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Posted by Yon Bard on May 09, 1999 at 12:09:17:

I'll try to answer as many of these questions as I can without unduly taxing my brain:

>2) What is your favorite rug book?
Tsareva's 'Rugs and Carpets from Central Asia', not necessarily because it's the best, but because I came across it when first interested in rugs and it was very influential in turning me into a Turkomaniac. Jerry, you should have had a question 'What book has been most influential?'

>5) Which rug book has the best pictures? How do you feel about black backgrounds?
Pictures in most books leave much to be desired.
Background preference depends on the rug's tonality. The background should provide good contrast to the rug itself.

>6) In the future, what topics would you like to see addressed in rug books?
I would like to see a good comprehensive history of oriental rugs. I don't know of any such thing; Erdeman's '700 Years...' is too episodic.

>7) In the future, how would you make rug books better?
Rug books should attempt to present a more complete summary of what is known about a subject. An example of a book that's very disappointing on this score is Jourdan's 'Turkoman', which purports to be a reference work but contains little of the results of recent scholarship.

>8) How do you use your rug books? ...e.g., do you write in them or use highliter? Do you read them more than once? Do you wear them out?
I never never write in books. I generally browse, look at all the pictures, read sections as they interest me, and refer back to the book as needed. I will go back and browse again periodically, just to keep the contents in mind so I know where to look for a specific rug, say, as the need arises.

>9) Do the collectors mind if a book is an ex-lib (formerly part of a library's collection)?
Certainly not.

>10) Are rug books too expensive? How much is "too expensive" when it comes to rug books?

Many rug books are too expensive, in my estimation, particularly books that are intended to be scholarly rather than glitzy (e.g., Pinner and Franses 'Turkoman Studies I'). In fact I do not pay more than $100 for a book on principle, although I realize that this is foolish since books appear to be better investments than rugs.

>11) Will the Internet (and sites like this) ever eliminate the need for rug books?
Certainly not!

>Finally, as a service to those new to rug collecting, could we compile a list of 25 "must have" rug books to form the core of a reference book collection?
I am not sure whether the following qualify strictly under the $25 criterion, but they offer outstanding value:
1. Marla Mllett'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)

Regards, Yon

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