Collecting ancient or old rugs from the Caucasus can be a confusing and often times tricky business. It takes both a keen eye and a deep pocket (I’m working on both). That isn’t to say that you can’t find some deals: the Late 19th Century Kuba with the midnight-blue central field willed to you by your Great Uncle Steel Money or the worn-to-shreds Zeiva that you negotiate from a scruffy flea market vendor who doesn’t realize what they have. These are the exceptions though. Rug sellers might not always know what they have but they will almost always know what they have is worth money. At the end of the day it’s about what catches your eye and makes you happy. Whether you are searching for something to bring the room together or you are just looking to cover up the parquet flooring in your Jane Street apartment, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. However, if it’s the Grail you are after definitely check out Azerbaijani-Caucasian Rugs. It catalogues the collection of Dr. Horst Ulmke. You won’t find the usual museum fragments here, just full page color photos of mint condition Caucasian rugs from the early 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century. There is also a ton of information to be processed including an extensive history of the industry and region complete with an illustrated glossary and map. Azerbaijani-Caucasian Rugs would do fine on your coffee table but it would serve you best on your desk.
It’s been a big month. I just acquired my first steam ship painting. I have been fixated on the idea of owning one for quite some time now as Aleks can attest. She affectionately calls them “shit paintings” and she appears to be relieved that my obsession has been satiated at least for the time being. I’m not sure when and where my interest began but I do know that steam ships are in my blood. My ancestor John Fitch is said to have constructed the first steamboat in the United States. More than that though I just love the way they look. I tend to prefer the less busy to the action heavy paintings. It’s more about documenting the form of the ship than it is about nature’s beauty or power. One maritime artist who painted to this beat was the Danish-born American Antonio Jacobsen (November 2, 1850 – February 2, 1921) aptly referred to as the “Audubon of Steam Vessels.” Read more about him here and enjoy a few of his paintings below.
"The Black Church"