Home > dr jon thompson >What is jon thompson?
Guru or fakir, Part 3
Sun, May 9th, 2010 03:24:19 PM
Topic: What is jon thompson?
Guru or fakir, Part 3

The 1973 English translation of Carpets of Central Asia written by A.A. Bogolyubov and published by Crosby Press, with notes added by jon thompson, still remains, both in RKs opinion and many others who are familiar with thompsons other publishing ventures, his best work.

In fact, it is really his only genuine professional contribution to our field, as his identification of S group stands head and shoulders above anything else thompson has done since.

By the way thompson had done nothing public before then, no writing, no speeches, no nothing with carpets.

We should also mention our old buddy Simon Crosby, who founded Crosby Press as an extension of a burgeoning interest in Turkmen rug collecting.

Sometime we will, perhaps, recount some of our personal stories with Simon, who like thompson, LESLIE Pinner and Professor Mark Whiting, were rug friends of ours and passionate English collectors of early Turkmen weaving.

RK can remember well first seeing a copy of the revised Bogolyubov in Weyhes Bookshop on Madison Avenue sometime in late 1974/early 1975 and, after struggling with having to pay something in the neighborhood of $60.00 for it, we bought a copy and took it home to read.

Lets all remember in those days even 50 dollars was sometimes more than enough to buy a great old rug, if one shopped in antique stores or markets where non-specialist dealers hawked their wares.

So 60 dollars for a book like Bogolyubov was, for some, a hard price to accept. But for RK that price, considering the knowledge that could be had, was surely, in our opinion, a good use of the money.

RK cannot say enough about what a revolution of thought that book provoked, not so much because of the illustrations of rare Turkmen rugs, or the words of General Bogolyubov, but rather on account of the insightful notes thompson added to the original text.

It was here RK first learned about S group and the English Turkmen collector doctor named jon thompson.

Sometime thereafter not only did we discover our first S group chuval, and purchase it for our collection, but we met and then became friends with him.

In fact it was quite soon after we found and bought that chuval in a small antiques store, owned by Jimmy Barker, on Charles Street in Boston, Massachussettes we met dr. jon thompson and invited him to visit us in our apartment in New York.

He told us he was busy and might get around to see us and we gave him our phone number and address hoping he would come.

Honestly, we dont remember exactly if he did come then or if it was on his next sojourn to America.

But come to visit us he did and when we showed him our, at that time, small collection, including the S group chuval, we could see he was quite impressed, and so began our friendship.

We remember him congratulating us on the pieces we had, and can still see him, in our minds eye, fingering the S group chuval, as interested in it as if it were one of his long-lost brethren.

During those years in the mid-later 1970s RK met many of the now legendary and famous European and American dealers, like Ulrich Schurmann, Herr Feitchinger(sp), herbert ostler, Nesim and raymond bernardout, Berdji Abadjian and his one time-two-timing repair man berdj andonian, Louis Georgi, Donald Wheeler and his looney wife pamela, Margaretta Herrmann, Ebberharts mother, and a host of others, on their trips to NY, or ours to their home-grounds.

But jon thompson was, because of our mutual appreciation of Turkmen rugs, someone with whom we had, what we believed to be, a real friendship. Little did we then realize how that friendship would turn around, and turn around it did.

During those years, prior to our split with him, we found thompson to be an engaging, knowledgeable and interesting character.

We were most impressed, however, by his passion for wanting to learn and understand Turkmen rugs; a passion we felt equaled ours, and we believed, and still do, he was equally impressed by ours, as well.

On our first trip to London in the fall of 1976 we paid our first visit to thompsons flat and he dazzled us with some pieces of his collection.

We met his charming wife Barbara and thoroughly enjoyed our visit, and all the others we made on our frequent subsequent trips to England.

Though we must mention our last visit, which we will recount in a later part of this series, was far from pleasant in fact it was downright a drag and we saw first-hand how jealous, greedy, and revolting jon thompson truly can be and is.

Those were great years, 1970-1980, to be hunting for early rugs and carpets in New York, San Francisco, London and Paris, our preferred places to visit. Naturally the sensory pleasures of Paris far exceed those of anywhere else but, in reality, London in those years was a pretty happening place in its own right.

RK had first visited England and the Continent as a young boy with our parents, as father did business in Switzerland and occassionally took mother and I along on his business trips.

