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Posted by Anil Menon on June 08, 1999 at 10:37:37:

Hi John:

Here are some of my thoughts on your general theme.
1. As a novice and a time-constrained, struggling collector, I think that the most difficult challenge for new collectors (when they decide to convert from a practical person to an insane obsessed individual)is controlling the urge to hurry out and buy. I remember the biggest challenge I had (and continue to have) is not the "buy decision" but rather the "not to buy decision...and to wait." There is a tendency to conclude that I may never see a good piece or afford a good piece, so this may be as good as it gets. So, to suggest (as someone wisely did on this salon) that one must handle hundreds of rugs before buying is the equivalent of advicing new painter on how to paint the perfect picture, "go and become perfect and paint naturally."
2. I now buy pieces that I like looking at and can reasonably afford.
3. I do not worry about maintaining records of the technical analyses... not because I do not think they are important, but, because they are time-consuming. I hope to do that at some point. More importantly, (and this may be a heresy), I may not have handled a lot of rugs, but as an academic, my instinct is go and read hundreds of books. I have the uneasy feeling that much if not all of the "research," would not past muster on any basic philosophy of science criteria or research rigor criteria...given that I think much of the research on rugs is socially constructed, I am comfortable with my simple criterion -- is this a fun piece to have and does it make me feel good when I see it. More importantly, I think that that art is based on taste and need not be empirically or logically proven.
4. I buy several rugs a year, mostly at antique shows and from dealors, and I hang or use most of them in rotation.

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