As I mentioned before, some Oriental rugs have price tags comparable to brand new vehicles. You might ask yourself, why would someone spend so much money on something to be walked on? There are several reasons antique Oriental rugs hold their value, and in many cases are worth more as they age.
Antique Persian Kurdistan Bag face with a hand-knotted pile
Persian rugs have long been seen as a symbol of wealth and elite status. This can partly be attributed to older Persian dynasties, such as the Safavid dynasty (1502 – 1736). Many of their courts held some of the best carpets ever made. This period is often referred to as the Golden age of Persian carpets. During this time weavers were trained by the best and utilized the finest materials, such as silk for the pile of the rug accented with silver and gold threads. One of the world’s oldest Oriental carpets from this time is called the Ardabil carpet and is on display at the Victoria and Albert museum. Learn more about the history of this prized piece of art >
Semi-Antique Persian Kirman rug with buff-beige field
Older rugs from these palaces and from these looms have long been sought after by dealers and collectors. When one of these rugs goes onto the auction block it is sure to turn into an exciting bidding war. Recently a record was broken at Sotheby’s for the most expensive Oriental carpet which went for $33,765,000. This is obviously not the norm, but occasionally rugs like that do come on the market. Learn more about this stunning rug >
Close-up of the knots making up the Persian Kurdistan pictured above
When you look at the back of a rug to see each and every knot tied by skillful weavers it is hard not to imagine why they are worth so much money. The time, effort, and skill put into a Persian rug are reasons enough for the price tag. When you buy a Persian rug, you are making an investment. The majority of rugs will last generations, and the rug you buy today could be the rug laid in your granddaughter’s living room. These rugs will last a lifetime. So when faced with the decision of buying a genuine Oriental rug or a machine-made copy, the choice is obvious. A machine-made rug (unless one of the more desirable brands such as Karastan) will not last your lifetime, and they will not become prettier as they wear such as Oriental rugs do.
The last reason I will mention for the desirability of Persian rugs in the United States is the embargo on Iran. At a later date I will delve deeper into it, but the fact that no Persian rugs are being imported to the USA means everyone wants to snatch up the rugs available here now.
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What types of rugs do you have in your home? How long has a rug been in your family? Share your thoughts below!