Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Soumak bag-man
Fri, Nov 27th, 2009 11:57:40 PM
Topic: Soumak bag-man

The most ridiculous and genuinely stupid paradigm in rugDumb is the following:

collector 1: Oh, my piece is better than yours.

collector 2: Why?

collector 1: Because its mine and I know more than you.

Thats usually where it ends but humor RK a bit and let us put some words in collector two's mouth.

collector 2: OK, I will agree you have been doing this longer than I and you know more than I do. So now please demonstrate to me why yours is better than mine

At this point collector 1 either gets all huffy, or he tries with argument that might convince him but surely wont convince collector 2.

However, if collector 1 really knows his material he can thru comparison demonstrably prove his piece is the better.

This is where we are at showing by comparison why what we believe and write/say is fact

Recently this was the subject of discussion between RK and a rug-dealer we know for 30 plus years.

He said yeah but a comparison is just an opinion.

We did not bother to answer him knowing we would answer him in public by writing this missive.

To say theres diamonds and theres DIAMONDS is very true and it works for other comparisons as well theres worthless ones and theres valuable ones.

In that vein lets put on the table why we are writing this: Several days ago someone, no not the rug dealer , called us to ask how it was possible for john weretime to have dated the two of RKs pieces in the book as foolishly as he had.

How did weretime make such a big mistake? Even I can see the difference between yours as the ones he offers for comparison.

We explained weretime made no error he did it on purpose to make RKs collection appear less substantial than he knows it is.

Here is the weretime example:

#1. plate 131 weretime 1998

And here is our piece that appears next to it in weretime book

#2. published Weaving Art Museum 2004

The circumstances behind the appearance of our two pieces in weretimes book were no accident, as weretime called us and asked if we had any unpublished khorjins from our collection that he could include in the book he was writing.

We said we did and would be willing to have them published BUT we had several conditions:

1.he pay for the photography

2.we, weretime and RK, would share co-editorial say-so over whatever he would write about them.

He readily agreed and we had our photographer make 4x5 transparancies and sent them off to weretime with the photographers bill.

Months went by and frankly we forgot about weretimes book and the $250 he owed us for the photographs.

One day we were visiting a rug friend and he asked us what we thought about weretimes new book.

We then got to see, for the first time, weretimes book and his asinine comments about our two sumak bags.

Needless to say we had been completely blind-sided by this schmuck, john weretime.

We got the two fifty the next time we saw him, and to be frank we still harbor ill feeling over weretimes sleazy game-playing.

However the proof of what a snake he is remains for all to see.

Anyone interested in soumak bags, even the neophyte ruggie whose telephone call sparked this look at weretime's book, can tell ours is far superior to the one he published for comparison.

Here's a detail of the two bags for anyone who needs more convincing:

As RK often says the proof is in the pudding.

If any readers do not see substantial differences enough to support RK ridiculing weretime's judgement might we suggest, if you do not have the book where they are printed side by side, print the pics out and look at them side by side for an hour. Were pretty sure you will get it then if not much sooner.

Heres the second piece we gave weretime to publish:

#3. Ardibil soumak bag, published Weaving Art Museum 2004

Here's a detail for those who might need some additional convincing weretime is nothing but a stooge -- a soumak bag-man if you will:

To date this piece, second half nineteenth century as weretime does in his magnum opus, can only be called idiotic (prejudiced for those who now know the story) in comparison to many other dates he postulates.

Check this bag weretime dates third quarter nineteenth century:

#4. plate 4, published weretime 1998

Reading weretimes description and comparisons is painful for RK. The faulty logic and conclusions weretime draws are not worth our time to critique.

What is worth our time is to forward the idea our bag above is the archetype for all the examples of this type he references, as our little comparison below demonstrates:

The old picture worth 1000 words might be apt here.

And for all you who might have missed reading between the lines let RK make it clear exactly what such a reading shows:

1. weretime's plate 4, the "eagle" soumak bag, is way older than the third quarter nineteenth century, like how about first quarter 19th


2.it is, in fact, demonstrably the best one of the group weretime cites where there are undoubtedly later, 3rd quarter 19th century ones -- but plate 4 surely ain't one.

And that other piece of ours plate 87, well... its the other half of a complete khorjin we owned and separated many years ago, is not "first quarter of the nineteenth century" but using weretime, the newt's, own dating chronology it would have to be placed closer to 1850.

It is far newer than either of RK's other two he dated as later.

But its obvious to RK weretime's dating was far more influenced by rosalie rudnick, who purchased it from us those many years ago, than any other criteria.

