Fall 2015 is playing host to a season of more rug auctions than RK can remember. We have already mentioned the rippon-boswell bottom-scrapings sale and to go to the other end of the stick we will now shed a modicrum more light on the sotheby NY October 1st Rugs from Distinguished Collections offerings.
We have already expressed the underwhelmed state seeing sothebys preview highlights left us in, and now after viewing the entire sale of 194 distinguished offerings we dont feel a whole lot better.
Granted, RK is hard to please as only the masterpiece weaving can get us to sit up and drool. But nowadays even though our tastes are decidedly above even the most educated of those who believe themselves to be our equal, forget those who claim to out uber us, there are among the fatter wallets many who we believe are now astute and knowledgeable enough to feel likewise about this sale.
Good and a few very good examples are there for the taking but there is not one 10, a 9 and , or even a 9 to tempt those well heeled collectors/investors to splash some ink on their checkbooks.
Well, except lot 50.
In recent memory we wrote our disinterest in any longer providing pre-sale coverage and we are sticking to that position. Hence the above and the following few paragraphs are all we will provide for this seasons paddle waving exercises.
RK is not shy in dissing both auction house experts, like sothebys ms otsea, or most who call themselves rug collectors for their painfully apparent lack of real connisseurship.
A perfect example of this is comparing lots 50 and 51.
Lot 50, the Transylvanian Melas prayer rug which we already illustrated at the beginning of this missive, is the pick of the auction and one of the -- scratch one of the it is THE -- most beautiful prayers rugs of this type that has been on the market in our lifetime.
We picture it again below side by side with lot 51 a rather droll, dreary, derivative and boring column Ladik prayer rug.
The Melas is ten times the piece from all accounts and perspectives. We need to add providing it is not overly restored, something we do not know for sure as we have not seen it nor do we necessarily believe what sotheby might say.
But guess what?
The Ladik carries a $30,000 50,000 estimate and the Melas a $20,000 30,000.
Knowing the Melas is so far superior to the Ladik is a no brainer that only proves both ms. otsea and owner of both, long time hajji baba-ite Mr Thomas Farnham, have no rug brains between their ears.
This is what is wrong with rugDUMB: To say the field suffers so little real expertise, connoisseurship and knowledge is to underestimate this debilitating situation.
Were RK a buyer of Turkish prayer rugs we would surely not be cluing our competition in on our opinion.
However, since such woven baubles are not in our collecting sights we hope these words motivate a certain buyer we know to take home this prize to California by way of the mid-west.