Doctor Norman G. Norman and I were enjoying a nice Macedonian Mixture Saturday evening when we were paid a visit by our mutual friend Amy L’Oiseau.
Amy had been invited to participate on a television program regarding antiques and artifacts and she was excited.
“I had planned on bringing,” she started, “this square of covering.” What she produced looked like an animal hide with the fur intact. “It is,” she continued, “among the first plush carpet remnants produced and it dates back to the reign of Marcus Aurelius towards the end of the Parthian War…”
“May I inspect it more closely?” Norman extended his hand. Amy turned the artifact over to him. “I got it from my great uncle Silas Wigsworth who told me it its story and he said it has been in his family for generation. While carpet, more specifically rugs,” Amy concluded, “can be traced back over two thousand years ago (primarily in Persia), this specific type—plush—did not show up until about 165 CE (Common Era). Notice that the fabric has the consistency of animal skin—but it is not! It is tightly woven fabric—so tight that the strands have fused together.”
“What do you make of these markings on back here?” Dr. Norman showed our friend Amy L’Oiseau the back of the fabric.
“Why, those are markings of a distant relative Winston Wigsworth. He stamped it to prove ownership.”
Norman looked at the modest bit of carpet a moment more and looked at Amy with sympathetic eyes. “I am afraid,” he said, “that if you make this claim on television, you would be publicly embarrassed.”
Amy looked at him, astonished and speechless.
Tomorrow, I will give you Doctor Norman’s explanation.