|PLEASE NOTE: mr michael franses, subject of this website, IS NOT AFFILIATED IN ANY WAY WITH THE WORLD FAMOUS AND RENOWN FIRM OF S. FRANSES FROM LONDON, ENGLAND, WHO ARE A LEADING DEALERSHIP AND CONSULTANCY IN THE WORLD OF TAPESTRIES, CARPETS AND TEXTILES. THEIR WEBSITE CAN BE FOUND AT: HTTP://FRANSES.COM
All Talk, no walk franses
It has now been many months since micheal franses made those worthless threats he believed would prevent RK from publishing the contents of the email exchange with Gunter Raps.
RK knew not only was franses bluffing but, more importantly, he had no grounds to pursue any type of a legal case.
So it is no surprise we called his bluff and published everything, except the derogatory comments franses made about his employers and job in Doha.
The only reason we demurred from publishing those nasty comments franses so foolishly made about the people in Doha who have given him a job and a position was not to cause them any public embarrassment.
After all just being around a twit and selfish douche-bag like michael franses is enough, and who but someone like him would be such an ingrate to voice his dislike and disgust about his employers to a complete stranger with whom he had only exchanged a few emails?
But long before franses stupidly sent those emails, wherein he poured out his heart to Gunter, RK knew and had often voiced publicly franses was nothing but an abusive control freak whose lack of formal education and wordly experience prevents him from any type of reasonable relationship with anyone other than the most sycophantic.
Along those lines RK recently learned most of that rag hali‘s staff basically hates and can’t stand him, and are now not afraid to say so in private.
Also we have heard were they capable of getting a better job they surely would leave in a heartbeat, as the overbearing and revolting way franses orders them around surely does not engender anything but hatred.
We find it amazing with all the failure that litters franses’s career, like that rag hali sinking, and all the ridiculous over-dating and selling mediocre rugs as “great masterpieces” to many private clients he is credited in rugdumb as being a “scholar” and leader.
Obviously in any other art collecting area someone like franses would not even be carrying the luggage for those who really are scholars and leaders.
RugDumb has alot of pimples on its face and for anyone, other than those in denial or too stupid to see reality, to think michael franses is anything but a quite noticeable one is unfathomable.
From several vociferous supporters of michael franses who have sent us emails RK has been questioned as to exactly what we are talking about when we mentioned franses’s numerous “failures” in rugDUMB.
Well, for starters how about his first: the advertising and seeking subscriptions for a supposed volume Two of Turkmen Studies which never came to pass?
Then of course, there is the demise of the icoc and acor organizations. And just for those who are too out of it to have ever realized franses was behind everything that ever happened with the icoc.
As for acor, which did in fact have independent origins, as soon as it proved to be competition for the icoc franses made sure to co-opt all those involved and fold them into the icoc organization.
This is fact, and easily proven — so for any of you who might doubt RK’s words go do some simple investigating and you will see for yourselves.
Plus the fact the “icoc” has now been relegated and reduced to being the “brand” for that rag hali‘s ‘travel agency business’, what more proof could possibly be needed?
How about the myth and peddling of pre-middle 19th century kaitags franses was solely responsible for stoking?
We are sure many in rugDUMB purchased these late 19th century at best derivative “folk-art” embroideries believing them to be much older thanks to franses’s pump and dump.
Forget about thinking and paying much more for them decades ago than they have now proven to be worth.
How about those bogus reproduction “ottoman embroideries” franses helped rug-idiot gerard pacquin try and float as 16th and 17th century Ottoman works of art?
We could go on but think anyone who has a comprehensive knowledge of Anatolian Village rugs could not be anything but aghast by researching in old that rag hali magazines franses’s many advertisements touting 18th and early 19th century examples as 16th and 17th century ones.
The fact franses is still at this game, as RK’s documenting his recent offers to Gunter Raps, bodes poorly for anyone who might want to champion franses’s mythic reputation as an expert and “scholar”
Any more questions from the peanut gallery?
Bogus as a three-dollar bill is the only way to characterize michael franses’s “witness statement” attached to the still unfiled motion for interlocutory judgment he threatened to file against RK.
Sending it was intended to scare us into signing the totally unacceptable “deed of settlement” franses and his lawyers concocted.