Those trips introduced RK to the old country but they were nothing like being in our late 20s and going abroad on our own.

London was still like we imagine it was just after the War, WWII, and compared to NY and California, where we had spent much of our time prior to the mid-1970s it was truly an eye and mind-opening experience.

OK, enough reminiscing, and lets get back to thompson, S group and our expose.

During those years thompson and RK were on speaks, as they say in London slang, he never tried to buy anything from us, nor did we try and sell him anything.

Our rug friendship was just that, friendship without any business or commercial overtones, and frankly we liked it immensely.

It was also during this time RK met michael franses, but we are not sure if that first meeting was in NY or in London.

In any event franses, unlike thompson, was not a collector of rugs, Turkmen or any other kind, but rather he was purely a dealer.

He was younger than both thompson and RK and not nearly as educated, as franses never even graduated from high school, called "A" or "O" levels in England, while RK graduated from university with a degree in sociology and, of course, thompson had an M.D.

RK found them, franses and thompson, to be very different animals, especially in those early years when thompson never tried to do business with us.

While thats all franses was ever interested in buying rugs from RK so he could bring them back to London to sell.

We also invited franses to visit us, and that he did on each trip he made to NY, we would always see him show up on our door-step, or call, to try and pry a rug or two from us.

On one of those trips and visits we showed franses the S group chuval we had bought in Boston and he became fixated on getting it from us.

We resisted, but eventually he wore us down and when we quoted a price high enough to, as we thought end the matter, we were genuinely surprised to hear him say, OK, Ill have it.

Since RK is a man of our word, regardless of the fact we did not want to sell it, we honored our word and sold it to him.

You know memory is a funny thing and sometimes we can remember moments like that as if it were yesterday, and thats still our recollection of that day with franses.

The price we quoted was an unbelievable one, $3,500.oo, but franses knew it was still good enough for him to make money. He also knew there was no chance for bargaining; so he bit the bullet, ponyed-up the money, and the S group chuval was his.

About a year or so later we saw it in a Lefevre catalog and it sold for 3,500 English pounds, which was at the time about double what he had paid.

This Lefreve sale was about 1976/77, and we have the catalog but unfortunately it is packed away and we cannot get to it now.

Nor do we know where our old pictures of it might be, so regrettably we cannot illustrate it here.

As an aside, we then saw it many years later in the collection of hans sienknecht and then in peter hoffmeisters collection if our memory serves us well. If it doesnt, it was first with hoffmeister and then with sienknecht but it is sure both of them at one time owned it.

Where it is today we dont know as we will never again have any conversation outside of a court with hoffmeister(aka hoffscheister) and probably never again will we talk with sienknecht either.

Perhaps someday RK will recount our difficulties with sienknecht, but our faithful readers know all about our dealings with that thief, liar and cheat peter hoffscheister.

Nuff said on these two rug-maniacs from Deutchland.

When we then saw thompson sometime after selling the S group chuval to franses, and his putting it in and selling it at Lefevre, we sensed there was some change. But little did we know how the disappointment of the piece going to franses would mess with thompsons mind.

And mess with his mind it did, so much so that within a few years, circa 1980, it caused a complete rupture in our declining friendship.

While we must say at this point in time, thirty years later, our memory is not quite perfect as to exactly when something happened, it still is sharp as a razor and right on as to what did happen, so please excuse any minor lapses in the dating of incidents we recount.

But you can bet the farm 100 percent of what we say happened, and did happen exactly as we say it did.

As we said, we first began to notice changes in thompsons attitude to us after the incident of our selling the S group chuval to franses, and those changes became more and more obvious, and obnoxious, as time went on until we basically stopped seeing him circa 1981.

End of Part 3

Author: Quiet Man
Sat, May 8th, 2010 01:14:51 PM

If you were a reader of RK you should know we have often praised thompson for his identification of "S" group.

In fact we did so at the very beginning of this thread; go read it, numnutz, and you will learn we maintain it is the best and only significant contribution he has made.

Think we are wrong? Then go name a few, we can't.

And excuse us for asking but what kind of moron are you? Accusing us of being a thompson wannabe?

Go sharpen your skills with professor clown and don't come back here parading another half-baked cake of bull or we will make you look even more foolish.

The chuval we "couldn't" afford to hold ( yeesshh how do you make this stuff up --- with nitrous oxide?), another of your stupid fantasies (or are you calling us a liar?), is what it is, not a 6 but an 8...and remember the color you see on your monitor is surely different then if you had it in your lap.

