Admittedly, a new Oriental rug purchased from a store will look fresh, clean, and springy. But after a few months, you will be hard-pressed to see the difference with an older Oriental rug that was well-cared for. Moreover the first impression can be misleading because the rug is still spruced up. An oriental rug will show its true quality only after some use.
Without a doubt, in the current market, it is much more advantageous to purchase an old Oriental rug from a private party than a new rug from a store.
Your local dealer is an obvious place to start. But you will pay a hefty premium. Online sites such as ebay and craigslist crawl with dealers and pieces of cheap quality. Reputable auctions could be an option, but the sale is final and the auction typically charges 35-50% in commissions between you and the seller. At Serur's Antique Rugs we offer you the opportunity to purchase handpicked fine Oriental rugs from private parties before they are grabbed by dealers and sold in stores at several times our price. Please visit our gallery and compare us with others.
Old Oriental rugs have already been tested, so you get what you see. They also acquire beautiful nuances in colors and character. Finally, you can buy an older rug from a private party for a fraction of the price in an Oriental rug store even when it is indistinguishable from a new rug.
When buying an Oriental rug, you should examine the quality of the material and craftsmanship (how fine the weave is, the quality of the dyes and the wool), the draughtmanship, the balance of design, and the harmony of colors. In the case of a vintage or antique rug, you should also examine the condition of the rug.
1. Damage and wear. Small tears or spots of wear in the body of the rug should be avoided in contemporary rugs (less than 30 years old), but are acceptable in older pieces. Large areas of wear should be avoided for all but collectible pieces.
2. Color runs. Check if strong colors, like red, have spilled over adjacent light areas, especially ivory or white.
3. Fading. See if there are obvious differences in color between the front of the rug and the back.
4. Stains. A few dime-sized stains can be ignored especially if they look like they would come out in cleaning. Larger stains should be avoided.
Buying a Persian rug of good quality is a significant investment which can run from a couple of thousands to several thousands of dollars. It requires therefore careful consideration.