One of the major problems of the ex-Soviet bloc is a reluctance to take the initiative or to take decisions.
You are welcome to deal with the artisan direct. However, we would be glad to act as intermediaries; arranging payment, ensuring delivery and negotiating in case of disappointment.
We would therefore welcome any suggestions about small craftsmen who deserve encouragement or help. We are looking for those who work for their own account but just do not have the "know-how" nor the resources to market what they make. Most holiday-makers, for example, have seen the old spirit of enterprise still being practised. Please let us know.
|Peter Grozdev comes from Moldova. He
was trained as a veterinary surgeon but decided to put all his money in
the last maker of kilims. Nowadays, few people could tell you what
a kilims is but some years ago they were world famous, with prices
reaching $20,000. In fact, they are hand-woven carpets. They
are also extremely hard-wearing.
Peter has gone one step further. He has co-operated with us in establishing classes in several orphanages, to train a new generation.
|Since the time of Napoleon I, the Allot
Brothers have been making high-class furniture. They are now in
the seventh generation. many people are surprised that pieces of such
magnificence are still being made and it is probably true that the
market is not what it used to be.
But what an investment. Chairs made for Louis XIV and even earlier monarchs still come up for auction. They cost a lot, of course, but the amortisation for the original owners is negligible. Quite the reverse - they probably made a profit.
Icons are the speciality of Eastern Europe, where statues and other representations are not acceptable to the Orthodox Church.
Some of these can be very valuable and can be a good investment.