We are pretty sure she made him write such an early date for a bag that is beautiful but not that old.

Take it from us we still have the other half and if anyone need further proof of what we say -- go check out the mid-19th century kelim(slit tapestry) work that can be seen on the half we sold to the cry-baby rudnick.

Trut us: You will never see slit-tapestry work like that on a soumak bag made prior to the mid-19th century.

Just for drill, and the record, let RK tell you where we would date the pieces shown above, as our chronology is far earlier for a very few pieces and later for most others compared to the "traditional" rugDumB BS weretime molds his around.

#1. circa 1850

#2. circa late 18th century

#3. circa 1800

#4. circa 1825

Vive la difference

Author: jc
Fri, Nov 27th, 2009 11:57:40 PM

So far the tide is clearly running in RK's favor and against the idea there are no differences, or even the other soumaks are superior.

From the photos this might not be obvious to less than experienced eyes but when these bags are actually handled it is apparent they are not as weretime claims.

And as far as weretime being a rug "scholar", let RK help put to rest another piece of rugDUMB hype: weretime is really not a rug "scholar", or really interested in rug scholarship, were he you would not see his name on another book without proper technical analysis of each example.

But, alas, there are none, not even of his own or his close client's pieces.

Please note: in RK's soumak book, done in 1990 eight years prior to weretime, every piece has a detailed structural analysis done by RK and guess who...

Author: Ha Ha
Mon, Nov 23rd, 2009 01:14:29 AM

Hey there shit-breath:

First, let us definitively state not being able to discern the important differences between the pieces from our collection and others of their type, published in weretime or not, bodes poorly for any expertise and experience a complainer like you might muster.

Second, we realize answering you is a waste of time but RK learned long ago never shrink from accusation, especially when it might be defamatory, slanderous and spurious; or to let such nonsense stand uncontested.

We made it quite clear, many times, we are unwilling to "teach" anyone in rugDUMB to be more knowledgeable competition for us, hence our well-publicized pulling of our punches on the information dispensing end.

The fact you ignore this, and then use it in a dastardly way to bend it to your bullshit agenda is meaningless to us, as it would be to anyone who has even a modicum of intellectual honesty.

Clearly your are even more deficient in this regard than the others we will mention.

The comparisons we provide demonstrate our point -- we surely do not just say our pieces are better, we published comparisons that prove it.

However, it only proves it to those with open and educated eyes, something that you and "newbie" sorely lack.


You definitely need to put this thread in the "Best of Rug Kazbah"! After the first post by "Newbie", I and many others were waiting to see if you would rise to his bait like a hungry trout to a juicy mayfly. Right on cue, you responded exactly as you had indicated "collector 1" would. "Newbie" might not (or might) know about rugs, but he clearly knows how to read people, and you seem entirely too arrogant and narcissistic to understand the pervasive irony of your writings. Newbie played you like an old fiddle at a hoe-down. Hilarious. Classic.

Author: Newbie
Sun, Nov 22nd, 2009 08:12:52 AM

OK we'll accept your not being the person we suspected you were.

BTW: We did not get all "huffy", as you put it, for nothing.

Maybe, we will suggest, you just better go re-read the derogatory comments you made about our two illustrated soumaks.

Go do that and don't waste any of our time until you might have learned how far off-base you were -- even for a "newbie".


Dear RK, I'm not a rug dealer, I've never been in a dealer fair, you and I don't know each other. I'm new to rugs and thought you would be able to help me see the things that make it possible to know when soumak bags were made. But you got all huffy when I asked, you are collector 1 in your story. I'm sorry I bothered you.

Author: Newbie
Sat, Nov 21st, 2009 06:16:41 AM

Hi Newbie:We have a pretty good idea who you are but, for now, will let it suffice that while you have been around rugdumb as a dealer for many years you still do not know more than a motivated newbie.

Glad you cast yourself honestly.

As for what you "learned" about soumak bags by "reading" RK?

Seems to us like either you are being patently obnoxious in trying to denigrate what we wrote or you just are too unintelligent to understand what the comparisons we published demonstrate.

Either way we suggest you go back to peddling your airport art Lakai embroideries and the equally as insignificant "Bokara" rugs that also spill out of your booth at rug events.

Your reply is typical for rugDUMB; hell that's why RK so named it.


Dear RK. I don't have Weretime book, but your pictures make it easy for me to see the differences. Am I right to understand that archaic soumak bags can be identified by being very worn, having pale colors, having charming, irregular, childlike motifs, and not many fillers? Thank you for this educational service.

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