TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Small quibble
Author  :  Marvin Amstey
Date  :  04-23-2000 on 01:04 p.m.

Dear All,
Jerry's summation of ACOR, I believe, is right on the money and well-done. I would quibble with one small point. I do think that there were some very good to great rugs and textiles on offer. Look at the one Jerry bought! Dennis Marquand bought a Central Asian rug just before I asked 'how much?' with thoughts of buying it. Clive Rogers showed an 18th c. Indian embroidered and quilted prayer arch textile that I found to be spectacular - and priced very well. While I can continue listing a number of the same very good quality, the last one that stands out in my mind was a world-class Salor chuval offered by Hans Homm. It would have gone home with me if the number he asked was in Marks instead of USD.
Best regards,

Subject  :  RE:Rug quality at ACOR
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  04-23-2000 on 01:19 p.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear People, I agree with Marvin on this. I was very impressed with what the dealers brought with them. We spent our limit (and then some), but deciding what to take home and what to tearfully reject was not easy at all. Steve Price

Subject  :  RE:Rug quality at ACOR
Author  :  Tom+Cole
Date  :  04-26-2000 on 11:01 p.m.
It is always so easy to criticise and more difficult to judge and give praise. Criticism can come with little thought, while praise demands attention and scrutiny. There were some really wonderful pieces on Dealer's Row, at times TOO MANY good things to properly focus and appraise. That is often the problem, too many things to look at and judge. The dealers with the Kaitag embroideries failed for the most part in enriching themselves as they just had too much to look at without enough space to properly represent the material they had brought.

Subject  :  RE:Rug quality at ACOR
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  04-27-2000 on 06:24 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Tom, Like you, I think that if it's possible to have too many excellent rugs to see, the ACOR (and ICOC) dealer fairs are the places where that happens. With 60 dealers at ACOR, I'd estimate that there were 5,000 to 10,000 pieces in all, or at least 500 to 1,000 of really high quality. For me, the first day or two is taken over by sensory overload; I just can't absorb the information. By the third day I'm able to focus, and when we make purchases at the dealer fairs, it's almost always during the final day or two of the conference. I don't know how the general public, which is allowed into the fair for one day only, is able to make intelligent, considered decisions. Regards, Steve Price

Subject  :  RE: Too Many Rugs?
Author  :  Patrick Weiler
Date  :  04-27-2000 on 10:17 a.m.
jpweil00@gte.net It is my humble opinion that there is no such thing as Too Many Rugs, especially if they are collectable, old, quality rugs and weavings. The quantity at ACOR does allow an unusual opportunity to compare relative values, design and construction. I came home with a better appreciation for some of the things in my collection, even if only because I paid less than some of the similar things at ACOR (though some folks think ACOR rugs tend to be a bit higher priced than one would find at the respective dealer stores). Steve mentioned 60 dealers. If you add the dozen "rogue" dealers (is this too harsh a term? Some were turned away due to not enough space left on "dealers row", just as many were turned away from the conference due to the limit having been reached) this adds up to one dealer for each five official ACOR attendees. I suspect many of the dealers wished for more attendees. The venue size tends to limit the conference size, though. To engage a larger facility, generally you need to go off site from a hotel. This can cost a lot more money for the organizers and logistical problems for the attendees. I wondered if the dealers who did not make the dealers row could have a conference room set aside for "table-top" displays of their rugs while seminars were open. Like a mini Bazaar. This idea presents another set of problems, though. Which brings up the tremendous job the volunteers did. Organizing, shuffling, protecting, facilitating and coordinating, all for our benefit. Even with the few problems that arose, they kept their cool and put on a great show. As far as the rug quality, each vendor brought some of the things from their stock. You would see these same things if you went to their store. Obviously, lots of large rugs are too difficult to bring and show in small hotel rooms. The sense that there may not have been a lot of spectacular rugs (on a scale of one to ten) may well be due to the fact that nine out of ten pieces are mediocre anyway, to our jaded, educated sensibilities. As for sensory overload, it seems to me that this is one addiction that can be indulged in without fear of overdose. Bring on the rugs. Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  RE: "Taste Inflation"
Author  :  Jerry+Silverman
Date  :  04-27-2000 on 03:41 p.m.
Very interesting, folks. Apparently I'm the only one afflicted with "taste inflation." And I must admit to being a little surprised at this. I noticed it at the very first major conference I attended. A surfeit of great rugs raised the bar, so to speak, for what qualified as "great" or "worth owning." I couldn't buy a rug for almost a year because I found myself comparing what I could afford with what my taste had learned to appreciate. Now I suppose I make that comparative evaluation without even thinking about it. Hence my opinion that the Dealer's Row selections lacked sufficient "Oh my gosh...!" rugs. (I also purposely minimized my comments about what was available for sale because of our rigidly anti-commercial rules here on TurkoTek.) Of course there were many, many worthy textiles available at the Dealer's Row. But when the standard of comparison is "best of type" I still maintain there weren't all that many. -Jerry-

