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Why Buy Vintage Rugs?

Posted on October 23, 2014 by M+D | 0 comments

Rugs and carpets generally fit into three main age classifications: antique, semi-antique (vintage) and new. In understanding why to purchase vintage rugs, it is important to know what drives the antique rug market and new rug production.

Antique rugs are estimated to have a weaving date of 100 years or more. With antique rugs and textiles the late 19th and early 20th century is a pivotal time since this is the cusp of larger, world interest. In the eyes of a purist, the carpets made before this time are of great appeal since antique rugs are 1. Generally a bit more scarce 2. Made in a time with potential importance in regards to history or authenticity to purists. With scarcity and collector interest/demand come higher prices. Although the harmony and aesthetic of an antique rug with true age and patina may resonate well with many people, often cost may be prohibitive to the average buyer. If not cost, the importance of the rug may be too great for day-to-day use. With the latter, you may opt for placing the rug in a low traffic area, perhaps hanging or mounting it on a wall, or even consider storing for your private collection. Antique rugs and carpets of true age are not entirely common, and realized prices of excellent to exceptional carpets with unique character and excellent artistic merit continue to be well established every day.

New rug production has similar downsides to antique rugs relating to cost: Materials and labor making new rugs are quite high over years past. Replacement of new rug weaving at the consumer level is perhaps 35 – 50% more costly in the last decade alone.

Most importantly on in a trade-off consideration: If one were to qualitatively compare a very good condition 1940’s Persian Sarouk to a replica in new rug production, it is conceivable the authentic vintage Sarouk may only cost 50-70% the sale price of the new carpet that is made to look like the old.

While there may be some further considerations when purchasing a pre-owned rug, it certainly is appealing to consider a $4,000 9x12 authentic Persian Sarouk in very good condition over the cost of a $6,500 new 9x12 rug made to look like the $4,000 carpet.

It is also, however, worthwhile to note machine made rugs in similar comparison: For a well known manufacturers power loomed (machine made) carpet made of wool with similar density and aesthetic to a true American Sarouk, you may easily pay $3,000. Why not opt for the real, authentic, genuine original, hand knotted Persian rug for just a fraction more?

There is great validity and real cost-benefit of purchasing a vintage rug over an antique or new rug (or even a machine made rug for that matter). The manner in which hand knotted rugs are made today is little changed over the course of many centuries. However, the main difference now is vintage rugs are an extremely affordable option, and regardless, will continue to last for many, many years.

Finding the proper balance in utility and value: vintage rugs are a real contender in finding the optimal choice!

Looking for related reading? Take a look at our new article on what makes a rug collectible and other popular rugs.

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Reconnecting with a few antique rugs

Posted on May 01, 2014 by M+D | 1 comment

Carpets never cease to amaze me. Isolating a single square foot, each section of a rug conveys a completely different palette and pattern. As a rug enthusiast I find myself relating to single areas or patterns as much as I do the overall aesthetic of an entire rug. Here are a few rugs from our antiques section I thought I would shed a bit more light on.

Antique Persian Tabriz Rug: This older Tabriz features a stunning ivory center medallion, rust field and beige/sand corner spandrels. My eye is always particularly drawn to the beautiful, yet sparse, shades of deep jewel teal and blue.  The border is also quite admirable - a very softly seasoned tone-on-tone medallion and field is confidently wrapped with a palmetto + serrated leaf motif woven with handsome and harnessed strength in design and contrast. Harmonious and powerful!

Lovely antique Persian Tabriz rug

 

Antique Persian Farahan Sarouk Rug :  Exceptionally detailed carpet with excellent weave and wool. Such a fantastic design in this little antique Sarouk Farahan. The allover vertical meandering leaf field design is so simple in so many ways, yet the dynamic really lends to the feeling of movement in this rug. True to its way, this certainly does feel like the running channels of water design as it is known!

Fantastic antique Sarouk Farahan

Antique Persian Bijar :  A rare and early wool weft antique Persian Halvaie Bijar. Fantastic execution of design with phenomenal range of colors with deep saturation in all shades! 

