All posts by David Parker

Iran Nuclear Deal Could Stimulate the U.S. Persian Rug Market

It’s been a long time – just over five years, to be precise – since newly-produced Persian rugs have been available for import and sale in the United States.

In July of last year, however, a landmark nuclear deal was reached between Iran and five members of the U.N. Security Council, which includes the U.S., Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom. And as part of the agreement, a partial lifting of sanctions are set to begin.

Prior to September 29, 2010, when these sanctions were launched, any Persian rugs already found on market were able to be sold, but nothing new could be brought in from the country of Iran. Now with the implementation of the agreement having just taken place, Tabriz, Shiraz, Kerman and other rugs produced in Iranian cities and villages could very well become accessible to Persian rug collectors and enthusiasts once again.

These changes are set to give the sale of handmade rugs a tremendous shot in the arm, which has already seen an increase in popularity among millennials, and has reestablished both the modern and antique rug market after a slight dip at the turn of the century.

In light of the sanctions being lifted, and the new opportunity to expand on his current offerings, John Ahdoot, owner of Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, had this to say about bringing in a new selection of Persian rugs:

Even the most discerning collector knows that the world’s most impressive handmade rugs, throughout time, have come from the country of Iran.

Though rugs being manufactured in other countries are quite extraordinary, it’s the Persian rug which has come to define the history of handmade rugs, and the quality other rug artists have strived to compete with.

Coming up on his 40th year in the rug business, John Ahdoot has seen the rug market change tremendously since his business opened its doors in 1976. And having emigrated from Iran himself, Mr. Ahdoot knows first-hand how much the market will improve with these sanctions being lifted, particularly because the production of Persian rugs is seen as an art rather than an industry.

It’s exciting to speculate about the variety of rugs that will eventually make their way to the United States now that the deal is finally being implemented. It’s really created quite a buzz among those looking for rugs of this character and design.

If you’d like to see what handmade Persian rugs are already available at Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, you can come to the showroom or visit the online rug shop. Ahdoot offers every service available to rug collectors and enthusiasts, including cleaning, repair and appraisal on any carpet you purchase or already own.

Oriental Rugs are Experiencing a Decorative Revival

During the mid-20th century, home furnishings and décor became largely standardized, with many homeowners purchasing items which had been mass-produced and sold to thousands of customers across the United States. This was largely in answer to affordability, as handmade sofas, chairs and lamps would dip too far into the pocketbooks of those who needed to fill bigger homes and accommodate larger families.

In the past decade, however, a handmade renaissance has begun taking shape, with many millennials and older generations preferring to own unique pieces over unoriginal home décor. As part of this renaissance, Oriental rugs have seen a noticeable increase in sales among persons born in the past few decades, which only goes to show how these rugs are no longer exclusive to their grandparents’ generation.

What seems to be drawing so many younger singles and couples to rug shops around the world? Our experience at Ahdoot Oriental Rugs has revealed to us two reasons for the revival: namely, a rug’s story and its distinctive artistry. So let’s take a look at both of these motivations a little bit deeper.

A Rug’s Story

Today we live in a global society that thrives on learning about worldwide cultures and the stories of the individuals which are part of these cultures. When it comes to the handmade arts, few tell as remarkable a story as the Oriental rug, which comes from the hands of artists or families who spend anywhere from a few months to possibly years constructing this masterpiece.

More than this, however, the rug itself often tells a story in its design. These stories can include tales of a family history, the culture where it comes from, or even exhibit things found in nature around the sites where the rugs originated. And when it comes to a rug’s value, these stories are sometimes more sought after during a search than its worth as an investment.

A Rug’s Unique Artistry

Affection for the floral patterns and bright colors of yesteryear has waned recently, giving way to a passion for geometric and tribal designs in more earthy, muted tones. In response to this change of styles, many weavers around the world have begun creating carpets designed for both modern and traditional homes as well as offices. Their love for the art is shown in their handiwork – and the materials which are painstakingly cultivated for its assembly.

Older carpets, too, have become well-loved among younger generations for the vintage appearance they offer, and for their high investment value. As more 20-, 30- and 40-somethings begin decorating their homes, they not only want a unique conversation piece to include in their interior design, they also want something beautiful and of the highest quality, which antique Oriental rugs most certainly present.

Have you been thinking of purchasing an Oriental, Persian or Turkish rug? Come to our showroom or visit our rug shop to view extraordinary carpets from around the world. Ahdoot offers every service available to new rug collectors and enthusiasts, including cleaning, repair and appraisal on any carpet you purchase or already own. Visit us today!

Which Oriental Rugs are the Best Investments

Whether you’re out searching for your first Oriental rug, or you’re adding to a growing collection, knowing what to look for can help you make the right decision when it comes to making an investment. Surprisingly, however, a rug doesn’t always have to come from a particular area to be valuable.

