Old Oriental rugs have already been tested, so you get what you see. They reveal their quality and begin to acquire beautiful nuances in colors and a character. Moreover, 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.
Each rug must be examined on its own merit. This is especially the case for antique (over 100 years old) rugs. For vintage or contemporary rugs, it is useful to keep in mind that certain brands, for instance Persian rugs, carry a premium because of their reputation. However, the current market offers a golden opportunity to acquire certain vintage Oriental rugs that for now are highly underestimated. In particular, we find that Peshawar rugs are greatly under-valued. Sooner or later these rugs will appreciate to their rightful value. Vintage Silk rugs are another type of rugs that are presently a great buy. A fine silk rug, placed for instance under a small table against the wall or between two chairs, could add so much to an interior.
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 a new rug makes can be misleading because the rug is 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...
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. We can help, contact us.
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.