Re: Are war rugs contemporary collectibles?

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Posted by Yon Bard on June 14, 1999 at 08:08:53:

In Reply to: Are war rugs contemporary collectibles? posted by Steve Price on June 14, 1999 at 04:51:20:

: Dear Yon,

: You wrote,
: "...Afghan war-rugs as the best candidates for 'collectibility' among recently produced rugs. My reason is that these are the most spontaneous folkloric creations in response to the world these people live in."

: I disgree.
: 1. There are huge numbers of these things on the market, not an auspicious situation for future collectibility.
: 2. They are (mostly) of very poor quality in almost every significant respect.
: 3. Most of them are not "spontaneous folklore" at all.
: 4. Aesthetically, they are usually hideous. Who decorates their walls with pictures of guns, tanks and helicopters? Don't tell me about Picasso's "Guernica". It's a museum item, but I'll bet the people who actually find it attractive enough to hang it on a wall at home is very limited (ignoring the status element of a genuine Picasso).

: Regards,

: Steve Price

Steve, I am sure you are right in most of what you say, though some of the objections do not apply if we confine ourselves to the rugs originally woven in Afghanistan, as opposed to the commercial production in the refugee camps (though, how does one tell which is which?) But consider also the following points:
1. There already are people collecting these rugs.
2. Esthetics and quality play no role in much of collecting (take stamps, e.g.)
3. I know someone who collects those hideous rugs with pictures of Lenin etc., so why not tanks and helicopters? I'd take the latter over the former any time.
4. There are huge numbers of late 19C Caucasians, e.g., but this hasn't stopped them from being collectible.

Among other contemporary 'revival' projects, one that appealed to me was another one that consisted of pictorial rugs depicting rural scenery with farms and animals etc., freely created by the weavers. They came from some villages in Turkey and possessed a great deal of charm, though I can't remember the exact source. Again, I find these much more appealing than resurrected 'traditional' designs.

Regards, Yon

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