Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Another Pretty Face
Who Cares?
Wed, Aug 3rd, 2011 07:35:21 PM
Topic: Another Pretty Face
Who Cares?

RK follows pretty closely what happens in the world of antique oriental rugs, particularly in regards to weaving from Turkmenistan and Anatolia.

We are not very interested in Classical rugs, suzani, Khirgiz and other topical rugs and carpets that are associated with these geographic area.

In doing so we hear about what happens at auctions, who is buying what and what they are paying; as well as what happens in the private dealing between dealers, dealers and collectors, and collectors dealing with other collectors.

Surely we do not know everything and believe there is alot we never hear about, or what we have heard is let's just say not 100 percent factual.

Nevertheless we are confident we have an excellent purview of the situation and our sources are knowledgeable and honest.

A number of years ago we first heard about ben fernandes and his desire to collect Turkmen rugs. Since then, although we have never met or spoken to fernandes, we have followed what he has done and when we heard he was planning to open a "museum" we took a bit more interest in finding out about him.

RK knows better than to directly contact a person like fernandes, who we had heard over and over was not very knowledgeable about what he was buying, relying instead on the "advice" of certain well-known dealers to vet and purchase Turkmen rugs for him.

Also, since we do not have an inventory of rugs to sell, our interests in fernandes was purely academic.

When we learned several years ago that fernandes was indeed going to open a "museum" in Singapore, where he resides, we were very curious both how he would accomplish this and of course what the result would be.

Let's all remember RK founded the Weaving Art Museum in 1997 and even though we have yet to get past our initial first stage accomplishment of being granted full public charity status by the US government, we continue to move slowly but surely to our second stage which is to compile a database of forensic information on certain groups of historic Near Eastern weaving.

As an aside our publicizing our intent to do this has influenced others, like michael franses and jurg rageth who are now jabbering about their intent to do the same. Clearly they and others were not involved at all in such pursuit before RK began to discuss our plans both publicly and privately in 1997.

But back to fernandes and his "museum", which was opened about a year or so ago.

In a recent issue of that rag hali a several page spread was devoted to announcing fernandes "museum", his plans for it, and pictures of some of the collection he was exhibiting.

RK does not read that rag hali on any regular basis and frankly we only do so when we are in a shop or home of someone who is a subscriber, something that happens quite infrequently.

So the other day when we leafed through that issue with the fernandes "museum" announcement we read the article and looked carefully at the illustrated pieces from his collection.

We must state we knew long ago about fernandes opening his "museum", as some of our sources have told us about it, and we also have known about some of fernandes' pieces as he buys at auction.

What we saw and read came as no surprise to us but seeing it in print did motivate us to contact fernandes, both because his email address was listed in the article and we thought it might be a good time for us to get acquainted.

We emailed him and the resulting short exchange was, might we say, interesting and not unexpected, as well as being the reason for our now commenting on fernandes efforts to be both a collector and a museum founder.

We are stopping our commentary here but will continue as soon as we can get that issue of hali and scan some of the photos of fernandes' Turkmen rugs and copy verbatim what they have written.

So stay tuned and we will explain the rather quizzical, but surely not mysterious, title we have given this thread.

Author: jc is not an asshole
email: ic is not an asshole
Wed, Aug 3rd, 2011 07:35:21 PM

Your fixations on all things anal are banal, to put it mildly.


JC you are not an asshole, rather you are the that thing that we don't have to have but, it feels good to have around. You are an ass-wipe. We don't have to have it, but really feels good to have it around. We think that suits you well. Here is the logic: Economy sucks, noone is buying art or airport-art, having you around is not a must but it's rather fun. Anytime I, soory, we are depressed, we just click on rugkazbah, and have a blast. Therefore, I, exuse me, we think you just like ass-wipe. Real shity moments you come in handy. It's really unfair to call you asshole, we apologize on behalf of all the frustrated rug dealers who are blocked one by one by your suffisticated sofware and have called you names. We think you and your audience will appreciate the ass-wipe better. Yooo mammaa what ever your name is stop writting here and go some where else. Thanks JC for giving us this precious moment. Oh no I have to go bathroom. G2G

Author: jack u r an asshle
email: jack u r an asshole
Tue, Aug 2nd, 2011 07:12:40 PM

RK Replies:

get lost and don't come backfor starters...


well jc how about if people find out that you are sexier than steeve price and ronny put together. what should we do? since u know everything, tell us, what r we to do.

