Posted by Richard Farber on 10-26-2002 02:19 AM:
grading antique pieces
thank you for the essay.
Might I suggest that
the "grading of antique pieces" catagories might lead to some
The term grading, I believe, usually referes to paramaters of
size or quality.
In the page where you describe your system you are
refering to questions of knowledge of the provenance of the piece which does
not of course have anything to do with aesthetics. An ugly carpet can be found
in the treasury of of a church with five hundred years of documentation and an
astonding carpet can be found 'in the trade'.
The question of the the
origin of B grade carpets, those where experts have determined their age [and
origin] [and condition] is not clear. Didn't these carpets start as C grade
carpets before they were recatagorized.
You wrote in the
>>>>>>>>>> QUOTATION FROM
Building "measures" ...
After the "primary accumulation"
seems to be finished more or less now the urgent aim is to research and
understand what the harvested material means. In other terms: one has to
develop measures as this type of art is unknown, still. "Standards" are
necessary. Without advocating a dogmatic schedule pieces are evaluated now and
put into some order of
>>>>>>>>>>> END OF
The problem may be that there is no differentation between
provenance - which seems to be the goal of the extra page -- and quality which
is the subject of this paragraph.
I realize that it is extremely
difficult to develope catagories that work. I am attempting to do this without
success in question of morphology in embroideries. But I am just pointing out
something which may well be an misunderstanding that can be
N.B. actually in order
to create a framwork of standards a very rigorous technique using some
repeatable grading techniques is needed and some use of the dogmatic techniques
developed over the centuries by are scientic colleagues might well be applied .
. . .
creating a hierarchy according to 'grading' is one of the first
things done in research.
I do not use scientific techniques in my work
as a composer and you dont have to in stating aesthetic preferences but if you
use words from the world of the dogomatic scientist than it seems fair to
question their use.
. . .last thought . . . I thing these might be valid
catagories for a desciption of the provenaces of 'the harvested material'.
Posted by Michael Bischof on 10-26-2002 12:05 PM:
thanks a lot for clearing this one point:
...n the page where you describe your system you are refering to
questions of knowledge of the provenance of the piece which does not of course
have anything to do with aesthetics.
Of course grading has nothing
to do with aesthetiques ! We introduced this aspect for two other
we talk here about weaves that are still found in situ but
about which we actually do not know enough to build up reliable "measures". To
be able to set the original context is the basic foundation for any
start of research ! One cannot talk about unidentified objects. The big
majority of old weaves that we have is unidentified, sorry for that, but it
must not remain as it is. Tell me please the difference between "Caucasian"
rugs and Eastern and Central Anatolian Turcoman village rugs. You will admit
that you cannot ! Not on a basis that is more elevated than the simple "you may
believe ... you may not believe !"
- since new methods of "finishing" antique textiles started at about
the beginning of the nineties the factual integrity of weaves as one buys them
is questionable. "Grading" here means the same than it would mean in the
second-hand car business. - You will understand that a 2 year old Mercedes car,
bought incredibly cheap, but no papers, motor and chassis number removed, is a
different thing than the same car, same age, same overall condition,bought from
a local dealer with a 50 000 km-guarantee.
This is not an academic question. An antique kilim which is
chemically washed is killed, but the piece will not fall into dust
tomorrow. The number of people who can see the difference is small... in terms
of condition of the pile and of the dyes the best kept early Central Anatolian
yellow ground rug was auctioned in the West some years ago. This piece had with
us the nickname "the sunglasses carpet". The colours were so bright that one
felt tempted to use sunglasses. It had been washed chemically, together with
some other material from the same collection. Any intelligent collector will
keep his hands off that material - may be the former owner at the end had found
out what had happened and put everything to auction for this reason ?
Another potential reason: imagine a nice, "semi-antique" yastik. Splendid
wool, nice drawing, but 2 synthetic colours in it. Commercially this is close
to junk - outside the touristic carpet shops, may be. Now imagine you "correct"
the piece ? Even with the 1500 $ standard price you make enough money ....
while the well informed collector would be absolutely surprised why such a
"affordable" offer comes from well know professional souls ! What one can do
with yastiks one may as well do with the commercially much more important stuff
which is unfortunately late and has some lack of charme, if you understand what
I mean ?
Richard, you said " but if you use words from the world of
the dogmatic scientist than it seems fair to question their use." . I would
like to express it even stronger: the use of "measures" or "standards" can only
be tolerated if they are made public and if and as long there is an open debate
over them. That is part of the success of science. What I find untolerable are
"hidden measures" - how many of them do we have around, unspoken imaginations
that rule our estimation but that make us angry if somebody insists that we
"speak them out" ? If you compare the carpet world with the science world -
isn't one of the many difference the dominance of not outspoken measures and
aesthetique judgements based on nothing that one can check ? Where all I can do
is to resist a suggestion or not resist ?
The lack of independant
science in our field to balance what the trade does ( the trade must make money
and there is nothing wrong about this !) is a serious unwelcome weight that
keeps down the attention that
the most exciting cultural objects of this
textile tradition deserve - and these are early kilims !
Posted by Richard Farber on 10-26-2002 12:34 PM:
Dear Michael Bischof,
thank you for your thoughtful reply.
I do however suggest that you might want to add the word "provenance"
to your paradigm of grading. Perhaps
Provenance Catagory A,
Provenance Catagory B
Provenance Catagory C
make your intentions more clear and eventually allow catagories in other areas
This would also remove the resonance that some people might
have reminding them of Huxley's 'Brave New World'. ;>} [thats an old
You mentioned briefly something about the carpet
fragment and the numerous commercial pieces . . I'll post my question in the
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