RK needs not confess to being a grogan-groupie. Attentive readers know we have little respect for mr grogan, both as a person and as a supposed rug expert. RK has in the past explained why we hold these opinions and anyone who is interested, or doubts what we say, is welcome to use our search engine to quickly locate what we have already written.
With our position on grogan already well documented we nonetheless cant help make a few comments before discussing the upcoming sale he has organized.
The first concerns grogans continuing penchant to mis-pronounce certain key rug words Sailor and not Salor for instance.
Now add to that enough mis-spellings in this catalog to make one ask if he is trying to outdo rippon-boswells detlef maltzahn, who is a serial rug term-maker-upper.
Why is grogan not using the accepted spellings for words like the Persian nomad group Khamsa -- grogan KHAMPSEH -- and the Turkmen bridal weaving asmalyk grogan AZMALYK?
RK has always found this type of trying to use the "real" spelling, and supposedly correct an erroneous one, annoying. Like, really now, does grogan think it is cute or makes him appear more rug-erudite?
If so let RK make it clear to him doing either is nothing but ignorant, as is pronouncing Salor as Sailor.
Rug studies are confusing enough, so lets at least keep to certain accepted terminology and spelling.
Another gorgan-ism we find equally as distracting is dating a host of examples in the sale circa 1900, particularly when there are several almost identical examples where one weaving is clearly older and better than the other but grogan dates them the same.
And before we move on, let RK correct grogan: The name of the famous collection he is selling a rug from is Meyer-Muller, not Meyer-Mullen.
OK, now off to the races.
Well, perhaps only figuratively since we see little in the sale that might cause galloping, spirited bidding. RK is not surprised there is not one really outstanding, exceptional rug in the sale, and only hype claiming there are.
The consignment from James Opie is nothing but the bottom of the barrel of his inventory/collection and the erik risman MAD Turkmen collection way under quality and way over-exposed after failing to sell at Christie London a short while ago.
Those two consignments, and a third from the Jerrehian family, supply most of the merchandise for the sale.
And while most of the lots from Opie and Jerrehian are pretty, decorative and somewhat collectible they would have sold far better 20 years ago.
The present state of affairs in rugDUMB are decidedly against pieces like these selling well, and RK would be glad to wager they will not return anything but at best a mediocre performance.
That said the estimated prices, and therefore presumably the reserves, are very reasonable, and we are fairly sure 40-50 percent or so will sell but only very close to the already almost price of dirt low estimates grogan has hung on them.
The later 19th to early 20th century Persian tribal weavings, in both the Opie and Jerrehian consignments, enjoyed a heyday 20 years ago but today, except for best of the best, these rugs are quite unappreciated by collectors.
RK is positive their results at the grogan sale will show this.
As for the risman 30 plus group of consigned Turkmen MAD weavings?
One might excuse an Opie or a Jerrehian for entertaining notions their rugs would sell well at grogans. But risman? Forget it, the guy is a thick as a brick and worse, hes brain-dead.
Does risman think grogan has tinkerbells magic wand, will wave it and all the mediocre risman collection lots will suddenly scare up a storm of bidding activity?
Forget it, not a chance. Few if any of the risman rugs will sell and what will sell will sell for dirt prices.
What a jokerisman is a clown. Hes cracked up to be a wealthy guy, so instead of getting embarrassed in public for a measly few thousand dollars hed do better throwing the collection into a basement closet and forget ideas hes a RUG Collector or heavens yet a Scholar, or that he will ever recoup the over-inflated prices he paid.
Sorry, erik risman, you made a complete fool out of yourself at Christies and grogan will be the same, only worse for now youre a 2-time loser.
RK has no desire to profile anything in the sale, the main reason being the merchandise is so mediocre and uninteresting we cant bear to waste energy on it.
But we will say selling 300 plus mediocre lots is a mistake, particularly in these times.
For us its clear grogan's erred and would have been far more successful at half that number.
Not to mention having had risman write something about Lebab in a preface to the catalog rather than grogan, the cataloguer, attributing any of those MAD (Ersari, Beshir, Kizil Ayak etc) weavings as Lebab. Doing so just makes grogan look as stupid and rug-ignorant as rismanso much for grogan the rug expert.
Lebab is babble. Why replace longtime accepted terminology (like Ersari, Beshir, Kizil Ayak, etc) for new unaccepted babble like rismans lebabble?
Names sell, this is sure.
But Lebab aint one yet, nor will it ever be.
And hanging it on any rug at auction is nothing but plain foolish; OK, maybe obstinate in rismans case.
Regardless of the Lebab attribution or not, rismans rugs at grogan's will again perform poorly. Then, perhaps, he will give up and finally go away taking Lebab with him?