Re: books (for new collectors)

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Posted by Marvin Amstey on May 10, 1999 at 10:46:20:

In Reply to: Re: books (for new collectors) posted by Steve Price on May 10, 1999 at 05:39:02:

: Dear Yon,

: I absolutely agree that books on oriental rugs are nearly endless fountains of misinformation. And, in this respect, Peter Stone's "Lexicon" is VERY MUCH better than most. And I suspect that Webster's original dictionary of the English language had lots of errors, too, but gradually got revised into an accurate, authoritative work.

: And this gets to the heart of my problem with the book: it has too many errors to be an authoritative source for a beginner, and a beginner expects a dictionary to be just that.

: My estimate of 0.1% error is based on my assumption, probably much too loose, that there are almost no errors beyond those that I encountered in the general area of Turkmen, where I know something about the subject (at least, the words). Within this narrow group, I ran across errors in the definitions of mafrash, kap, ok-bash, and germetsch. Overall, I'd guess that the error rate in Turkmen-related listings are more like 10%, excessive for a dictionary.

: The problem here for a beginner is, can he trust the definitions he finds? I know nothing about American Indian textiles, for instance, and would be very wary about using this dictionary as a source of definitions for that stuff if there might be a 10% error rate.

: I think Stone's undertaking was monumental, and I think the books will evolve into a really trustworthy primary reference work with subsequent editions. But I also think that the current one is not for beginners.

: Regards,

: Steve Price

While I mentioned this in the above thread, I would like to emphasize it again. I believe that the best current book surveying most of oriental rugs is Eiland and Eiland: The Complete Guide to Oriental Rugs. It is probably the most comprehensive, honest and error-free text on the subject. Regars, Marvin

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