Home > dr jon thompson >The Truth about jon thompson
Mon, Jan 20th, 2014 07:07:49 AM
Topic: The Truth about jon thompson

Everyone in Rugdom who has enough interest in rugs to spend even an hour a week perusing the web knows about the celebration planned around the 75th anniversary of the hajji baba rug club.

While RK has been around Rugdom since the mid-1960s, we have never been interested in joining the hajji baba club, nor have we even ever been interested in attending their events.


Well lets just say most of the current crop of hajjis are, at least in our opinion, as pompous, and unfortunately as rug-illiterate, as most of those who were members way back at the beginning.

Sure, Arthur Dilley, who is credited with starting the club and some other names, were knowledgeable. However, most others were, like todays crop, nothing but checkbook wielding rug collectors whose expertise and understanding of historic non-Classical rugs is not exactly noteworthy or commendable.

Regardless of what the hype and publicity about the hajjis and their efforts in Rugdom, like this 75th gala affair, seem to imply, RKs opinion stated above is one that is far and away more truthful than what hali, and others in the club, try to float.

A perfect example of this is demonstrated by the following picture:

Here we see john thompson -- aka johnny-boy, who if there is a darling of Rugdom thompson must be that darling -- inspecting what appears to be a Turkish yastic during his N.Y. trip to select the pieces for the anniversary exhibition and catalog.

In light of the above, RK truly wonders what johnny-boy is telling the overstuffed shirt onlooker, presumably hajji member ted mast the yastic owner, about this highly questionable, and in our opinion recent reproduction, i.e. a fake.

RK has a good memory for rugs and, in fact, we remember writing about this bogus yastic several years ago.

Below are the group of posts we published on RugKazbah.com about it and which our diligent and talented new webmaster has copied from our ARCHIVE and placed here for convenience.

We said it all back then, but before we sign off, wed like to add a few comments about the highly, and incorrectly, respected john thompson.

First and foremost we recognize and applaud thompson for the good work he did on the Bogolyubov translation book and, of course, on his identification of S group.

However since then (the thompson annotated Bogolyubov book was published in 1973), thompsons published scholastic achievements in Rugdom have not been nearly as commendable.

Actually, in our eyes, thompson has done little at all during the ensuing years to genuinely amplify the well-deserved reputation the Bogolyubov work brought him.

In fact, any cogent, honest review of thompsons succeeding efforts would conclude they have often been purely commercially driven or seriously flawed academically.

Dont believe us?

Well, lets all remember the 1980 textile museum Turkmen exhibition and catalog/book where thompson exploded the highly specious, and incredibly dumbass, Imreli nonsense.

With that pseudo-academic stupidity thompson, the highly acclaimed Turkmen expert, fell flat on his face and finally, after much effort on his part to the contrary, was forced to admit his piss-poor scholarship.

But even then johnny-boy thompson vaingloriously, and unsuccessfully we must add, attempted to laugh it off as a joke.

Needless to say that effort belly-flopped as badly as the identifications of alleged Imreli pieces he wrote about in the Turkmen Catalog, and the only joke presented here would be believing thompsons excuses.

Then, there was the ridiculously dubious thompson proclamation concerning the fake dragon/phoenix rug fragment -- a serious sign thompson knew, and knows, veritably little about historic Turkish weaving.

The fact thompson then went ahead some years later to stupidly vet, as circa 1550, the bogus bellini dodds unloaded on LACMA solidifies the fact thompson should never open his yap to discuss any historic Turkish rug.


Well how about because he has proved he does not know the difference between a fake and the real thing.

On another tack, how about the fact thompsons several published efforts, which were written expressly for ebberhard herrmanns early catalogs, though glib easy reads, forward little if any new information.

The fact thompson, and the hajjis, ignore these efforts in describing his bibliography hints at the truth RK is not afraid to disseminate.

In fact, even the catalog he wrote for Moshe Tabibnia in 2006 is omitted.