Gorgeous antique Persian Halvaie Bijar Rug

 

Thanks for checking in, stay tuned for new arrivals & enjoy your next rug from our great selection of antique and vintage rugs

 

Melissa + Dave

Old New House

oldnewhouse.com

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Rug Talk: Vintage + Antique Rugs

Posted on March 08, 2014 by M+D | 1 comment

We love rugs.  There is always at least one or two spots for a special antique or vintage rug in your room: and it does not always have to be on the floor.  A rug can be displayed on the wall, atop the ottoman, slung over the side of a couch.  So with all these different ways of decorating with rugs, lets talk about what we consider rugs:  Technically a rug is an area rug measuring approximately 5'x8' and smaller in size.  The word 'rug' and 'carpet' are for the most part used interchangeably.  In the Old New House shop, our featured rugs are exclusively hand knotted or hand woven - which is the more intimate of many types of processes in making rugs*.  This is one important aspect of what we provide to the customers: Authenticity and genuine hand made rugs.  So while one part of authenticity is hand made nature, another important factor is true age.

So how do we date our rugs?

In the Old New House shop, an antique rug is one we place an estimated age of 100 old or greater.  This is somewhat of a conservative approach to calling a rug antique (some say 60 or 80 years).  Why do we not call an 60 or 80 year old rug antique?  Many years ago, old customs import/export laws would only consider a rug to be antique if it exceeded 100 years old.  Many museums and collectors still consider this to be true.  In the ONH shop, if you see us calling a rug an antique, it's more or less pre-1915.  Here are a few of our antique rugs:

 

An antique Mohtashem Kashan rug

An antique Belouch rug

An antique Kerman rug

What is a vintage rug?  We consider a vintage rug to be one with a weaving date of +/- 40 to 99 +/- years old. Due to a high level of commercialization in the rug industry, we select the best of the best vintage rugs to offer in our shop - great quality wool and weave, awesome contrast or tone on tone. Here are a few examples of Old New House vintage rugs:

A gorgeous vintage Sarouk runner

A hard-to-find size rug - a happy vintage Hamadan

A vintage Kerman rug

*  Loose paraphrasing of industry wording - an Oriental rug is a hand made weaving created with or without pile comprised of a warp and weft made in the Near, Mid or Far East. Technically, this includes many types of rugs - Kilim rugs, hand knotted rugs, soumak rugs, even hand tufted rugs.  The rugs we feature in the shop are exclusively hand made, and most all of the rugs are hand knotted. While qualities in all types of rugs may vary, the process of hand knotting rugs is considered among the more intimate of processes to create a floor covering.

 

Melissa + Dave

Old New House

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Oriental Rug Website Resources

Posted on October 30, 2013 by M+D | 0 comments

 

Websites / Blogs / Forums

 

Forum.RugRag.com - An active Oriental rug forum for novices to connect with collectors and dealers for purposes of Oriental rug identification and general information.

PersianCarpetGuide.com - An resource for information on Oriental rugs especially useful for identification based on region and technical characteristics/breakdown.

RugRag.com - An informational website featuring an archive of information on how to make informed Oriental rug purchases, what to look for when buying, and general tips to bring a novice into the collector world of antique rugs and fine Oriental rugs.

SpongoBongo.com - An information rug resource including photographic reference plates from auction houses around the world and identification of Oriental rug separated by regions and people made.

TurkoTek.com - A comprehensive website geared for the collector with emphasis on village, tribal/nomadic weavings pre-1900.  An active forum and many knowledgeable and known scholars.

 

Museums and Direct Collection Links

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Carpets of the Islamic World, 1600-1800: "They were traded to Europe and the Far East where, too precious to be placed on the ground, they were used to cover furniture or hung on walls. Within the Islamic world, especially fine specimens were collected in royal households."

Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston Collection of Oriental Rugs and Textiles

Brooklyn Museum Collection of Rugs

Carpet Museum of Iran

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Featuring one of the twin Ardabil Carpets

Metropolitan Museum of Art - A retrospective look at displaying Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  More from their collection of rugs and textiles.

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London - Housing one of the twin Ardabil Carpets.  Great reads including a new perspective on the Ardabil Carpets, and the history of the Ardabil Carpets.

State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Russia - Museum housing the oldest known example of an Oriental rug dating back to 2500 B.C.

Textile Museum in Washington D.C.

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