TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Originality
Author  :  Yon Bard mailto:%20doryon@rcn.com
Date  :  08-12-2001 on 10:15 a.m.
There is no way to even guess what collectors of the future will be interested in, but I can make a stab at what I (or my clone?) may be collecting if I were still alive in 2101. Well, one thing I am sure of: I won't be interested in clones of the past. That's why I find most of your examples, John, rather uninteresting. What I would look for are innovative styles that have arisen spontaneously within the weaving communities. As I have said elsewhere, the Afghan war rugs come to mind, as do some Turkish village rugs that I have seen (I forget which organization has fostered them) with depictions of the daily ambience: houses, people, animals, cars, trains, planes.

Regards, Yon

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  08-12-2001 on 04:35 p.m.
Yon et al -

I'm going to attempt to illustrate the two suggestions Yon has made here: folk-life carpets and Afghan war rugs. I'll start two separate threads with examples of each.

Meanwhile though, I'd like to speak to Yon's thought that collectors of the future will not be attracted to "clones" of the past but will instead importantly seek "innovative styles that have arisen spontaneously within the weaving communities."

While they may well do the latter, I wonder whether folks, a century hence, may not also still be interested in rugs that have designs used Persia, Turkey, Russia, etc., in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Yon has used a "swear word:" "clones," signaling that collectors of 2101 will likely find something less desirable about rugs being made now that use designs from the past. Perhaps they will feel that a Garrus Bijar design made with handspun wools and natural dyes in Turkey or Pakistan or China, today, is too disconnected from its actual "weaving tradition" and will be unavoidably seen as a boring "knock-off" that cannot pretend to exude the qualities of the real thing.

Certainly distinctions will be made, but I wonder whether a great many of the rugs being made today with more traditional designs may not still be appealing in 2101.

Most of us would quickly move to acquire 18th century material, if it came within our reach. And a hundred years of age may not make that much difference to the collectors of 2101.

Perceptions of the passage of time seems to be accelerating. People seem nowadays to get nostalgic about last week. ("Do you remember last week? They don't make them like that anymore.")

I was at a TM rug morning program, a few years ago, when some "small medallion, opposed arch," Turkish rugs were being shown. Mr. Myers had apparently bought two of them, thinking they were 17th century but some recent analysts had suggested that they were likely in fact 19th century copies of 17th century pieces.

While the possibility that a collector as experienced as Mr. Myers might have made a collecting error of this magnitude, was gratifying to many of us, the person making this presentation said that the 19th century copies (if they were suc) were very attractive to him, regardless of their age, and he would own either or both of them in a minute.

I wonder whether something like this might not still go on in 2101.

"Copying" of various sorts is at the heart of oriental rug design tradition and often the designs we value today (think 15th-17th Turkish velvets; the Italians were in Goa in the 14th century) were the result of design migrations at considerable distances and often from far outside a given weaving tradition.

Thanks to Yon for his rich initial observations here.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  Greg Koos mailto:%20gregkoos@gte.net
Date  :  08-12-2001 on 07:54 p.m.
So far, I think everyone is correct. Collectors will be as varied in their interests as they are to day. I suspect technology collectors may be interested in the Egyptian oelifin rugs - assuming the material lasts. People in search of long traditions (like myself) will continue to seek out traditional patterned goods. War rugs and rugs showing obsolete technologies will appeal to those who may also collect AppleIIs or AK47s.

Rugs are like anything else of teh material world - we possess them so as that we may read highly personal meanings into them.

Subject  :  Re: Small May Be More Beautiful in 2101
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  08-13-2001 on 04:00 a.m.
Dear folks -

I wonder whether Greg Koos' thought, that collectors tend to collect objects that either have, or into which they can invest, "highly personal meanings," provides us with one window within which to attempt our predictions here.

For example, many of us collect "tribal" pieces today in part because they seem instances of "anthropology" as well as of "aesthetics." Some Turkmen experts say that they can "read" these weavings to determine to some extent the way of life of weavers of an era for which there was no written language and hence no written history.

Do we have any way to make guesses about what "highly personal meanings" might be important to those interested in rugs and textiles in 2101?

