. Compared to that, Ware's book is a jewel.

In both cases, the books may not be perfect, but they are the best that's available in their respective fields.

Regards, Yon

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