Nigel has spent the last four days imposing on the generous hospitality of Max Allen, and his research assistants Ted and Ruby (pictured) in Toronto. Ted is not shy, but sleeping in some dark corner, with one ear open in case his bete noir (if any bete can be noirer than Ted) Ricky passes within 100 yards of the house. The rug above depicts Max on a white charger – which would not be a war rug except for one small Kalashnikov pointing at him. Max’s collection is truly inspiring, enabling us to follow seemingly obscure connections between subject matter, styles and motifs which might otherwise be lost. Thanks Max. You can trace more of the depth and range of Max’s interests through crossing to the Textile Museum of Canada, of which he was the co-founder, and at which he still functions as emeritus curator.