What a waste of time it is for us to reply to a meat-head like you -- go take a hike and get lost.

PS: Say hi to Pan for us on your way out of town, chump


Oh jackie boy the pipes the pipes are calling...I see you call your juval a '"S" group chuval'. I think it looks like a Salor but when you call it '"S" group' you are following Thompson. After all '"S" group is a Thompson thing that I am not comfortable with. But you follow Thompson so close that your nose is wedged between his buns. So jackie boy tell us why you use '"S" group instead of Salor. Now as to the piece that you could not afford to keep how do you think it stacks up? The color looks a tad funny, was it antiqued with a little bleach? The spacing seems just a hair crowded and the elim is definitely too crowed to be very early. Not as good as the Salor you had that the ex-music dude has in his collection. On a scale of 1 to 10 as far as Salors go would you rate this one higher than a 6? If so, why?See jackie boy is does not matter who I am what matters is how much you know about rugs. Prove you are not a Thompson wannabee.

Author: jc
Sat, May 8th, 2010 01:08:42 PM

Let RK hammer the nail deeper into thompson by stating, unequivocally, in our opinion thompson is the greatest carpet-bagger charlatan of the later part of the 20th century.

And let us add dennis the thief and liar dodds is a close second.

How anyone, even the most indoctrinated ruggie, could believe either of these two miscreants have done anything but profiteer rugDUMB is unbelievable to us.

And it should be to you, too.

Author: Quiet Man
Fri, May 7th, 2010 08:15:24 PM

You know it is quite funny people like you accuse me of dastardly actions but they are too afraid and shy to do it in their own name.


Because they are full of it in our estimation.

Do you think hiding behind a anonymous name is courageous, or honest?

Frankly, RK doesn't and neither would anyone who has enough guts to call a spade a spade.

As for your learning from thompson? Who cares, as thompson is nothing but the greedy, bigot we have characterized him; forget about his grievous "errors", like the dodds bogus "bellini".

And to say you have "learned" as much from steev the magpie price as you have from RK?

Again, sir, this reeks of either disingenuity or stupidity -- in your case we are not sure but would guess probably both.

As for your impertinent comment "If you know something about rugs why don't you share what you know"?

Again either you are a fool who does not know how to read, or you are just a midget-mind moron who cannot understand what he reads.

So enjoy your admiration for thompson but note as time goes on his shining star in rugdom will pale and tarnish like the unpolished silver-plated spoon it truly is.


I have learned so much from Jon Thompson and comparatively little from you. Jon talks about rugs and you drone on and on about people.

If you know something about rugs why don't you share what you know.

I have probably learned as much from Steve Price as I have from you (isn't that sad).

I would love to see you go after a rug like you went after Dennis Dodds.

So if you run true to form you will attack me but if you do you prove my point.

Time to fish or cut bait and Salor fragments do not count as bait. QM

Author: jc
Sat, Apr 3rd, 2010 08:42:35 PM

Earlier today while looking through some old photo we discovered a picture of the "S" group chuval we mentioned in this part of our expos of dr. jon "the con" thompson and thought our readers might like to finally see it.

"S" group chuval formerly in RK's collection, sold to michael franses in the mid-1970's who then put it into a Lefevre Gallery sale. It was then first seen again by RK in the collection of hans sienknecht and subsequently in the collection of peter the "thief and cheat" hoffmeister, if our memory serves us as well as it usually does.

Author: jc
Thu, Dec 31st, 2009 05:49:11 AM

RK has not forgotten about jon the con thompson and we will asap return to telling the truth about thompson and his questionable career in rugDUMB.

There is little doubt thompson started as a passionate collector of Turkmen rugs, who then morphed into a detractor and foolish denier of their importance in rug studies.

The reason thompson did this, throwing the Turkmen carpet overboard and only working on 'classical' carpets, was to garner what he believed was acclaim from the upper eshelons of the museum world and more importantly because of his gross failures in judgment, and as a researcher, with non-urban rugs, like Turkmen and Turkish weavings.

While this is surely not his biggest error and 'crime' in rugDUMB it well demonstrates his true character and motives -- ones of phony self-enhancement.

So bear with us and when we are finished with our Anatolian kelim series we will, once again, continue to roast jon thompson in his own juices.

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