RK can understand why it, too, went unmentioned as that work, like the others, is glib and smooth but devoid of any new information or salient ideas.

Listen and listen well readers: In any other field someone who had made these serious errors would not be heralded in his field as thompson is, but rather rejected and shown the door.

Frankly, we respect thompson for only his Bogolyubov effort, as that is the only superior work he accomplished.

The rest of his Curriculum Vitae in Rugdom is, as we said, either purely commercial or irreparably flawed by sloppy scholarship and/or questionable expertise and rug knowledge.

We could go on about thompsons over-inflated reputation but, honestly, why bother as most of the idiots in Rugdom believe its leaders, like thompson and dodds, are beyond critique and review.

And that, dear readers, is the only reason a pseudo-expert like john thompson, and a cheat and thief like dennis dodds, retain reputations that are as bogus and fraudulent as the LACMAs bogus bellini and the fake yastic in the picture above.

Read what we wrote about it in 2006 and the next time you are in proximity with thompson ask him yourself for his opinion.

RK will be really surprised if he knows enough to identify it as the reproduction and fake we claim it to be.

Yastic Sets Europe to USA Flight time Record

Published on RugKazbah.com Feb. 28, 2006

RK.com is no stranger to the notion of flying carpets but those we know about fly on account of their amazing iconographies, proportions and colors.

None of which, mind you, are possessed by this late, two-dimensional, pastiche of a yastic:

that has flown from a European auction sale to doddss show in Philadelphia with remarkable alacrity.

It is one of the more prominent so-called stars of doddss Arthur Ross Gallery Anatolian exhibition and one example RK has questioned.

The fact this yastic was very recently sold at auction in Europe -- it was lot 93 in rippon-boswells November 19, 2005 auction and then so quickly found itself included in doddss show, which opened only two months later, does appear to RK to be a bit suspicious. (ed: But that suspicion pales in comparison to the idea the yastic is a recent reproduction)

Now it is perfectly possible there is nothing unseemly going on here but, knowing dodds and his penchant for using his position to further his personal agenda and gain, we would not be surprised if dodds has had some unannounced involvement in this process.

Usually exhibits for any museum show are finalized long before opening. Why this yastic turned up in doddss show of Anatolian Rugs, at Arthur Ross Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania that opened on Jan 21, 2006, when it was being sold at auction in Germany just two months before--mid-November 2005, should raise more than just our eyebrows.

By the way, the yastic was advertised by bozwell, who is another outrageous issuer of trumped up provenance and gross over-dating (dodds and bozwell have plenty of others in company with them here) as 18th century and sold with an estimated price of 26,000 euro.

According to the sales results published by the bozwell's it made 22,000 euro ($26,250.oo at todays rate of exchange).

In RKs opinion that price is almost as ludicrous and far from what it should be as calling it a Karapinar area weaving and dating it to the 18th century nothing but nonsense.

Each new photo of this yastic we see only further convinces us it is not circa 1800 and might well be the reproduction, i.e. fake, we have stated.

Regardless of its genuineness, it is not a masterpiece or a gem (few, if any of the pieces, in doddss mis-named exhibition are).

We have heard the name of the person who supposedly was the buyer of the yastic at rippon bozwell and, if the name we have heard bandied about is correct, the idea dodds was the buyers expert and/or consultant would be well-placed.

If so, it again demonstrates doddss seriously flawed understanding of historic Anatolian Rugs, as well as his practice of using these museum shows to exhibit his for-sale-inventory as well as his and his clients supposed private rug collections.

Lets not forget, dodds told the LACMA curator, dale gluckman, the late, genre copy of a pseudo-'Bellini' rug he sold them was from (his) private collectionand had never been offered for sale.

Both of these statements were bald-faced, unadulterated, out and out lies and misrepresentations.

