Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Another Arabatchi(e) belly-flop
Sat, Apr 23rd, 2011 03:34:04 AM
Topic: Another Arabatchi(e) belly-flop

Rarely does the student outdo the teacher.

It does happen but in the case of the many ruggies, who have sat at RK's knee to soak up the knowledge about carpets we freely gave,none have yet even come close.

Such is the case with turko-mini-minds like bertram the petty thief frauenkecht and michael aka mad-mike craycraft.

Case in point, as far as craycraft is concerned, is this Yomud group chuval he recently offered for sale on the internet.

Offered for sale for by craycraft for 2,500 euro

Here is craycrafts description:

Early, unusual, Yomud chuval...with an unusual, if not unique, palette. I've washed this chuval once but it is still very dirty. May need multiple washings over the course of several months. The Arabatchie style "plant" design in the elem, especially the crucifix nature of the"flower" center, invokes shades of the Turkomans' Nestorian pastDate 18th century (1700 - 1799)

First off the palette is far from unique but one element is unusual.

Too bad craycraft does not how enough about Turkmen rugs -- or any for the matter any other type in our opinion -- to know when to use adjectives like unique or unusual, or what actually is unique or unusual.

That unusal element is the ground color of the inner border, a nice light mint-ish green, and the corresponding color change to blue in the outer one.

For comparison sake, and not only for the color pallete it shares with the craycraft example, here is one from our collection

RK collection; published Weaving Art Museum Turkmen Trappings" exhibition, plate 9

If the craycraft chuval is 18th century then ours is 17th century or earlier, as a comparison of the two should demonstrate to anyone with expertise.

However, RK would date craycrafts early 19th century and ours a century or so earlier.

Regardless of the actual years either was woven, craycraft has unquestionably over-dated his.

The chuval from our collection is a prototype for the craycraft example, and you turko-students should spend some time comparing them and you will learn a thing or two.

Lets now examine the rest of craycrafts spiel about his chuval and have chuckle or two along the way.

I've washed this chuval once but it is still very dirty. May need multiple washings over the course of several months.

Well, for starters, seems mr craycrafts bathtub washing machine needs some improvement. And this is not the only part of the craycraft operation that needs some renovation.

Plus the idiotic May need multiple washings over the course of several months. is a laughable statement from someone who is either too toasted to know what he is writing or too dumb to even care.

Since it is still very dirty it surely, not may, need further cleaning but why this needs to be done over the course of several months is as quizzical a statement as RK has read in months.

Why would several months be required?

Go ask turko-moron, craycraft, as we cannot even fathom a guess.

Now then, why mad mike, the turko-babbler, believes the "plant" design in the elem to be Arabatchie is completely incorrect, as this type of flower is far more prevalent on Yomud group weavings.

Again, this error is due to either his lack of understanding Turkmen elem panel icons or his being too out-of-it to remember those he has seen.

Of course since craycraft believes many Turkmen rugs that are not Arabatchi are, which is the topic of another thread on RugKazbah.com perhaps this is what his lame take on the elem flower is all about.

As poor a showing craycrafts description of his chuval has exhibited so far, his last words are, regrettably, even worse.

the crucifix nature of the"flower" center, invokes shades of the Turkomans' Nestorian past.

Yeeshhhh, wake up from your stupor, mad mike, or are you unable to open those myopic peepers and see reality?

For his information there is no crucifix nature of the"flower" center at least none obvious or intentional one our 20/20 vision can see.

There is however a very clear, present and totally intentional one in each of the four parts of the minor gol, as the detail below shows.

Detail of the craycraft chuval

RK is not surprised such a cross appears there, particularly in the minor gol, since our chuval also has a cruciform embedded in the major gol, as well as one implied in the minor gol.

Often, in later generations, major gol iconography got transferred into the minor gol, and other parts like borders and elem, leaving the major gol rather vacant and uniformly iconless as the craycraft chuval proves.

