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Salon du Tapis d'Orient

The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please include your full name and e-mail address in your posting.

Sweat the Small Stuff

by Jerry Silverman

Current pop psychology is continually reminding us not to sweat the small stuff. Books, cassette tapes, and daytime TV talk shows tout the virtues of being able to tell the difference between the important Big Stuff and the inconsequential Small Stuff. Authors and grey eminences are getting rich off the mantra of ďDonít sweat the small stuff - and everything is small stuff.Ē

Maybe itís my contrarian nature or maybe my pernicious rejection of pop psychology, but I think itís the Small Stuff thatís important. Whatís reminded me of that is a book Iíve been reading: ďThe Flanders PanelĒ by Arturo Perez-Reverta. The gist of the story - as far as Iíve gotten - is that a well-known 500-year old painting has a mystery embedded in it that has been overlooked/ignored/unnoticed. For hundreds of years people have looked at the entire picture without picking up on any of the myriad little clues about a cold-blooded murder right before their eyes. Perez-Reverta has done this before in ďThe Club DumasĒ where tiny differences in the illustrations in seemingly identical copies of a rare book are the key to the solution of a dangerous mystery.

With that in mind, this Salon is dedicated to the Small Stuff.

Not so long ago we had a Salon that addressed the ďbig pictureĒ approach to looking at rugs with an eye to finding cues that yield immediate attributions. What Iím talking about IS NOT the polar opposite. Letís not get into a discussion of the relative merits of warp and weft materials or knot density. Rather, letís focus on details - little details - that make particular rugs our favorites whether or not the rug, taken as a whole, is a world-beater.

What little motif or splash of color or juxtaposition of colors or tasty end finish or the like has moved you to buy a rug that you might have ignored without it?

As is the responsibility of the Salon host, Iíll start things off with something you may remember from a Show and Tell. Itís my striped Ersari pile chuval. Rare as these things are, Iím pretty sure Iíd have never bought it without the unique border motifs.

Another piece that I had to have was this Ersari germetch...not because a germetch is unusual but because it had a green that could only be seen in bright sunlight. The color was like a secret that only I know about. Sitting on a dimly lit table in my entryway, the piece winks at me whenever I come home.

Surely all of you have pieces with elements that are wonderful without being obvious. Tell us about them.

Better yet, show us.