The facts are clear and present for anyone to examine: The LACMA rug and this miserable example of a yastic are not masterpiece, early period, weavings at all but only ones that are hardly comparable to those that actually are masterpieces.

More to come, stay tuned to RK until dodds faces the music and is forced to quit his out of step turkey-trot cha-cha-cha.

Our second post on this topic:

Earlier this afternoon RK called someone who believes he really knows about rugs, and we steer clear of him for just that reason. But we had heard ago he had handled the yastic in question some weeks and that motivated our call -- to ask what he knew about the structure and materials.

To say we were interested to hear what he had to say about those topics and his age guesstimate would be right. But only those topics, not his opinions about other topics of possible discussion, as we could care less what this professor stuffed-shirt has to say.

Of course, we put off calling him until today, long after our view of the situation had been already published, so as not to hear him say it was his idea.

Anyway, we came right out and asked "How old do you think it is? You know we have said, and are on record, it is a late repro made to fool and not just as a 'homage' to the past, either".

"Well let me say this" he said "it's more urban and later than village and earlier".

RK agreed but pressed on with getting an answer to the age guesstimate question.

When we reiterated our opinion it is a fake he said "Hmmmm, you might be right."

We then asked about the structure, materials and handle but he did not remember much, actually nothing.

Before we ended the call, bored to tears with his phony-professorial demeanor we told him because of the large size and numerous atypical design features, not to mention the color tonality, we believe it possibly was made in the Balkans, Romania or Bulgaria. It ain't Turkish, nor is it circa 1800 -- you all can quote us on that and don't forget to spell RK right.

Our third post on this topic:

This yastic and the rug dodds sold LACMA both have a two-dimensional quality about them. Adding to this are colors that are extremely uniform and homogenized.

The absence of three-dimensionality results from the lack of subtlety in the layout of their overall designs and the basic color arrangements and juxtaposition the weavers have employed.

RK believes both of these rugs, though made in different locations and probably different time periods (the LACMA/dodds rug being the elder in our estimation), were made to reproduce much earlier weaving styles.

Clearly the weaver(s) of the LACMA/dodds rug stuck to a well-defined "classic" pattern (Bellini re-entrant) that apes but does not come close to fully reproducing the majesty and splendor the veritable period "Bellini's" demonstrate.

The yastic, however, departs from any "known" or "classic" form but it does lift some known designs from those earlier "classic" weavings, melding them into a rather "new" overall design.

Actually calling the yastic a yastic is not correct as its size, which we have been informed is more than 4 feet in length, would rather make it a small rug.

Clearly dodds's use of the term "yastic", like may of his other 'inventions' and spurious proclamations, was presumably intended to increase it's reputation and value.

This attempt, as well as the careless and stupid 18th century dating, do nothing other than expose more of the ignorant underside mr dodds totes around with him wherever he goes.

Both these weavings, the LACMA/dodds rug and this yastic, can, could and did fool those whose knowledge of Turkish Village Rugs comes from armchair experience.

RK.com would have imagined, since dodds has been privy to direct exposure to many real honest period Turkish Village weavings, he would have been able to differentiate the blatant shortcomings these pieces cannot help but demonstrate compared to those "originals".

The fact he hasnt, combined with the other shortcomings and gaffs we have noted in our discussions of doddss recent machinations at merchandising his inventory, which by the way he continues to call his collection", do not bode well for his trying to dispute and refute our statements, now do they?

Author: jc
Mon, Jan 20th, 2014 07:07:49 AM

Exit Stage Right...

It has been a goodly number of years since dr jon thompson has been in rugDUMB's limelight.

What happened?

Why has thompson literally disappeared off the rug scene?

Frankly, RK does not know but we can make at least 3 guesses.

1. While it is true thompson's grievous errors of judgement and rug-scholarship -- his Imreli nonsense, his declaring a fake "Dragon/phoenix" fragment to be genuine, and his vetting the dennis dodds/LACMA bogus Bellini as a 16th century masterpiece rather than the at best end of the 18th century late genre copy -- are all old news. But even old news eventually catches up, and seeps into all corners. Plus we are sure RK's comments have had something to do with their proliferation and probability they are now known to all in RugDUMB.