RK could continue to shred any illusions craycraft actually knows anything past the most rudimentary about historic Turkmenrugs. And, quite frankly, we seriously doubt even that.

As for his chuval it is far superior to most and is well worth 2500 euro.

But compared to the best it falls way short, as does craycrafts dopey belief he can properly enunciate something about a Turkmen rug, even one as mid-range and middle period as this chuval.

Author: john Lewis
email: [email protected]
Sat, Apr 23rd, 2011 03:34:04 AM

A Tale of Two John's

RK Replies:

We goofed.

The rug we accussed John of being smart and lucky enough to have bought was, in fact, bought by another John, who is also an Englishman.

So while both the author of this post, and RK are correct in what they say, RK erred in forgetting John two, and not John one, bought it.

So, John Lewis, aka John one, we stand corrected and are sorry for accusing you of buying that rug.

But regardless of our error in confusing John one with John two there is no confusing michael craycraft's lame and bogus errors in claiming Arabatchi(e), and other mythic Turkmen provenances, litter the field of Turkmen rug collecting.


Sorry, but that rug must have been bought and sold by another John Lewis - there are a few of us - it certainly wasn't bought/sold by me.

Author: John Lewis
email: [email protected]
Fri, Apr 22nd, 2011 12:28:36 PM

RK Replies:

Better be careful, John, your memory is going.

Maybe you have been smoking too much hooch to keep seeing those wavy waving gols, huh?

Let RK help -- You bought a gulli-gol MC fragment from Thomaston Place auction gallery and then sold it to that gay-blade from Hamburg, hans sienknecht, in a package of rugs you told me he bought from you. Remember now?

I wanted to bid on the MC fragment but stupidly confused the date with another sale and lucky you got it for peanuts.

Here is a picture:

and you can read about it in the Turkmen Rugs Topic Area in the post entitled "Congratulations".

By the way, you are the person we were congratulating.

And also the rug is a Beshir, not an Ersari as you might have called it.

Sorry to tell you, John, but ignorance is not bliss in Turkmen rug collecting.

Oh, and please note: RK does not make up stories...we have enough true ones.

So you can now apologize for accusing us of doing so.


I am quite happy to agree that my knowledge of rugs (and their value) is considerably less than yours but I have never sold a Beshir MC to anyone.Why do you feel the need to make up such stories?

Author: john Lewis
email: [email protected]
Wed, Apr 20th, 2011 12:36:07 AM

RK replies:Well, John, your comment has a number of possible interpretations since you did not say if he took "them" back in exchange for other more costly ones, or just gave you the purchase price back in real money.

Also since we know your knowledge of rugs, and their worth, is not exactly state of the art--- let's, for example, remember the Beshir MC you bought in Maine, USA and then sold to that German collector for way too cheap--- without knowing the particulars your comments are rather worthless.

We also have little faith craycraft is not in a similar boat, as his "expertise" is also eminently questionable.

That said craycraft usually asks too much for pieces we have seen him offer publicly but we are sure he also asks to little for ones he sells privately that we have never seen.

You are correct, we readily admit, many "dealers" will not take pieces they have sold back, but the fact according to you craycraft did in some unexplained cases doesn't really mean a whole hill of beans.

And since we were not disparaging craycraft's honesty, though we have had our own direct experiences with him and would not give him high marks in that regard, your writing about this is rather tangental at best to what we did write.

And just to qualify our comment above we can surely state and prove craycraft's ability to be "honest" with us was far more negative than positive, as our recent email exchanges with him well demonstrate.


I have bought pieces from Michael Craycraft and he has subsequently bought them back from me at the price that I paid for them. This suggests a level of honesty that I suspect few other dealers will match.

Author: RK
Mon, Apr 18th, 2011 09:36:54 AM

We have received several emailed "comments" about michael craycraft and none of them included any praise for craycraft's belief he knows anything about Turkmen rugs.

One did include a comment with which we heartily agree:

"...craycraft should stick to pontificating about balouch rugs."

That said RK doesn't think much of his abilities there, either.

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