Contemporary Collectibles - A Few Criteria

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Salon ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Jerry Silverman on June 15, 1999 at 22:10:16:

In Reply to: Re: What are contemporary collectibles? posted by Steve Price on June 13, 1999 at 17:57:03:

: Dear Stephen,

: If I interpret your qustion correctly, you'd like to know which of the rugs being woven during the past 50 years or so will be collectible, say, 50 years from now.

: The problem is that fashions change, and nobody knows which, if any, will become collectible. It seems reasonable to suppose that the "programmed" rugs and carpets produced in large numbers will not be, because there are so many of them. Then again, we need to remember that there are people who collect all sorts of things. If you doubt this, I refer you to the site linked below.

: Steve Price
Dear Steve,

While I agree wholeheartedly that "fashion," fads, and trendiness are important factors in what becomes collectible and can never be disregarded, I think we can offer more meat to this rather thin stew that's been offered to novice collectors of limited means.

How about these benchmarks for future collectibles?

1) Beauty. I know, I know - we can argue that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that standards of beauty change over time and vary from culture to culture; but I submit that the REALLY beautiful is perceived as beautiful throughout time and without regard to fashion. Those Mughal carpets in the recent Met exhibition were a slam-dunk the instant they were off the loom, for instance.
2) Rarity. Your point about modern programmed rugs is well-taken unless, of course, their ubiquity leads to no one paying any attention to them and wearing them all out in the course of their daily use. In that way they might become rare. I have a couple 19th C. indigo-dyed cotton Indian dhurries that were part of an enormous production most of which were used until they were rags. Now they're pretty damned rare.
3) Craftsmanship (or artisanship or quality). Better-made objects are almost always more collectible than poorly-made ones. Better materials, dyes, technical skill, and artistry are typical of collectible-grade items no matter what kind.
4) Age. A moot point in this discussion as we're talking about new production and how it will be perceived in a hundred years.

What examples of new production meet these criteria? (We're probably the WRONG group to ask since so many of us don't pay very much attention to new production!)

Well, let me offer a couple suggestions.

Some of the Caucasian reproductions from the Afghan refugees in Pakistan are stunningly beautiful and made with the very best materials as are some of the Turkish pieces typified by Jevremovic's production. I have recommended them to friends as decorative floorcoverings with the potential to be worth handing down to their children.

I'm sure there are other examples. Perhaps the rest of you can offer your favorites.



Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Salon ] [ FAQ ]