2. After "retiring" from his position at Oxford University, where he was directing the Mae Beattie archive, thompson now has no "position" in rugDUMB. His last writing effort, the catalog for moshe tabibnia, the "Milestones" publication, was not heralded by anyone other than tabibnia himself and sycophantic that rag hali. A combination that bodes poorly for thompson's hired-gun rug book authoring.

3. Lastly, we have heard rumors thompson is buying rugs again (did he ever stop?), and therefore wants to keep a low public profile so he can quietly continue collecting and then successfully sell again at auction.

But, regardless, even if our reasons are untrue/wrong thompson has genuinely faded onto the sidelines.

Might RK say good riddens...

Author: jc
Mon, Apr 28th, 2008 12:22:17 AM

Yesterday, RK had a look at the preface thompson wrote to his sotheby sale catalog.

We know quite quite a bit about lazy-boy jon and had to chuckle at some of the specious remakings of his own history he tells in that effort.

We might write some more about this in the future but we would suggest any motivated thompson fans, or detractors, have a look at what he wrote there.

It's definitely amusing to see how a pompous, self-righteous revisionist sought to picture his past -- from the early 1970's when we first met and became acquainted to 1993, the sale date -- believing others, some of who know the truth, might be swayed into believing what he presents.

Just for starters jonny-boy does not even mention his working with hermann, nor his fall out with him over thompson's back-door tactics.

Nor does thompson mention his long standing association with Siawosch Azadi and the information he poached from Azadi.

We know enough about thompson to clearly state, without the desire to or fear of slandering him, that he is a hyprocrite and even worse a bigot.

About the best thing in his favor, according to RK, is that he, unlike many we have pilloried, is at least he's not a thief -- thank God for small things, huh?

Author: jc
Wed, Apr 2nd, 2008 09:55:48 AM

Ahhh, spring has sprung in New York City and, like the buds that are now forming on almost every tree in Central Park, so are the accolades, canonizations and pontifications bursting forth over the hajji baba rug clubs forthcoming 75th gala anniversary exhibition and catalog.

First off, anyone who believes the ridiculous fawning sycophancy paid to jon, aka johnny-boy, thompson needs a serious dose of reality.


Well how about for starters the reality dr. jon thompson vetted as genuine the bogus bellini dodds ripped off LACMA with. Or how about the supposed 14th century "dragon/Phoenix" rug fragment he vetted as genuine for a high profile collector that turned out to be a 19th century reproduction?

Not to mention thompsons unscholarly and completely bogus Imreli fiasco that was published in the textile museum 1980 Turkmen catalog?

No, dear readers, only in RugDumb would a glib and educated poser like thompson get away with the embarrassing nonsense we just described.

Added to those errors are published works, like the catalog he just wrote for an Italian rug dealer, that are long on promises of new information but short on its production.

As far as RK, and other we should mention, is concerned thompson shouldnt be picking pieces from the hajji collections for their gala exhibition, or writing their catalog, but rather picking up a broom and sweeping the exhibition room after everyone leaves.

Like dodds, the cheat and thief who poses as an academic in RugDumb, thompson is also carpet-bagging, self-propelled poseur who also has done very well financially in RugDumb, albeit without resorting to the levels of cheating, deceit and chicanery dodds has perpetrated. But his errors are as obvious and significant as dodds's, and just as overlooked.

The reason RugDumb needs to make stars out of poseurs like thompson, dodds and others RK could name, is clear RugDumb is just that too dumb to recognize the difference between real scholarly work and the classic comic book style dodds always, and thompson often, dispenses.

The same holds true for the weavings themselves, as many mediocre examples are lauded while others, that are truly worthy of praise and admiration, remain ignored.

