Hey there John:
It is clear few collect for the pleasure to collect, not only antique weavings but all other types of art.
Along with pleasure angle there are many other fabulous and enriching paybacks that do not have dollar signs attached to them.
For RK the most important is discovery, both in the locating and acquiring and more so in the learning after acquisition.
There is no end to connoisseur collecting, it is an infinite pastime.
And because our subject -- Near Eastern weavings -- encompass such great latitudes of human endeavor, a rug is far more than a rug.
While we do not need to start a mutual admiration society, you are one of the few collectors whose motivation and goals go far past the vast majority.
Thank you for your thoughts
Does one collect for monetary reasons or because one appreciates the art form?
I suspect that some of us that collect Turkmen rugs also expand their interests to include the ethnographic and historical associations - not for any monetary reasons, but out of personal/academic interest. You, yourself fall into this category.
I have been collecting Turkmen rugs/ Georgian furniture / GB stamps of King Edward VII for many years and I don't really care whether I have made or lost money in doing so. "Accountants know the cost of everything and the value of nothing". Fortunately I am not an accountant.
Instead, my (5) children have all gained an appreciation of these art forms (the stamps less so) - and will happily have rugs on their walls instead of pictures or a nice piece of furniture. In return I give them what i have so that they may also enjoy it.
A friend of mine has several original Mozart scores and he gives them to his son when he can play them.
Who gives a f*** what is sold at auction. Auctions (unless you find a nice country sale) are for dummies.
In the UK there are still nice pieces in old country houses that can be discovered.
I recently stayed at one house where in front of the fire there was a very early Engsi. I advised the owner to put in on the wall and be wary of anyone who told him it was not worth anything.