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or just [email protected] auction
Tue, Nov 5th, 2013 06:36:09 AM
Topic: Big Hitters?
or just [email protected] auction

fool's gold "Transylvanian" rug that is surely not an "Anatolian Village rug" lot 508 , grogan auction

RK first met michael grogan, the owner of grogan auction in Dedham, Mass on his first day at work as the junior, junior rug man at sotheby's in New York City.

We dont remember the actual year but this was probably in the middle 1980s when John Edelman was the head of the rug department and mr duplicitous william, bill, ruprecht was his junior assistant.

The secretary was mary joe otsea and grogan was the peach-fuzzed round faced, enthusiasticnew, junior junior, member of the team.

RK has a number of funny stories to tell about these people but this is not the time and place for that - read that autobiography we have mentioned before.

Anyway, our dear friend, and we mean that sincerely, John Edelman, never knew much about oriental rugs, something he will readily admit, and his being grogans first mentor doesnt speak very well for grogans rug savvy.

That was a long time ago but quite frankly not much has changed about michael grogan other than his bald pate, as his knowledge of oriental rugs is not really very far above what it was during his tenure at sothebys.

Sure grogan went on the become the head of the department, as did mary joe, facts which do not speak loudly for the expertise sothebys rug department has or ever did.

But this missive is not about sothebys but rather the latest auction at grogans auction house.

To say RK is a snob when it comes to rugs might be an understatement of huge proportions, as few rug interest us and none of the offering at grogans even come close. Most are pedestrian floor covering, some worse.

But this is to be expected, as RK rarely sees anything at rug auctions we would want to own, and very very few we would suggest anyone we know who is a serious collector own as well.

However, we know quantity and action trump quality and patience in the rug collector sphere so mediocre rugs, and worse, are often kited up to amazingly high prices.

We have not doubt this will happen to lot 508 in the grogan sale.

But before we lay waste to its presale hype and wet palm anticipation we would like to demonstrate why our opinion of grogans rug expertise is piss-poor.

faux at best so-called engsi, lot 507 , grogan auction

To a rug novice like grogan this is an unusual Yomud engsi to an expert those words are comical and about as far from the truth as a childs hobby horse is from Trigger.

This late, conglomeration of elements, which in and of themselves are end of the line Turkmen symbols, do not an engsi make and grogans missed the boat by weeks.

Actually the design has been lifted from late 19th century saddle covers, made no doubt for Russian officers, surely not for any Turkmen warrior.

The pair of elem with those geeky, stunted trees tell it all. Well at least to anyone who understands the language and clearly grogan doesnt.

But the real evidence grogan is a novice is lot 508, the so-called Rare Anatolian Village Rug. Before we go on remember words like rare and unusual lack real meaning and are generally used by rug pundits because they do not have the knowledge base to understand the actual mechanics behind the ornaments seen on certain rugs.

And grogan's using them in connection with lots 507 and 508 makes this patently clear.

This rug, too, is a conglomeration of elements but at least here those elements are of an older vintage.

The grogan rug is neither 17th century nor is it an Anatolian village rug. To say so is nothing but stupid patterhello mr grogan.

It is nothing but an early 19th century workshop rug with Transylvanian and Dimurchi Kula symbols.

Now then all Transylvanian rugs are workshop productions and so probably are most Dimurchi Kula. This is why RK doesnt like those types very much. However, the earliest examples are noteworthy and well worth the prices they bring.

It is too bad most Translyvian rugs are not early or exemplary and as such they surely are not worth the big dollars.

Estimated at 10,000 to 20,000 dollars grogans rug will no doubt find many willing punters and we would not be surprised if someone ends up paying a lot more, like 50K.

By the way, RK knows for a fact grogan is a rug stasher and we are sure he has some good pieces in his closet. When will he bring them outgo ask him as RK no longer talks to him, nor are we interested in ever doing so.

PS: This was our doing about 6 years ago after grogan had the nerve to insult us in his office in a hissy-fit telling us we knew nothing about rugs after we disagreed with his idea about one of those rugs in his closet. That rug ended up in one of his sales a few years ago.

Just for the record, we have forgotten more than grogan will ever know and his dumbass calling lot 508 an Anatolian Village Rug is all the proof needed.

Author: The blind leading the stupid
email: ghs
Tue, Nov 5th, 2013 06:36:09 AM

RK Replies:

Why bother.


So how did you do up at bat with your various auctions, jack. What? Strike out? Too bad. maybe better off never. (More Sour Grapes)

Author: volker steiner
email: [email protected]
Thu, Oct 18th, 2012 03:36:15 AM

request a price offer for : Lot 508- Rare West Anatolian Village Rug

Author: jc
Sun, May 20th, 2012 11:48:10 PM

The results have been published for the grogan sale, and as expected by RK both of the lots we commented on sold above what they were really worth.

