Turkmen Carpets Prices and Trends
Tile word 'value', when used ill the context of works of art, can have many layers of meaning and is a complex term which needs clarification. Basically, the value of a work of art - and this may be especially true of carpets is only concrete when it makes a price, i.e. when it is sold. Even then, the sum paid for it is dependent on many conditions.
Thus tile value of a work of art is only 'measurable' ill terms of hard currency to a limited extent and this value must be interpreted according to various circumstances: why and where is ii being sold? Is the valuation placed upon it considered to be an average value or is it for insurance purposes'? Is the value 'fictional' or national, as in the case of museum pieces being valued for exhibitions'? To what extent is the value based upon extraneous matters such as, for example, anthropological importance or the objects rarity value for certain collectors? All these things have to be taken into consideration when heed with the problem of deciding what an object is worth.
When watching out for market developments and price trends, the sums given at auction may be especially helpful. Naturally these are not by absolute, as they can be influenced the history of the piece in question, whether or not it is well-known, how many prospective buyers there are when it comes on to the market and so on. There are also many types of carpet, as of other works of art, which rarely appear at auction but which regularly change hands privately for unpublished and unknown prices.
Apart from those market-dependent factors which affect tile values of so-called 'collectors' carpets, each individual piece has its own characteristics with also have an important bearing on its monetary value. These include age, rarity, condition, aesthetic merit, the materials used and size, If a piece has a well-known and distinguished provenance and if it has been publicized these factors can also make it world considerably more than if it appears out of nowhere and is previously unknown to writers and scholars. Very similar pieces published in the literature can also affect tile value of an unknown example but it is also true that previously unpublished pieces can he valued very highly because of their rarity and because of their 'freshness' on the market. When all these things are considered, it call only be concluded that every weaving is unique unto itself with its own set of inbuilt characteristics influencing its value. Thus it would he unwise to give prices in a hook such as this in the same way as one would, for example see the prices for objects of whatever kind in a mail-order catalogue; such sums would only he misleading for the most part and would, of course, very rap idly become outdated.
Today, hardly any great Turkmen weavings can be expected to emerge from their place of origin, although we cannot at this moment evaluate what effect the 'opening up' of the former Soviet republics in the south may have on supply. Certainly many previously unknown types of Caucasian weavings have appeared on the market in tile last few years, as a direct result of new political freedom, but there has, as yet, been no obvious effect on the Turkmen market nor on the supply of rare pieces. It is also true that twenty years of concentrated collecting in the West has greatly altered our opinion of the relative merits of many Turkmen weavings and what were often thought to he important objects before this period are now no longer taken very seriously by experienced collectors, and some things which were formerly thought to he very rare are now known not to be so. There has been a much needed sorting out period, with some groups of weavings sinking on the genera] price scale and others rising enormously. The coming of stability to the market in old and antique collectors' carpets is the basis for suggesting that in the future, Turkmen weavings of a generally accepted importance and quality will prove to be really worthwhile investments.