Answers to your questions

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Posted by Steve Price on June 07, 1999 at 08:46:32:

Dear John,

Here are my answers; I've edited your questions for brevity:
"1. ..some collectors ... work mostly with high end dealers... others mostly in rug auctions... look in small shops, "malls", flea markets and estate sales. You?" I'm what dealers call "opportunistic", and use many sources. Mostly from a few favorite dealers and auction houses.

"2. How frequently do you buy? How many each year? Do you determine the price level and restrict purchases until fund has grown?" As an opportunistic collector, I am always on the lookout. Probably purchase about 3 pieces per year, but it's very variable.

"3. What makes a rug "collectible" for you?" Either it calls out to me (and Jean) or it doesn't.

"4. How important is "condition"? Do you buy fragments? Why?" Usually, condition is pretty important. Rarely buy fragments because they are usually aesthetically challenged (to my eye).

"5. Are rugs displayed? Is display ease a factor in buying decisions?" Some are displayed, some stored, and we change display selections from time to time.
Ease of display is a minor consideration.

"6. Russell Pickering exhorts collectors to "organize, examine and analyze" even to write (not necessarily for publication). Have you done so?" I'm not sure what he means by organize, but I surely examine and analyze and, when I learn something, I write about it.

"7. Which resources are most valuable in learning (books, clubs, dealers, collectors, conferences, etc.)?" All of the above, although I think the most fruitful environment for rug learning is Dealer Fairs at conventions and major auction house previews. These are places where many rugs can be handled and discussed with knowledgable people.

"8. Have your interests/standards changed? Do you "purge" your collection from time to time?" I cannot imagine anyone not undergoing changes as he learns.

"9. What will happen to your collection when you die?" Eventually, probably for sale. Donation to museums, for practical reasons, makes the pieces virtually inaccessible to interested people except for very limited times.

"10. What other advice do you have for the novice collector of limited means?" Get out while you still can!


Steve Price

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