Subject  :  Best of type?
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  04-27-2000 on 06:01 p.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Jerry, "Best of type" is a standard that, in my opinion, is unrealistic. First, because it is virtually impossible to get a bunch of ruggies to agree. Second, because there can't possibly be many "best of type" rugs, virtually by definition. Whether something is among the best of type is an easier criterion on which to find consensus. Obviously, there aren't very many such pieces. Equally obviously, they are more desired than the run of the mill items. The law of supply and demand says that they must, therefore, be more expensive than their cohort. My experience as a collector and conference attendee is that the bar does, indeed, keep getting raised, putting more and more stress between what I want to purchase and what I can afford. That kind of brings me back to this issue you raised. Were the things at the ACOR Dealer Fair, in general, not up to snuff? I thought they were, certainly by comparison to any individual dealer's inventory or any single sale at, say, Sotheby's or Christie's. Better, worse than, or equivalent to past Dealer Fairs? I think that's a very tough call, which tells me that it probably isn't much different than normal (otherwise it wouldn't be a tough call). Jean and I came home with two pieces, both of which would probably be "among the best of type". I thought there were many pieces on dealer's row that met this criterion. Some were priced at levels that I thought very fair, some I thought were almost laughably overpriced. None were giveaways, but "among best of type" pieces hardly ever are. Steve Price

Subject  :  RE:
Author  :  Michael Wendorf
Date  :  04-28-2000 on 05:20 p.m.
Dear All: I failed to find any piece on dealer's row, but then I am uncertain what I was looking for. All I can say is, I did not see it. From a Kurdish rug collector's perspective, I thought the herati designed Sauj Bulagh carpet displayed by Anthony Hazeldine was a good example. Last seen at Christie's New York in December 1997, this carpet had a spare but nicely spaced variant version of the Herati field with good yellow and mid-blue. This would seem to be a mid 19th century or possibly earlier carpet, its age confirmed in my mind by both the overall corrosion of the field and the juxtaposition of yellow and purple in the running dog or wave border. John Collins also had a large Kurdish carpet with a striped or cane pattern design in which the oak leaf and rosette design usually seen on borders alternated with a shrub design. In good condition with good wool and glorious color, this rug was probably made around Bidjar even though it had a flat back. The dealers Aaron Zuckerman and his partner had some good Kurdish rugs as well, including a worn but nicely drawn shrub version with cotton wefting. Among other rugs, I thought James Cohen had excellent bags including a Khamseh or Afshar bag with a big boteh. Rodney MacDonald of Rochester had a beautiful Qashqai horse cover in perfect condition. I also saw three fantastic fragments. The first belonged to a Reno, Nevada dealer named George Postrzny(sp?) and was a well known fragment of a long Shahsavan pile rug that was formerly in the Rudnick collection. I had seen this fragment in photos and thought it even better in the flesh. Great scale and color. The second was a Baluch long rug fragment of the mina khani pattern. Allegedly bought in Iowa for $5.00 with some tools in a country auction by a beekeeper from Wisconsin, this fragment had beautiful drawing and wool, an extremely old handle and back. The third was John Terry's Bakhtiari rug on an ivory field with lattice in which each the lattice enclosed the crab like elements from a Herati border design. This large fragment appeared complete but had been cut down. It is the oldest and most powerfully drawn Bakhtiari rug I have ever seen. I was also impressed by the Salor chuval mentioned by others and by the Kaitag embroideries though these do not grab me like they apparently grab others. Outside dealer's row, I thought the shows put on by Jim Blackmon of Central Asian material and Tony Kitz of mostly northwest persian material were exceptional in presentation as well as quality.

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