What is an antique oriental rug really worth?

Many say what it sells for on a given day. And while this is patently obvious it really does not answer the question.

Worth as defined by a dictionary is:

"having a value of, or equal in value to, as in money."

Discounting inflation, or deflation, money 'should' be worth the same thing on any given day. In other words if a dozen eggs is worth a dollar today, that same dollar should buy a dozen eggs tomorrow.

Not to get into a long and broad discussion of economics the value a given rug sells for at grogan or any other auction, dealer showroom, flea market or anywhere else is not at all a real measure of its worth.

If you do not believe this it means you are either too dumb to understand the mechanics of the rug game or in denial.

Below is the worth the audience grogan dredged up for his sale yesterday assigned for those rugs.

As you can see the "unusual Yomud engsi" sold for 11,800 dollars and the "Rare west Anatolian Village rug" sold for 41,300 dollars.

We believe these prices include the added 18 percent buyers premium.

We also believe the consignors should be very happy and the buyers, well in our opinion at least, should be now suffering buyer's remorse.

Both of these rugs were overvalued by the buyers and underbidders, which is typical for merchandise like this when it sells at auction. What are those rugs worth today?

RK would have to say appreciably less but this is our opinion and one we cannot prove. But we would be willing to bet if the buyer's try to sell those rugs today, or tomorrow(figuratively speaking) they will lose money.

We would also be willing to bet if the buyers offered them to the underbidder they would suffer the same fate.

And even though this is a natural result of the missing 'excitement' an auction sale engenders, we believe it, in these two cases, is more the result of the over-hyped status both these weavings carried on the auction block yesterday.

There is alot, and always has been, of ignorance in the rug game and someone paying such prices for such merchandise like lots 507 and 508 proves it admirably.

'Nuff said.

The "sleeper" of the sale was the so-called Tree Kazak,

which sold for almost 15 times its silly estimates.

Tree Kazaks are one of the least common types, and rarely have they been reproduced.

This one surely was no reproduction or fake but compared to some of the far better ones RK has seen over the years we would have to admit it was not among the best of the type.

Frankly, we have always found these Tree Kazak to be rather stiff and boring, and must say we really do not think much of them, this one included.

That said, it does appear to have good wool, decent dyes and good articulation of the standard elements this type always exhibits to warrant the price it brought.

We do need to mention this example's aberrant borders and coloration lead us to surmise it might not really be a Kazak in the truest meaning of that designation.

We did not see it, nor are the pictures on grogan's website good enough for us to make any firm conclusion but we'd be willing to bet this rug might have been made far from Kazak-land.

Should the buyer care to send us a good set of pictures, including closeup of the weave, selvedge and end finish, we could definitely make a judgement.

Had we been interested enough, and we surely weren't, we could have gotten someone to make us such pictures before the sale.

Any real attribution withstanding, the buyer, in our opinion, did better than those of the unusual Yomud or rare west Anatolian village rug, this is for sure.

The percentage of sold lots was high and grogan had a very good sale, which demonstrates the New England rug market is still cooking along.

Author: jc
Sun, May 13th, 2012 04:19:17 AM

Several readers, probably friends of grogan or his stooges, have emailed us to complain about our coverage of the auction and grogan himself.

Claiming we are wrong about the rugs, and have unfairly pictured grogan, their words belie the facts.

The faux engsi is just that; as besides its two elem, which by the way are a feature rarely seen on anything but end of the line examples, it has no other attributes anyone with expertise attributes to an engsi. Forget the pathetic attempt to render the 'trees' seen in most engsi elem.

And the supposed "rare west Anatolian rug" is neither 17th or 18th century, and it is not from the west but rather closer to the center of Anatolia -- probably somewhere east of Melas.

Need we repeat it ain't no village rug, but rather some workshop effort made in the early 19th century, when demand for such types of rugs was stimulated by the increased Clipper ship trade with the east coast of America.

If the truth be knownst, it is nothing but a rather ungainly version of earlier period Transylvanian rugs with some other totally unrelated and misused elements thrown in the mix, as is typical for rugs emanating from looms of commercial export producers of that time period.

And if grogan is such a rug genius, as these emails imply, then please tell RK why he trips over his shoelaces everytime he tries to sell anything but floor covering?

RugDUMB is full of four-flusher rug pundits, and although grogan is surely not the posterboy he is definitely in the front row of the peanut-gallery.

'Nuff said?

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