Author: jack u r an asshole
email: jcasshole.c
Mon, Aug 1st, 2011 09:10:41 PM

Listen up, punk

Since there are so many poronographic websites on the net appealing to any and every type of sexual jolly, and RugKazbah.com is surely not one of them, RK finds it quite interesting turko-jerks like you and ms. youmamma come here to get your puny rocks off.

How about checking out some other sites -- RK has heard through the grapevine professor steev price looks pretty sexy in his sumo wrestler thong, maybe you should check him out?

And then, of course, there is always runny newmann and his hot breathing desire to turn your pud into a slurpy.

E N J O Y, schmucko, just do it elsewhere...We have spoken.


Ok. Niw I know nobody responds to you except this yo mammaaa guy. JC my question is you refer to yourself sometimes as RK and rest of the times as "We". I like to know who the flook is RK and how many are you. I know your english is good but your mathematical ego sucks. Stupid you are only one, we applies to more than one. But wait, you are two, you and your shadow. Do yoy like to tell your huge audience what happend in Istanbul years ago? Tell why you couldn't return there for years. Yo mamma you are right jack is cute. Now my mom has the hots for him. Stay tuned we will produce jack's image taken somewhere in west last year

Author: jc
Wed, Jan 26th, 2011 04:42:47 PM

To put the icing on Singapore ben's cake let RK state we have heard he is "disappointed" no one comes to his 'museum' or has shown much interest in his project.

We have also learned fernandes is dismayed his efforts have been unappreciated by anyone other than the dealers who have sold pieces to him.

RK can easily believe this as what's there is nothing outstanding in the collection; nor does fernandes have enough knowledge about Turkmen weaving to add anything to the subject.

Other than a wallet to buy often overpriced mid-range examples from dealers or auction, and what we like to call 'posh' pretty Turkmen weavings like standard types of Saryk engsi and "S" group rugs, fernandes' collection does nothing to further the field.

He and his "museum" is nothing but a johnny-come-lately ego-massage project....and frankly who needs that except someone like fernandes who is, apparently, desperate for both something to do and, even more, for someone to congratulate him for it.

Author: jc
Sat, Jan 22nd, 2011 05:26:15 PM

Last evening we did a little web-checking on Singapore ben and we learned he formerly had a "gallery" in Singapore where he was "selling" oriental rugs as a "hobby".

We also learned he moved out of those premises when the landlord raised the rent.

Presumably that was when he opened his warehouse "museum".

Seems ben the former rug peddler turned "museum owner" was in earlier times a banker for Chase, and according to some fluff publicity we read has supposedly been collecting oriental rugs for some "thirty years".

Frankly we doubt fernandes had been collecting for "thirty" years, and if so not on any level other than airport-art weaving.

But, regardless of the length of time, from what we have seen and heard we are duly unimpressed, especially since fernandes has paid major prices and rarely gotten, in our opinion, his money's worth.

This rare white ground asmalyk is the best of the lot; though, that said, it is the runt of the litter falling way behind others of the type RK could easily cite.

And considering Singapore ben also owns, and "exhibits" in his "museum" ordinary, at best mid-collector quality pieces like these three shown below, we'd have to say our opinion his "collection" ain't "museum" quality appears correct.

Well that's unless one considers a rug like dodds's bogus 'bellini' to be...

Author: jc
Fri, Jan 21st, 2011 01:03:56 AM


The SOS in our title is a famous acronym most widely an abbreviation for Save Our Ship and even though it is highly applicable for rugDUMB, which is sinking having been doubly torpedoed by stupidity and greed, RK does not use it thusly.

Same Old Shit, perhaps better expressed as Same Old Stuff for those prissy family oriented readers, is our intent here and now in our continuing look at ben fernandess collection.

This SOS is particularly valid when referring to S group and Saryk engsi, both of which are represented in Singapore bens collection and grace the pages that rag hali devoted to announcing the opening of his museum.

