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Ulrich Schurmann Books

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  • Natalie Blacher & Chris Warren
    To: Eric, Iain, and all RE: Ulrich Schurmann s Books Assuming that one only has the resources for ONE $400 or $500 dollar out of print rug book by Schurmann,
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 1, 2000
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      To:  Eric, Iain, and all
      RE:  Ulrich Schurmann's Books

      Assuming that one only has the resources for ONE $400 or $500 dollar out of print rug book by Schurmann, which might you recommend?  The one on Caucasians?  Or, what I assume to be the more general work on Central Asia?  I have seen neither, but see constant references.  Are they THAT good?  I also have heard that the first printing of the Caucasian book is superior to the subsequent printings.  Any information or advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated.  At my house, Santa is 4' 11", goes by the name of Mrs. Claus, and is not only mystified by my passion for rugs, but would be absolutely staggered at the thought of spending so much for a book, so if I'm to have any success whatsoever, I need to be well armed with information.

      Thanks,

      Chris Warren

      Eric wrote:

       
      i am angling for a copy of
      schurmann's book for christmas, but no telling whether santa will
      deliver....
       
      Iain wrote:
      > Ulrich Schurmann calls this green bird (parrot?) design in
      *Caucasian Rugs*, 
      > which is as good as having it writ in stone.

    • Iain Stewart
      Dear Chris I think Schurmann s Caucasian Rugs has been republished a year or so back, for somewhere around $70. But you re right, the colour is not as good as
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 1, 2000
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        Dear Chris
         
        I think Schürmann's Caucasian Rugs has been republished a year or so back, for somewhere around $70. But you're right, the colour is not as good as the original edition. But the original is not really four hundred dollars (or more) better, and the reprint gives you all you actually need.
         
        'Caucasian Rugs' doesn't really have very much information in it - just short (and rather sweet) captions for each rug. The real importance of the book was that it gave names to all the most frequently encountered 19th Century Caucasian design types, and those names have stuck forever, especially among the trade (from whence all things derive in the end - and Schürmann was a dealer, like the rest of us - well, not quite all of us, perhaps..).
         
        When 'Caucasian Rugs'  first came out, the rugs themselves looked fantastic. Whether one gets a bit blasé with the passing of time, or that (perhaps thanks to the book) better examples of the various types have come onto the market since, they don't seem to have the same magic any more - although in this respect there is more magic in the original edition than the reprint, where the colours are a tad murky. What the book is useful for is as a selling aid - if you have a rug you want to sell that can be referenced to a similar item in Schürmann, then you can start planning your next trip to Germany to buy up a few more right away.
         
        Schürmann's 'Central Asian Rugs' is IMHO a far more beautiful book, and generally more interesting and informative. It has a group of the most mind-blowing East Turkestan pieces ever published, and many other Turkomans of great interest. Some of these appear from time to time on the market - not exactly at bargain prices, however: a small, square Yomut, with allover small square compartments containing crosses, was in a Rippon Boswell Wiesbaden sale some years ago and fetched around DM 80,000 if I recall, which worked out at DM 80,000 ($38,000) per square metre! It was, however, not merely unique, not just uniquely beautiful, but above all uniquely famous, thanks to old Ulrich.
         
        The rugs in 'Caucasian Rugs' were most his own property, I think - I don't have any records of them coming onto the market. I guess if the Silk Kazak (dated to the 18th Century) which he illustrates near the front appeared, it might well fetch a few bob. His dating, by the way, can be a little on the optimistic side sometimes - although nowhere as extreme as Siawosch Azadi (who usually likes to date everything a hundred years earlier than anyone had previously dreamed). When it comes to dating Caucasian carpets, I reckon Ian Bennett (in 'Oriental Rugs Volume 1 - Caucasian') gets it just about on the button. The vast majority - especially today - have never seen the 19th Century, notwithstanding the conviction of their sellers to the contrary. But that's another story.
         
        If you're seriously interested in Caucasian rugs (the rugs not the book), then you will sooner or later have to get hold of a copy of Schürmann - but, if its available, I would say the reprint would be quite sufficient. Bennett's book is a lot cheaper, and on the whole a lot more useful, while John Wertime and Richard Wright's 'Caucasian Carpets and Covers' is, for me, the business, as it uses contemporary records to get close to the truth (!) Again, unfortunately, its not at all cheap, although reasonable for what it is.( £44/ 44 UK Pounds - here in England) 
         
        To see the real top Caucasian examples, you can't do much better than James Burns' own collection, plus of course the old Hermann catalogues.
         