Unfortunately for him the “witness statement” had a major problem – much of it was untrue, and what wasn’t was sheer exaggeration. But even if his accusations had been true we would never have signed such a document.
After carefully reading the long “witness statement” and checking the assertions it contains our suspicions were completely fulfilled.
Basically, it’s nothing but a big lie meant to bolster an unwinnable case.
A case even franses knows cannot be won, which undoubtedly is why he has not gone forward.
His threats as bogus as the numerous statements below we have extracted from his “witness statement”.
We guess franses is so accustomed to lying and talking trash he has lost the ability to differentiate between what is true and what he falsely believes, or wants to believe, is true.
Let’s examine the fantasy claims he makes, particularly in light of the fact it, nor the motion for interlocutory judgment, has never been approved by a court, nor has it ever even been submitted to one.
The “witness statement” was supposed to be done under oath and franses acknowledges this at the onset of his statements by stating he is seeking to “…restrain publication of private and confidential information obtained by deceit” and that he has “…been advised of my duty to disclose all matters relevant to this application, I confirm that I have had regard to my duty in providing this witness statement.”
We can easily prove his violating this “duty to disclose”, and his oath to tell the truth and whole truth and nothing but the truth, with the lies and half-truths contained throughout his “witness statement”.
The first we spotted was this “…the leading textile magazine Hali which is run by my daughter Jessica Franses.”
This is laughable and were it not done under oath one might not take notice of the charade franses has set up by appointing his daughter, jessica franses, to that position. But it is done under oath, and that is not laughable.
She has no experience in, or knowledge of, the ‘textile field’, nor in running a magazine.
She is a fairly recently graduated lawyer and we are sure she spends more time brushing her hair than she does “running” hali magazine.
To boot her name appears nowhere on the magazine’s mast head or its list of employees.
She is the boss’s daughter and were he not the owner jessica franses would stand no chance to be in that job. She’s nothing but a sham nominee stand-in for franses himself.
Second: “…I retired from the antique textile business in 2009. I divided the partnership with my wife Jacqueline and retained the remaining stock in my private collection.”
This, too, is laughable as it is impossible to reconcile franses’s supposed retiring “from the antique textile business” and his being employed by the Museum Authority of the Doha Museums as the “…director of special cultural projects” since then.
From his own admissions the only projects franses is involved in revolve around carpets and textiles. In fact he is the Museum Authority’s in house carpet and textile expert.
And retaining his former stock in his private collection?
Might sound good on paper but what then is franses doing offering pieces from that supposed “private collection” to buyers like the fictional ‘Gunter Raps’?
Once a dealer always a dealer and franses is no more a “collector” than Humpty Dumpty is a bricklayer.
Third: “Mr Cassin ….has long held a grudge against me.” This is typical rewriting the truth; for it is franses, who has held the grudge against RK.
Witness the untrue and defamatory statements he made to ‘Gunter’ about us. Is there any need for further proof?
Fourth: “I met him (Cassin) in the early 1970’s and we became reasonably friendly. Our friendship deteriorated in March 1985.”
We were not reasonably friendly, as we never did anything but rug business together.
We never had a lunch or dinner together. We never went to a movie, a bar, a club or even for a walk around the block together.
We never discussed anything but oriental rugs.
All franses did was buy some great rugs from us – he surely was not a friend in any sense of that word.
This is typical franses rewriting history to his liking, not to its facts.
Fifth: “I had an oral agreement (in 1985) with an author to publish an article….After Mr Cassin became aware he then went to the author and signed a contract knowing I had an agreement with the author.”
The author was James Mellaart and RK signed a publishing agreement with him in 1983, and it was at Mellaart’s request that I intervened between him and franses about this issue.
And franses had no oral agreement from Mellaart. What he had was a non-binding convention that icoc speakers would give their speeches to that rag hali/franses for later publication.
And it was Mellaart’s decision, not RK’s, to refuse to give his speech for publication.
Sixth: By at least 2011 Mr Cassin started to post disparaging comments about me…”…comments designed to insult me. For instance he called me a ‘cut and paster’ ‘ an academic poseur’ one of two ‘carpet baggin clowns’ and ‘an idiot’.”
Sorry but in our opinion franses is are all of the above and more.
