We intended to title this thread "From the sublime to the ridiculous" but decided against it for several reasons.
Primarily because the Vok sale was anything but sublime and the spring sale not really ridiculous.
It is a definite the Vok auction will go down in rug collecting history, but until the final hammers have fallen on the second and third installments its epithet remains an unknown.
The suzani were by and large among the top tier and a few masterpieces for sure.
Readers know RK is not enamoured by these flashy urbanized creations because since the girl who did the embroidery, or supposedly did as the story goes, did not do the designing herself.
This was done by someone else who was hired for their ability and expertise to draw the pattern for her to follow.
Does this take away from their beauty? Well not really, but it does take these 'virgin quilts' as RK liked to call them and place them in a workshop-type melieu.
Frankly, they have nothing to say to anyone who is looking for more than a pretty face.
And while there's nothing wrong with that it calls into question to those who might ry to make a case for suzani being something more.
And the rather late and boring kelim in the Vok sale were also not able to scale any heights beyond kelim as furnishing accessory status.
So there was nothing sublime in the Vok sale.
RK is hard to please; in our orientation, which dear readers who have been faithful followers know, RK looks for more in the weavings we appreciate and admire.
Spiritual, challenging, larger than life, monumental and stimulating are just a few of those qualities that makes us stand up and take notice.
Workshop products are never able to generate these attributes because they always have a mechanical, predictable visual with no underlying intrigue or suspense.
To produce such weavings took a weaver who was indelibly and directly connected with what we have written about before and can define as cultural history.
It took generations and centuries to develop, interpret and refine the visual iconography weavers steeped in this type of tradition manifested to produce the masterpieces that are in all senses of the word sublime.
We could go on to further explain this phenomenon of archetypal, masterpiece Turkmen, Anatolian and transCaucasian weavings, but words can never replicate what they represent.
Let us end with this observation: When RK leafs through the Vok catalog nothing comes close to ringing that bell we always hear when viewing such weavings.
And as important as that is for us, it is even more important for RK to communicate it to those who might not understand why they come away with the feeling something is missing when viewing a collection like Vok's.
And if you do, don't worry, you are doing something right.