Sorry, but this is neither the time or place to open this larger issue but suffice it to say if the following quotation about rug collecting, which taken from the hali website this morning, doesnt prove our point in spades we dont know how we could do better:

And finally technology: aircraft now fly everywhere from anywhere in a matter of hours; the express package companies deliver antique weavings overnight at an acceptable cost; and, most significant of all, we have the rise and rise of the internet. Who, even two decades ago, could have imagined that rugs could be traded without the buyer and seller looking into each others eyes. Colour images can be transported across borders in seconds, books bought and sold, even exhibitions held on-line. One can peruse regional auction sales from the comfort of ones living room. As a result, less and less of the good stuff slips by through lack of understanding or awareness.

Some fabulously good collections have thus been formed in fairly short order

What crapola, hali bullshit.

Please tell RK of even one "fabulously good" collection that has been formed in short order from buys on the internet?

Again, hali is talking out of their hat and they have a lot of company, as deifying those, like thompson and dodds, or rugs like dodds/LACMA bogus late genre reproduction "bellini", only proves how dumb RugDumb truly is.

RK is sure there will be some excellent rugs on view at the hajji 75th, but we are just as sure there will be a number of lesser ones and, more significantly, the self-pontification and canonization the hajjis will bestow on themselves, their collections and alleged good deeds in RugDumb will be thicker than flies at a late-summer lake-side picnic. And just as annoying......

Author: jc
Sun, Mar 23rd, 2008 08:35:43 AM

The fact jon, aka johnny-boy, thompson is lauded and treated as royalty in rugdom is, like many other similar situations, proof of the stupidity, ignorance and foolishness that typifies this field.

Calling thompson a "scholar" is about as accurate as calling george bush a president.

Sure both of them can be proven to be nothing but poor excuses for what they allegedly are and that fact is apparent as rain is wet.

However, sheeple that vote in elections or attend icoc/acor conferences and "gala celebrations" like the upcoming hajji baba 75th anniversary, even if they were intelligent and conscious enough to realize the truth would still be too afraid and chicken-shit to call out these perpetrators and rebuke them.

In any other art area a poser like thompson, who has proven he knows little about early Turkish weavings and who has presented piss-poor research as fact and then laughed it off as a joke, would have been rejected and shown the door long ago.

But not in rugdom where midget-brained sheeple rule the roost and allow a thompson or dodds to continue their bogus and highly specious activities.

RK expects there will be some discussion about what we have written at that hajji 75th celebration, as RK has several individuals who will attend and quite vocally confront both dodds and thompson.

Watch and see the fireworks as both of these rugworld abusers will be forced to face public rebuke and outcry.

We would have done this ourselves but know the paranoid hajji's would never allow us to set foot into their gala or exhibition because they know we would bring two seriously missing elements to their affair those of reality and truth.

Author: jc
Fri, Mar 21st, 2008 09:01:47 AM

By the way, the "yastik" thompson and mast are discussing originally came from the ronnie, aka runny, newmann collection.

We are sure many of you are familiar with runny, a true hi-profile rug world miscreant and ignorant if there ever was one as far as we are concerned.

Seems runny put the yastik in rippon bozwell's auction and mast, a rug sucker if there ever was one according to RK, bought it.

Again, RK would really like to have overheard the palaver elicited when mast proudly showed his "treasure" to thompson, who we also have opined, and have demonstrated, knows little about early Anatolian Village weaving.

Of course, the mast "yastic" is about as far from an early Anatolian Village weaving as the Iraqi people are from freedom but, that notwithstanding, we would not be surprised to see the mast "yastic" included in the hajji catalog.

Oh well, what else is new besides rugdom's penchant for honoring who owns a rug, rather than how good an example the rug is? This is surely a fact in rugdom and, just as surely, this attitude will be part and parcel of the catalog and exhibition the hajji's are planning -- and you can bet the farm on that one.

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