RK has proven this beyond doubt, and since when did the truth become an insult?
And when is the truth a disparaging comment?
Seventh: “Matters have escalated recently to the point where he has registered a website UK in my name.”
That website, michaelfranse.co.uk was registered in 2009 — five years ago – as any check of the public record shows.
Records franses is obviously too busy to check or if he has then he just wants to present more mistruth to support his allegations.
Eighth: “By email dated February 24, 2014 6:17PM I received an email from an individual identifying himself as Gunter Raps…It was understood from this email that Gunter Raps was a collector of carpets wishing to acquire examples from my private collection.”
Again, franses is making up history to suit his false positions.
RK has already published that email, and not only does it not mention franses ‘private collection”, RK did not even know he had one.
It was only in his first reply to ‘Gunter’ that RK learned of franses’s supposed “private collection”.
While franses wrote to Gunter “I hope you will treat this matter with absolute discretion” about his collection and Gunter intimated by reply he was “discrete”, Gunter never actually said he would be discrete with franses’s information.
Gunter wrote “My interests and actions in the oriental rug business have been very discrete and this is the way I prefer it to remain.” This is a far cry from saying he would be discreet with anyone else’s information.
Much later in one of the last emails he sent Gunter franses expressed concern that Gunter might not keep any of the information sent to him confidential and private “ I am afraid to tell you more as I do not know you will not relate this to him…”. He was writing about the comments he made about us, but regardless of the subject franses expressed serious concern Gunter might not be confidential with franses’s information and communications.
From the get-go we said if franses was stupid enough to trust a complete stranger with confidential information he has no leg to stand on if that confidentiality was misplaced.
Ninth: “I feel strongly that my collection is confidential to me to the small circle that I chose to make such disclosure. If the full extent of my collection is made known to the public it damages the value of my collection…I feel that Mr Cassin has stolen the right of mine to keep the full extent of my art collection private.”
This is more bald-face lying as half of that “private collection” was previously offered for sale on franses’s website textile-art.com.
We have irrefutable proof – screen shots showing those same rugs for sale to any and all buyers or, in fact, anyone who looked at his website in the past.
So much for the phony “private collection” lie franses is falsely trying to establish.
The photos have since been removed, we do not know when, but so what they were for there for sale and we are sure many people saw them.
And, therefore, franses’s claims our publishing them will damage their value is complete hogwash.
Knowing this makes franses’s writing the following under oath absolutely perjury “I have been very private about my collection.”.
After advertising half of his supposed “private collection” for sale on his website who else but a liar and deceptionist could write this under oath in papers intended to be submitted to a court of law?
Tenth: Referring to other rugs franses has in this “private collection” he wrote “…my ownership of textiles…I jointly own with other collectors…was on the very clear understanding that both parties would keep the contents of such strictly confidential.”
Then what is franses doing emailing parts or all of this information to ‘Gunter Raps’ someone he does not know, nor someone who he admittedly can not even be sure will keep such information confidential?
This makes mockery both of franses’s pledge to the “other collectors” as well as his statements to the court under oath.
The ‘witness statement’ ends with franses signing his name to the following “STATEMENT OF TRUTH – I believe that the facts stated in this statement are true”
After reading the above ten instances where franses’s statements are proven to be are false or misleading, his facts proven to be fiction and fantasy, does anyone need more proof of his duplicity and willingness to lie and distort the truth, even under oath, to try and get what he wants?
We know franses has no case and is not going to try and stop us from publishing the ‘Gunter Raps Saga’.
All his bluster and threats conveyed to us through his lawyer are a waste of time everyone’s time.
Lies, big or small, are still lies; however, when done under sworn oath to tell the truth a much more serious issue ensues.
The fact michael franses was willing to submit a “witness statement”, in support of the interlocutory judgment he threatened to file against RK containing untrue statements, ie lies, at times bordering on perjury when compared to his own admissions, says a lot about his character and person.
It says what we have maintained for years, franses is duplicitous and a deceptionist.
Perhaps now this has been brought to light he will try to present the idea he never intended to file the “witness statement” or petition a court for the interlocutory judgment and was only faking it to induce RK’s signing the “deed of settlement” he hoped would prevent our making public the damaging emails sent to ‘Gunter Raps’.