Before we get into explaining our S group/Saryk engsi SOS not that it really needs it as we are sure most of you get it already --we should spend a few words questioning what mr fernandes museum is all about.

As most of you know RK founded a museum the Weaving Art Museum in 1998, and in 2003 it was recognized and granted full status as a public charity by the US governments IRS division responsible for charity organizations.

This legal definition allows the Weaving Art Museum a number of important privileges, not the least of which is giving tax-deductible vouchers for any donations from both public and private sources.

There are many other advantages a federally recognized nonprofit institution, like the Weaving Art Museum, allows and hopefully someday enough money will be raised to accomplish the aims the Weaving Art Museums mission statement details.

Now then RK wonders if Singapore bens museum is similarly legally endowed, as nowhere in the paucity of publicity about it are any legal or mission statements to be seen.

RK does not like naked conjecture but considering the above, and our knowledge of non-profit organizations, wed have to surmise fernandes museum is one in name only.

Or perhaps it is just some type of tax write-off for him to use to pay for his having bought all those SOS rugs?

OK, enough of this, lets get down to the niddy-gritty and take a critical look at fernandes collection.

Since RK has not yet ventured to visit Singapore bens warehouse museum, which is the description that rag hali and not RK has hung on it, we can only discuss the few pieces illustrated in the article.

First and foremost, since it was plastered on that issues cover, is this mid-period Saryk engsi.

Frankly, besides one example which we have written about in the past, RK has never seen a Saryk engsi we like and Singapore bens does nothing for us other than remind us how boring, formulaic, stiff and derivative these engsi as a group are.

Same can be said for his S group engsi, another Turkmen type RK relegates to the basement, or perhaps should we say sub-basement.

The rather stupid hype rugDUMB attaches to these two type pf engsi is both unsupportable and myopic, as these weavings are as droll and predictable as can be.

Sure, sure, they bring big prices at auction but 75 years ago, as we often like to point out, so did Kula and Ghiordes prayer rugs.

For RK the Saryk and S group engsi are todays equivalent of those now somewhat disgraced types of prayer rug many old time collectors, like James Ballard, allowed themselves to believe were the bees knees of rug collecting.

But unlike Ballard, whose collection still contains many great and important non-classical rugs Turkmen included , a collector like Singapore bens collection is nary a blip on the horizon a James Ballard blazed.

But fernandes is not alone, neither was Ballard, in falling sucker for weavings that later proved to be basically worthless in any artistic or historic sense.

RK dos not have the time or patience to destroy the silly myths deifying the far too many mid-period and later Saryk engsi, and nor do we feel like doing it for the lesser number, but still too many, S group ones as well.

Let us mention: Were either of these type of engsi what they are cracked-up to be, by hali and other pundits in rugDUMB, there would not be so many paint by the numbers examples extant.

And, while rarity has in itself no redeeming quality or import, when it comes to weaving rest assured if there are many very similar examples, and both Saryk and S group engsi qualify, it signifies such examples are far more likely to be commercial production than indigenous product.

Go examine as many, and there are many published, of these engsi as you can and you will see what we are saying.

RK likes to lead, and lead by example we do, so here is an engsi we believe expresses the formula all those later and derivative S group ones mimic.

Unknown archaic period Turkmen group engsi, RK collection

Sure, sure RK knows rugDUMBs peanut gallery will chant: Where are those animals and other figurative bird-head iconography those S group engsi display?

Well, listen up pups, RK maintains these are nothing but pseudo-icons placed there by later post archaic period weavers who were disconnected with their own weaving culture and instead influenced by foreign ones.

If you examine the earliest Turkmen weaving you will never see designs like those on the S group engsi.

We could continue this discussion, and perhaps we will at some later time, but since we are writing about Singapore bens collection and museum we will take leave of it for now.

RK will continue our look-see at the two other pieces illustrated in that rag haliss article on Singapore bens Wild Mountain Loom collection soon so stay tuned.

Author: jc
Sun, Jan 16th, 2011 03:30:45 PM

We now have jpegs of the Turkmen pieces illustrated in that rags hali's article on Singapore ben's "museum" opening "exhibition".

We will soon add our comments to those voiced by hali's editorial staff....so stay tuned, more to come

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