What is an Antique Oriental rug:
In the rug industry an antique rug conservatively considered antique after the estimated date of creation has exceeded 100 years of age.
An Oriental rug is defined as a hand made, hand woven rug with warp and weft using using natural materials and having been created in the near, mid, or far East.
This definition of Oriental rugs encompasses and includes hand woven, non-piled carpets such as Kilims, Soumacs, and Needlepoints as well as hand knotted, piled-carpets featuring the use of traditional Persian knots or Turkish/Ghiordes knots as well as Spanish, Savonnerie & Nepalese knots.
By technical definition, hand tufted carpets are also considered Oriental rugs, although such carpets generally are created with a significantly reduced labor time, and often will not last as long as the previously mentioned carpets.
Purchasing Antique rugs?
Often the safer purchase is often in acquiring antique rugs with a timeless designs, classic motifs, harmonious colors, non-era specific overtones. Look for tone-on-tone, or healthy and deep contrast.
With few exceptions, antique rugs are largely an unbranded item. Some of the more sought after carpets, and those of which seem to retain value over the long term are carpets attributed to Mohtashem (Kashan rugs), Haji Jalili (Tabriz rugs), Dilmaghani (Kerman rugs).
The best Antique Oriental rugs:
Antique rugs are often valued based on the following characteristics: Uniqueness & rarity, condition, aesthetic (harmony of design and colors), quality of dyes, quality of wool & craftsmanship to name a few indicators.
It is not uncomon for collectors to apply a high value on an antique rug based on three or fewer of these purchasing points.
Often threshold of typical market value can be far surpassed in both asking price and/or realized sale price of antique rugs as they are seen as works of art.
No one single type of antique rug can be stated to be more collectible, desirable or valueable than another. However, it is not uncommon for the antique rug market to move with the ebb and flow of the interior design market. As antique rugs are only becoming more rare, swings of demand and popularity for specific types of carpets can dramatically increase market prices.