Either way his actions are dishonest, they cannot be ameliorated by more lies.
One of the main reasons claimed in the writ for interlocutory judgment and “witness statement” to gain court mandated help was to prevent RK’s publication of franses’s so-called ‘private collection’.
But the reality four of the eleven carpets in that collection were published for sale on franses’s own website as recently as several years ago makes this argument look weaker than weak and, at the least, ridiculous.
His failure to mention it nothing but additional proof of a willingness to deceive and violate a sworn duty to provide the court with all the facts at his disposal.
We have absolute proof, screen shots from his website, like the one above.
Two of the seven others are also published, though not under franses’s name.
One in a 1985 advertisement, by Italian dealer Elio Cittone, published in that rag hali(issue 25 gallery pg 6) and the other in “Orient Stars” the Kirchheim Collection publication (pg 241).
Seeking court shelter under an interlocutory judgment for rugs already well known from recent former publication in the public domain is both a waste of any court’s time, as well as obvious deception.
And to claim publication by RK, or anyone else, would harm their value or make them less saleable nothing but pretention.
What could harm their value and make them less saleable is factual critique.
We intend to publish such information to show what franses wrote to ‘Gunter’ and the descriptions that appeared on his website, which are both basically one and the same, are fanciful, far too flattering and above all optimistic.
The dating is likewise more franses fantasy over-dating.
Stay tuned, more to come
as seen on http://rugkazbah.com
Everyone with even a cursory interest in antique ‘collector’ oriental rugs has heard, and knows, the name of michael franses whose father, three uncles, and grandfather Samuel, were all involved in the rug business in London.
What many do not know is the truth about franses, who has been able to hide behind a concerted smoke-screen of deceptive and less than half-truths about himself and his activities.
RK, however, does know all about franses and recently came into a trove of, from the horse’s mouth so to speak, material which displays this for all to see and provides further proof of what RK has long maintained about him.
We are organizing this information and will soon make it public, but until we do we suggest readers peruse a number of previous mentions franses has received on RugKazbah.com, which can be easily found by placing franses’s name in the search engine on our homepage.
Before we get into the new information we have gotten from the “horse’s mouth” RK would like to demonstrate just how far and how deep deception runs in the world of michael franses.
One of franses’s two adult daughters is a barrister, what Americans call a lawyer, who has a website where she has published the following to describe herself and her family
Her father, michael franses, is not the “former owner” of that rag hali — he is the present owner.
Now why would ms franses not tell the truth about her father?
Also her “great uncle” Victor Franses sold carpets and rugs in his gallery.
RK should know because Victor was a very special friends of ours, and we enjoyed some splendid times with him.
His son Graham also started in the carpet business and it was his interest in 19th century “animalier bronzes” which eventually became the main business of the gallery in its later years.
Both of them died too soon, but the fact ms franses avoided telling the truth about them speaks well for her being, like her father, someone who thinks nothing of rewriting history.
And calling michael franses an “extremely successful art dealer” is debatable. But what is not debatable is franses now owns that rag hali magazine.
One other questionable point is describing hali publications ltd’s activities as “coordinating and curating art fairs”.
This is complete nonsense and to the max hype. It does seemingly conduct “art tours”, well that is if you call the few “icoc” ruggie trips it has done “art tours” .
And while RK realizes everyone wants to put their best foot forward in advertising their “business”, going hog wild like ms franses has done is nothing but typical cheap, bogus rug dealer “going out of business” type bs.
It’s often said the apple does not fall far from the tree, and clearly jessica franses has learned from her father to deceive and distort the truth, and to do it to shamelessly try to rewrite the past in a vain attempt to erase it.
Examining the career michael franses has had in the rug business on the surface seems to show an impressive and noteworthy one.
But, as often things are, there is the behind the scene truth and reality this surface impression doesn’t reveal.
RK surely does not know everything; however, we do know alot both from first hand experience and from other knowledgeable sources.
Much of what franses wrote about his present circumstances in his emails to G.R. did not come as news to us, it did though confirm what we already had learned and seen with our own eyes.
Of course, franses’s surprising comments about his being employed in Doha by the Qatar Museum Authority, the organization in charge of all the cultural property including the Museum of Islamic Art(MIA), and those about people he has come into contact with there were unknown to us.