Regardless of whether or not a Qom, Nain, Isfahan, Tabriz or Turkish rug is more sought after by collectors, sometimes a name is just a name. More often than not, it’s far more important to look at the quality of a rug versus purchasing it solely for its area of origin.

So if you’re actively on the quest for a rug, or you’re still in the process of becoming familiarized with what to look for, here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to ensure you’re making a smart investment.

Persian Carpet Weaver

Is the Rug Handmade?

There are plenty of machine-made carpets available on the market today. While these rugs are perfectly acceptable as replaceable décor in your home or office, they are a poor choice for someone looking to make an investment in a rug.

When you’re examining a rug, here are 3 ways you can tell if the rug is handmade or not:

  • When looking at the back of the rug, you should see the carpet’s design just as clearly as it shows on the front.
  • If you bend the rug slightly, there will be visible knots which indicate the rug was handcrafted
  • The overall appearance of the rug should have the mark of a weaver’s hand. This includes an artist’s signature on the back, a natural patina and/or signs of minor “imperfections”, as machine-made rugs are programmed into computers in order to turn out flawlessly.

appraisal

Is it an Antique Rug?

An antique rug is one that was produced by its weaving artist more than 85 years ago, while a semi-antique rug was made from the 1930s through the 1950s. Beyond this time period, a rug is considered an “old” rug or a contemporary rug.

Any rug that is considered an antique is likely to be a great deal more valuable than a modern rug, with one important caveat: the carpet’s quality. As the owner and rug expert at Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, John Ahdoot explains this point even further:

Materials and workmanship are two key items to look for in an Oriental, Persian or Turkish rug. If you have an antique rug and the quality is poor, even a modern rug of superior artistry and materials that was completed yesterday will be more valuable.

Oriental Rug2

Is the Rug Stunning in Every Way?

Since we already spoke about a rug’s materials, which should include natural dyes, wool and other important elements, we’ll now discuss two more important topics on your investment: a rug’s KPI (knots-per-inch) and its motif or design.

Knots-Per-Inch

While we covered the topic of counting KPIs in a recent article, which walks you through the counting process, it’s important to note the impact a rug’s knots-per-inch has on its value as an investment. When a rug has a high KPI, it means the rug likely took several months or even more than a year to be assembled by its weaver. It also means the rug’s knot density is such that it creates a fuller, softer experience on the rug’s pile, as well as making it more resistant to wear. Beyond this, a rug’s KPI also plays a tremendous role in the quality of its design, and allows its artist to provide more detail on the face of the carpet for a more refined appearance.

A Rug’s Color and Design

If you’d like to learn about many of the common designs found on Oriental rugs, we covered many of the most popular motifs found throughout history earlier this year. Designs are important, but they’re sometimes only important to a particular type of collector who has a favorite motif. What you’re really looking for when you buy a rug as an investment is the quality of the carpet’s motif, which has two parts:

  1. As discussed, if a rug’s KPI is low, it can make the design both blurred and vague – much like lower-resolution televisions don’t offer the same quality of picture to high-definition sets.
  2. Even when a design is supported by a high KPI (roughly 2,000+ knots-per-inch), its color scheme may not be suitable for most interiors, so looking for something that will have value long-term as a showpiece for the average buyer is important.

If you have any further questions about what rug is right for you, please contact one of Ahdoot’s specialists, who can help you with everything from rug appraisals to showing you what to look for in person in our NYC Oriental rug showroom.

Which Oriental Rugs Gain the Most Value over Time

The evolution from a rug enthusiast to a genuine collector can be a very enjoyable journey. At Ahdoot, we always encourage anyone who is interested in learning about antique and modern carpets to do their homework before making a purchase. This includes purchasing a rug solely for its aesthetic value. Yet, when it comes to selecting an Oriental rug as an investment, either for short- or long-term gains, there are a few important things to look for.

Areas of Origin

In the world of Oriental rugs, Persian rugs tend to be the most sought-after. While sanctions in recent decades have kept many new and antique Persian rugs from making it to the United States, there are still a wide number readily available. Some of the most notable cities of manufacture include Qom, Nain, Isfahan and Tabriz – each of which tend to produce rugs of the highest quality and workmanship.

Outside of Iran, however, other areas such as Afghanistan and parts of Asia produce stunning handcrafted rugs through families and tribes dedicated to the art. Though they may be more rugged than their Persian counterparts, largely due to the types of materials being utilized, they often feature more distinct designs and a more artisanal approach the work.

Age as a Factor

Most carpets that are considered a collectible or a sound investment are more than 30 years old, which certainly includes antique rugs that were created more than 80 years ago. Yet, while age is noteworthy, how a rug is produced plays as important a role in determining its continuing appreciation.

