Friday, April 18, 2008

Interesting Insights

Here, in the former GDR, people have yet not quite caught up with fashionable euphemisms, so "junk goods" are still "junk goods" and not "antiques". I picked up some deer antlers and wild boar canines I had bought at Ebay at a fairly unbelievable place. A huge, dilapidated, deserted-looking shanty in the deepest countryside, full with amazingly interesting old stuff. Nobody who is not from the former GDR will believe that anything like that exists. I thought: "It can't be here and I will NOT be leaving the car!" But alas, it was. The hunting trophies will be put to good use.

I bought, too, a Schmiedeberger rug. From 1856 on, oriental rugs were copied in a town in Silesia, Schmiedeberg, with great success. The German copycats did not just go for the look, but for the quality of the oriental originals as well.

I googled for "Schmiedeberger", which had been unbeknown to me and came across a memory page for a beutiful 19th century upper middleclass house in the town of Halberstadt that had perished in post-WWII Communist East Germany. The specification of the details gives us an idea of the league in which Schmiedeberger rugs used to play.
In the entrance hall a Bidjar für 10,000, next to the harmonium a Beluj for 12,000 and on top of it a Turish shawl for 400, on top of the grand piano a Turkish silk rug for 7,000, all together 29,400 Goldmark.

In the boudoir a large Ferrachan for 15,000, in the alcove a Bidjar for 4,500, at the window a Samarkand for 3,000 and at the mahogany fitted cupboards a Buchara for 5,000, all together 27,500 Goldmark.

In the study a German rug from Schmiedeberg for 5,000 and a Turkish shawl on top of the sofa for 400 could be found, in the dining room another German rug for 4,000 Goldmark.

One of the daughter's rooms was graced by an Afghan for 8,000 and the drawing room on the first floor with a Somnak for 8,000 Goldmark, all this amounted ... to a value of 82,300 Goldmark covering the floor.

Go to the website to see more pictures of a stunningly opulent house and -- if you can stomach it -- how it ended.

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