But for RK’s readership we are sure what happens in Qatar is of far less interest than what franses has recently done, and is thinking of doing in the world of oriental rug appreciation and collecting.
Perhaps this is unrelated but quite frankly RK seriously doubts franses is a rug lover or has the passion for collecting we have seen certain collectors and appreciators we have met in the past forty plus years exhibit.
Granted, individuals who fit this description are rare, and we could count on our fingers the number of those who qualify.
And undoubtedly franses is not among them. He is just a dealer who is selling a commodity to the highest bidder.
This comes through loud and clear reading what he wrote to G.R..
After all franses readily sent pictures of what he claimed is his private “collection” along with prices for G.R. to consider, and regardless of the excuses franses offered for his selling, he showed himself as a very willing seller.
Giving them a “new home”, wanting to let others “enjoy them”, selling because his family doesn’t “appreciate them”, or any of the other lame excuses franses offered up prove beyond a doubt his “collection” was just a savings account time has come to “cash in”.
RK knows franses is presently nothing but a charlatan pseudo-scholar playing that role to the hilt. Formerly he was playing the role of the big kahuna of oriental rug dealers. And while he pretends to have left this behind, nothing could be farther from the truth as his emails to G.R. prove beyond doubt.
And this role, as the big kahuna rug dealer, has in the end left him with little.
Sure he is again the owner of that rag hali magazine, which is a losing proposition; an employee/contracted consultant to the Museum Authority in Qatar, a role that according to what he wrote to G.R. he questions; and a failing rug business entrepreneur whose plans have all turned to dust and blown away in the passing wind of time.
The way we see it franses is more than anyone else responsible for the severely declining interest in early oriental rugs and the dearth of new collectors entering this pastime. That rag hali, its failure to maintain its position as a rug magazine and its futile attempts to turn itself into a “tribal arts” magazine; the demise of the nepotistic in-group promoting icoc; and the co-option of acor into the icoc orbit were important nails franses’s limited abilities to create something new hammered into the coffin the oriental rug collecting society is now interred.
The intellectually limited and almost always profit driven schemes franses concocted have proven dead ends, all of them gone from the scene except subscriber crippled that rag hali magazine, and we wonder how long it will be until it, too, vanishes.
By bemoaning his financial problems in some of those emails to G.R. franses paints a picture we were already aware of, thanks to certain of his confidents also being ones of ours.
We see it quite just this is the bed he is laying in, as he has made it for himself, and the old “what goes around comes around” saying holding true here.
The self-promoting regime franses concocted and shared with a small group of insiders, who benefitted unfairly from their positions in the icoc, destroyed that organization; the prejudicial editorial policies of that rag hali, which favor that in-group and ignore all outsiders, were both equally responsible for the destruction of the formerly potent oriental rug collecting society.
And for anyone who does not know michael franses was the architect behind all this, and again, we find it fitting he is reaping what he had sown.
RK is sitting on a raft of information about franses, all of it gotten directly from him when he so foolishly divulged it to someone he did not know, someone he had never met, or even spoken to.
No doubt franses was driven by greed as G.R., the fictitious uber-wealthy German would be rug ‘collector’ who emailed him, was just too good an opportunity to miss.
However and there is no doubt, any genuinely intelligent person would have wanted to verify who and what G.R. actually was before continuing.
But not dumbbell michael franses, who apparently is so desperate to sell his wares and find a good client he couldn’t wait to begin flapping his loose lips to reveal his “secrets” to a complete stranger.
There are several reasons RK has yet to release more of what franses wrote other than what he said about us.
Nor have we told the remarkable story of what weasel franses did after he found out he had not been emailing a super-rich German but rather RK.
To say franses is an idiot to have told so much to a stranger is unquestionable, and to say he is even stupider for doing what he did after the fact more so.
RK knows franses deserves the mess he has gotten himself into and we intend to show no mercy in making his comments about others in the rug business, his job in Doha, his inventory — aka collection — and his plans for his future in the rug business, public.
After all franses has been spreading the mistruths, lies and defamation he wrote to G.R. to countless others over the past 30 years, and RK now finally has the evidence to prove what we have suspected for a very long time.