        The 'Central Asian Rugs' by Schürmann is not really quite so essential, surprisingly - there are other (equally expensive!) books I would say you should try and get hold of first, especially Jon Thompson's 'Turkmen', also (for a real treat) Jon Thompson's annotated edition of Bogolyubov 'Carpets of Central Asia', then maybe either Azadi's 'Turkoman Carpets' and/or the Schürmann 'Central Asian Rugs' , plus the Turkoman volume in the same Antique Collectors Club series as Bennett's Caucasian book (which is very good value and has terrific rugs). Also you should have Franses and Pinner's 'Turkoman Studies I' and ... just so many many others. If only Persian carpets were served as quarter as well...
         
        I don't know if any of this helps, but its always nice to remember these golden classics of the Sixties (Schürmann attributable to a slightly earlier date) 
         
        With best regards
        Iain Stewart
        and Rug Fanatics Moderator
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Natalie Blacher & Chris Warren [mailto:nfb1@...]
        Sent: 01 December 2000 15:33
        To: Rug Fanatics
        Subject: [rug-fanatics] Ulrich Schurmann Books

        To:  Eric, Iain, and all
        RE:  Ulrich Schurmann's Books

        Assuming that one only has the resources for ONE $400 or $500 dollar out of print rug book by Schurmann, which might you recommend?  The one on Caucasians?  Or, what I assume to be the more general work on Central Asia?  I have seen neither, but see constant references.  Are they THAT good?  I also have heard that the first printing of the Caucasian book is superior to the subsequent printings.  Any information or advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated.  At my house, Santa is 4' 11", goes by the name of Mrs. Claus, and is not only mystified by my passion for rugs, but would be absolutely staggered at the thought of spending so much for a book, so if I'm to have any success whatsoever, I need to be well armed with information.

        Thanks,

        Chris Warren

        Eric wrote:


        i am angling for a copy of
        schurmann's book for christmas, but no telling whether santa will
        deliver....
         
        Iain wrote:
        > Ulrich Schurmann calls this green bird (parrot?) design in
        *Caucasian Rugs*, 
        > which is as good as having it writ in stone.

      • ctbadbilly@aol.com
        I found a perfect copy of the 3rd printing of Schurmanns book on Caucasion Rugs in a used bookstore in NYC for $10.00. Eat your heart out. I have also found
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 1, 2000
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          I found a perfect copy of the 3rd printing of Schurmanns book on Caucasion
          Rugs in a used bookstore in NYC for $10.00. Eat your heart out. I have also
          found other old rug books, One a first edition from the 1920s signed by the
          author.
          I suggest checking around, you never know. Bill B. New Haven, ct
        • Sam and Barbara Gorden
          Dear Bill B. Congratulations on your finding the books you needed! Your methods remind me of my own. My motto has always been Get The Most For The Least
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 1, 2000
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            Dear Bill B.
            Congratulations on your finding the books you needed!  Your methods remind me of my own.  My motto has always been "Get The Most For The Least"'  Keep up the good work!!
            Sam Gorden

            ctbadbilly@... wrote:

            I found a perfect copy of the 3rd printing of Schurmanns book on Caucasion
            Rugs in a used bookstore in NYC for $10.00.  Eat your heart out.  I have also
            found other old rug books, One a first edition from the 1920s signed by the
            author.
            I suggest checking around, you never know.    Bill B. New Haven, ct

          • RugNotes
            ... From: Sam and Barbara Gorden To: rug-fanatics@egroups.com Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 11:48 PM Subject: Re: [rug-fanatics] Ulrich Schurmann Books Dear
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 1, 2000
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              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 11:48 PM
              Subject: Re: [rug-fanatics] Ulrich Schurmann Books

              Dear Bill B.
              Congratulations on your finding the books you needed!  Your methods remind me of my own.  My motto has always been "Get The Most For The Least"'  Keep up the good work!!
              Sam Gorden

              ctbadbilly@... wrote:

              I found a perfect copy of the 3rd printing of Schurmanns book on Caucasion
              Rugs in a used bookstore in NYC for $10.00.  Eat your heart out.  I have also
              found other old rug books, One a first edition from the 1920s signed by the
              author.
              I suggest checking around, you never know.    Bill B. New Haven, ct

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