Handknotted Rug Buying Tips

Handknotted Rug Buying Tips

October 19, 2023

A Few Rules of the Road on Buying a Hand-knotted Rug


Buying a rug is a process to be enjoyed. Take your time.

If resale value is 10% of what you paid, it isn’t an investment. 

An antique is 100 years old. 

Not every antique is worth a thick wad of bills.

“100% vegetal dyed” is an assertion. Nobody has ever tested every color. 

Condition reported “as found” means find any issues that may exist on your own. 

If you are torn between choices, enlist a dealer’s trained eye to guide you.

A signature is only one element of a series of indicators. 

A Nabibian Bijar means nothing. Misattribution is a red flag. Run away!

There are great rugs from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal and China. No one country makes the best exclusively. Qumqapi Hereke, Mohtashem Kashan, Mughal Era Indian/Pakistani, and Ningshia Chinese are intoxicatingly beautiful rugs. And there are many others. 

Most Dowry rugs never leave the family. 

No dealer knows everything about rugs. A demonstration of humility should be respected.

Itinerant auctions are the "one night stand" of the rug world. Prepare to be ghosted.

Things last as long as they are properly cared for. Buy according to your lifestyle as it is not as you hope.

Pets and plants on rugs keep rug cleaners and restoration experts in business. 

The question, “What would you pay for it?” is a trap. Ask in response, what would sell it for?

Buying a rug is a process. Respect yourself and it. Do your homework. Dealers love to hear genuine interest.

Unctuous charm and humiliating intimidation are red flags. 

Deep discounts are fiction; the deeper the discount, the richer the fantasy.

Thank you.

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