In an effort to prevent RK from publishing the trove of information michael franses so foolishly emailed to a complete stranger, the fictional ‘Gunter Raps’, he has gone to extraordinary lengths, including trying to have us charged with criminal prosecution for blackmail and extortion.
These charges are totally frivolous and absurd.
Perhaps that is why franses threats are just that — threats he and his attorneys have not pursued.
Presently we cannot reveal the ridiculous ‘evidence’ which underpins their ‘case’; nor have we decided what we can and might publish.
One thing is sure franses’s case is a bogus as his daughter Jessica Franses’s website claims about his ‘retirement’ from rug dealing; her equally misleading statement about her great uncle Victor and his son, her cousin Graham, not being a carpet dealers and instead presented as “bronze dealers” which was at best an equal part of their business along with selling oriental rugs; or her being the ‘CEO’ of that rag hali publications ltd.
In the now stalled ‘negotiations’ franses initiated to try and prevent RK’s releasing this trove of ‘from the horses mouth’ information, RK offered to consider doing so if michael franses would among other actions have his daughter correct these misleading accounts on her website.
So far she has not corrected or removed them, nor has michael franses done anything to persuade RK to keep what he wrote under wraps.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, one in which michael franses has once again proven himself to be underhanded, a liar, and someone whose word cannot be trusted.
More to come, stay tuned
For those of you who do not know, and we are sure there are many, michael franses now lives in the Persian Gulf region in Doha, Qatar, where he is employed by the Qatar Museum Authority(QMA).
The QMA is the governing body of the Doha museums, including the Museum of Islamic Art, and their collections.
Several years ago franses, according the the gossip and rumors RK has heard from those who claim to know, had some problems in London and “had to leave”.
We can well believe this is fact.
Not only from those rumors but from the complicated situation franses was involved in concerning the purchasing of many expensive Islamic works of art and his role in certain irregularities surrounding the payment for those articles.
This situation was reported in art magazines and newspaper articles which mentioned of franses’s name.
Regardless of the problems he might have had, it is fact franses now lives in Doha and works for the QMA.
RK has also learned franses’s employment contract forbids him from independently buying or selling any oriental carpets.
Could this be why he repurchased that rag hali and now is trying to keep the sinking ship afloat?
One thing is sure: michael franses is a slippery character who thinks, as RK has provided ample evidence, nothing of rewriting his past history in rugDumb to try and blot out the truth and whitewash the various dubious activities he conducted as a dealer.
RK knows enough to positively state franses is nothing like the image he now presents.
To wit: The following comments are from a 2010 press release:
“Now, at the end of my business career, as I embark upon full-time carpet and textile research in my ‘retirement, to be honored with the George Hewitt Myers Award is the greatest recognition I could ever have received.”
Seems to RK franses’s “retirement” either did not last very long or he forgot to mention his being employed by the QMA.
And several paragraphs later:
“Franses owned The Textile Gallery in London from 1971-2007, exhibiting at major art fairs all over the world and mounting numerous special exhibitions. He closed his gallery three years ago and the following year closed his publishing company and became board chairman of Hali Publications Ltd. His intention is to devote his autumn years to study and to putting his extensive archives in order and making these widely available.”
Devote his autumn years to study?
Please now, this is a bogus as daniel, aka do nothing dan, walker’s published and promised intentions, after he was thrown out of his job as the director of the Textile Museum, to devote his time to research and publication.
Not one article did walker publish before, several years later, re-entering the museum world as curator of two departments at the Art Institute of Chicago.
So far all franses has done is republish some old articles he wrote, or at least carry his name as author, on that rag hali‘s website.
Only in rugDumb could character actors like franses and walker not only survive but prosper. Their success is truly a sad commentary and one which surely needs airing.
Perhaps someday we will set the record further straight on mr franses and publicly announce additional evidence to support our position.
‘Nuff said for now…
Read about mr michael, aka little lord, franses on RugKazbah.com
For instance you can learn about franses’ penchant to seriously over-date Anatolian rugs, which are in this writer’s opinion 18th and 19th century, to the 15th and 16th centuries.
You can also learn about mr franses ridiculous assertions kaitag embroideries are 17th and 18th century when there is not one shred of evidence or proof such early dates can be substantiated.