Pat Weiler has suggested that smaller textiles may interest collectors, a hundred years hence, presumably because increases in population density will extend the trend he notes in collectors of our time, who cannot usually display rugs that are described in the trade nowadays as "palace-sized or "oversized"

There was a series of articles in The New Yorker magazine in the late 1960s, entitled "The Little Room." It was an exploration of how population density in urban Holland (only urban India was estimated then to have greater population densities) affected how the Dutch lived, including how they furnished and decorated their homes. "Smallness," as a favored quality, did seem implicated in the "highly personal meanings" the Dutch, described in these articles, experienced.

I know a number of collectors who do not buy weavings, they are attracted to, if they cannot display them in their homes. I confess that my own interest in Turkmen bag faces is shaped by this consideration.

I wonder if Pat Weiler may not be right and that "small" may well be more "beautiful" for the collectors of 2101, and for some very practical reasons.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  08-13-2001 on 06:25 a.m.
Dear People,

One of the things I was told some years ago is that you can tell how long someone has been a collector by the sizes of the pieces he is buying. The collection grows, but the space doesn't. Sometimes I wonder whether Jean and I stepped away from our attraction to netsuke too soon.

Contrary to the propaganda: the size matters.

Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@home.com
Date  :  08-13-2001 on 11:50 p.m.

Originality may be another word for Rare. Collectors do not seek out the commonplace. They want the best, even if they cannot afford it. I suggest that "Rare" and "Beautiful" are the two criteria most relevant to the collector.
Even the most beautiful "modern" rugs are not rare. Yet.
Only the insightful and "connected" collectors bought the early impressionist paintings. Now they are Rare and Beautiful.

Beauty, though, is subjective. The experts of their time dismissed the impressionists and their paintings as impertinent, crude and unworthy. The beauty of antique Baluch weavings is now almost universally appreciated, but it was not too long ago that it was only discerned by a few.

Rarity is objective but relative.
By relative, I mean that things that are so rare as to be unique are not possible to collect. There are too few of them. How many of us own moon rocks? But there are just enough Chodor Ensis to be a rarity in the field of rugs, yet still obtainable by either money or luck to the watchfully prepared.

This salon may not enlighten a future collector to the next Big Thing in rugs. It may not even touch on what may well be the collectibles of 100 years from now, because they may not even have been woven yet.

Born too soon,

Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  Vincent Keers mailto:%20vkeers@worldonline.nl
Date  :  08-14-2001 on 10:33 a.m.
Dear John,

Some facts:
Dutch population has doubled since 1960.
Livingspace per person has doubled since 1960.
(Post 2de w.w. people had to share houses.
"Sixties" production of thousands of prefab. small houses gave some relief)
Agricultar is 4% of national income now, then it was 50%. Possesion of land was 70% in the sixties, now it's 60% by agricultar. So the Dutch need to get rid of agricultar and cut of importtaxes on thirdworld agricultural goods, (A more balanced worldtrade) is getting more and more concrete. So the living space can increase even more in future times.

Wool will be cultivated on big plants in the third world, in 2101. Sheepskin will be cutlivated in layers upon eachother. It will be cultivated in any color you like.
(It solves the problem of global heating as well)

So, ugly or not, everything made today, will be an item of interest for collectors in 2101.
It's been made from real eating, shitting, multiplying etc. four legged sheep and colored with the "real" chemical dyes.

Best regards,

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  08-15-2001 on 09:55 a.m.
Hi Vincent -

So if I follow you, the Dutch collector of 2101 may well have quite a bit more living space than we were predicting in 1960.

He/she may thus have room for quite a few rugs and will, in fact, have great need of them to cover the ugly concrete surfaces that will be entailed in most floors and walls then.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:Originality
Author  :  Vincent Keers mailto:%20vkeers@worldonline.nl
Date  :  08-15-2001 on 11:27 a.m.
Yes John,

I'm collecting Afghan Warrugs in the sizes 20x15 feet. The rugs I like most are the genuine, lovely killingfield rugs. But it's a pity Christians aren't allowed to have graveyards, because then the tessellation effect of the white cross would make it more profitable here in the west.
Helas, you can't have it all.

Best regards,

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