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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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Manhattan Vintage Show - Come Meet us in NYC!

Posted on January 06, 2014 by M+D | 0 comments

We could not be more excited to be a part of our first ever vintage show experience in a couple of weeks! January 17th + 18th -- we will be at booth #44 with a small never before seen vintage clothing collection as well as lots of our ONH shop vintage textiles (rugs) + other lovelies - with the specific collection availabile for pre-viewing here (there will be some new items, mainly rugs, as well!)

If you come to see us at the show + simply mention the website, we will have a little gift for you, will give you an instant 20% off of anything in the booth AND we will even credit your admission towards a purchase -- so buy your tickets here +  come on down! Can't wait to meet you! And although the beautiful model below will not be there (we don't think) some majorly awesome vintage fashion will be -- including one of our favorite pieces that indeed has black sequins galore. 


 & Just one of our beautiful antique rugs we will be bringing:

Also, we are taking special requests if there is anything from our shop that you would like us to bring down so that you will have an opportunity to view it in person before purchasing. Just e-mail us at md at oldnewhouse.com and let us know when you plan on attending + the item of interest. 


See you there!

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Finding the Right Rug / Entryway

Posted on December 23, 2013 by M+D | 0 comments

As people who live and breath rug, you'd think we'd have it all figured out in our own home but truthfully finding just the right rug takes time and patience (unless of course you see it in our shop and you know that's the one!) Since moving into our new house in August, it has been a bit of a slow but fun process getting things situated. To me the biggest project still remains: the entryway. Ours is tight and a bit awkward which means of course it should be amazing when we are done figuring out what to do with it!


Dave has some big plans for make custom shelving (one of those to do's to add to the list of many home creations!) because it is a bit narrow for typical furniture. I am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with that is both unique, practical and baby-friendly (as our current reclaimed metal stand is not!) but first things first -- we must find a rug runner! Naturally we sometimes fall a bit in love with our own merchandise and are always a bit sad when we send them off, so even though we will likely source a brand new vintage piece for ourselves, I will have some fun showing off some runners of our own that might work well in the space --


If only this were a runner--

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Rug Talk Wednesday: Bijar Rugs

Posted on November 06, 2013 by M+D | 1 comment

Bijar is a city and capital of Bijar County, Kurdistan Iran.  This and close surrounding areas of rug weaving are extremely well known for distinct technical characteristics and designs in Persian rugs.  Often, carpets from Bijar are informally addressed as: Bijar, Kurdish Bijar, and Halvaei Bijar.  These designations hint to the structural differences, and the variations which are often found to be characteristic of each.  Bijar carpets often feature traditional main colors with spectacular, vibrant saturation and contrast.

Bijar carpets are well known for the hard-wearing wool, extremely dense weave, sturdy construction, knot density and durability compounded by hard packing of each row of knots.  Often Bijar rugs made in the mid 1800's all the way through today are found to have a more substantial construction and tightly woven.  At times caution should be taken in folding and rolling a Bijar like other other rugs due to the rigidity.  Still, the traditional Bijar carpet is considered among the most enduring of Persian rugs: among the rug community many nickname Bijars "the iron rug" due to the reliable longevity.  Bijar carpets, like many Oriental rugs, often last for many generations; the difference being Bijars often are found to endure great traffic.  Many Pre-WWI Bijars are woven with wool pile and wool foundation.  Post 1920 Bijar rugs transition into the more common wool pile and cotton foundation.

Bijars noted as Kurdish Bijars often follow a style of weave more closely related to a village weave.  Comparatively, such carpets will be thinner, slightly looser in weave, and commonly the foundation is found to be wool for a longer period of time than most traditional Bijar rugs.

Halvaei Bijar is often a reference to a finer quality or grade Bijar with tighter knotting, higher level of expertise, and a more supple construction where weavers may opt for a wool weft as opposed to cotton.

Common designs: 

Gul Farang Bijar - A spiraling rose design often repeated across the field,

Herati Bijar - A repeating motif of the "mahi-mahi" design. At times, a contrasting field color is used to simulate diamond medallions in the background.

Gerrus Bijar - Reciprocating arabesques

Garden of Paradise Bijar - Four seasons design often featuring cypress trees),

Triclinium Bijar - A motif containing sectioned areas of singular carpet designs parallel, with one carpet design perpendicular atop, said to simulate the desired orientation of carpets in the home of Eastern décor.

We consistently carry Bijar carpets of what we consider to fit one or more of the following criteria  1. highly decorative 2. transitional pieces 3. Interesting or unusual examples with unique flavor 4. exceptional carpets in color or design. 

Here are a few current Bijar carpets in the Old New House shop, Enjoy!

Red Persian Rug

Beautiful mid-century floral Persian Bijar.


Kurdish Bijar

Transitional Antique Persian Kurdish Bijar with unusual arabesque border.  Herati center field design.

Antique Kurdish Bijar circa late 19th century.  Simplified Gerrus field design.  SOLD


Persian Bijar

Antique Persian Bijar, fourth quarter 19th century.  Herati center field with Laleh Abassi minor border.


Fine antique Persian Bijar great colors

Antique Persian Bijar, second half, 19th century.  Allover Herati design with arabesque corner spandrels.  Fine, vivid colors.


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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