Any antique Oriental, Persian or Turkish rug which is hand-knotted, finely constructed and well-preserved will see its value increase over time. This includes carpets produced in recent years. If the materials are of the finest quality, it exhibits extraordinary workmanship and the colors and designs are tastefully arranged, even modern rugs can see tremendous gains in their value as an investment.

Be an Enthusiast First

Before making your final purchase, be sure to compare at least 3-4 rugs that speak to you as an enthusiast rather than as an investor. Since you will be keeping the rug for some time, either as a family heirloom or for sale at a later date, your investment should be a rug you feel passionate about beyond its monetary value. First and foremost, you will want to have a profound adoration for your rug’s beauty and craftsmanship – which will give it more worth to you, and ultimately its future owners.

The owner of Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, John Ahdoot, echoes this advice, saying:

A great deal of energy and time is put into selecting an appropriate rug for an investment. If you’re not choosing a rug for the right reasons, you may find the process to be more trouble than it is worth. If you love the rug, however, you’ll unquestionably love everything about the search, and eventually, the end discovery.

How to Appraise an Oriental Rug in 3 Steps

For over 40 years, Ahdoot Oriental Rugs has provided reputable and accurate Oriental rug appraisals for antique rug owners in New York, New Jersey, Florida and beyond. Our team of certified Oriental and Persian rug appraisal experts can evaluate and appraise antique carpets of all sizes and states. In this article, we’ll share exactly how we determine the value of Oriental rugs. To receive your own personalized Persian rug appraisal, call us at 212-290-8484 or contact us HERE.

If you’re interested in learning the value of your Oriental, Persian or Turkish rug, there are a few things to look for that can help you make an appropriate assessment.

While the figure you come up with may not be precise, by following a few simple steps, you can compare your findings against other rugs with the same characteristics to ascertain its estimated value.

Rug owners who are interested in selling their rug or having it insured, however, should always consult a professional Oriental rug appraisal expert in order to come up with a more accurate number.

Not only do insurance companies require a rug to be appraised and documented by a specialist, but if a buyer is interested in purchasing your rug, you will want to make certain you are selling it for the highest current market value.

With this in mind, here are three things to look for when making a personal valuation on your Oriental rug.

1. Find the Knots-Per-Inch or KPI

One of the items that can have a profound effect on the value of an Oriental rug is a carpet’s knots-per-inch, or KPI. Similar to higher thread counts in bed linens, the more knots per square inch your Oriental rug has, the high its quality.

We recently covered this topic in greater detail in our blog just to show just how important a rug’s KPI is to a rug’s quality and design. But the KPI is also crucial to a rug’s value as well.

To find the KPI of your rug, turn your carpet over and select an area that’s easy to access with a measuring tape or ruler.

Using your tool, measure one square inch of your rug and count the number of knots in that area both vertically and horizontally, and then multiply these numbers together. This will provide you with your rug’s KPI.

2. Identify Your Rug’s Origin

An Oriental rug’s country of origin can drastically sway its appraisal value. For instance, antique rugs from Iran and Turkey are far more rare than Oriental rugs from China. Therefore, they receive much better appraisal values.

Learning where your rug was made can be a bit tricky and should likely be performed by an Oriental rug appraisal expert who understands the relationship between a rug’s motifs, or symbols, and its country of origin.

However, if you’re looking for a way to discover this on your own, we covered many of the more common designs in an article we posted earlier this year to make the process a bit easier. This guide will help you examine your Oriental rug’s knotting style, patterns, motifs and colors to attempt to decipher its country of origin.

Another great resource that can be used to identify your rug’s origin is our own rug shop, where you can browse numerous categories of carpets from around the world to make a more precise comparison, and potentially find a rug with the same features as your own.

To appraise your Oriental or Persian rug, contact Ahdoot Oriental Rugs or call us at 212-290-8484.

3. Learn Your Rug’s Age and Condition

  1. Learn Your Rug’s Age and Condition

Knowing the age of your Oriental rug is crucial to determining its worth. When owners and Oriental rug appraisal experts know a Persian rug’s age, they can accurately assess how well it has (or hasn’t) fared over time, which will demonstrate how well it was made.

In addition, certain Oriental rugs may be considered highly valuable antiques based on their age. Therefore, a much older rug could receive a much higher appraisal value.

To discover a rug’s age, you really should consult an Oriental rug appraisal expert on the subject. The reason for this is a specialist’s ability to consider all the elements of an Oriental rug, including its design, suppleness, color-clarity and origin to properly uncover its true period of manufacture.

In addition, you should examine the rug thoroughly to understand its condition. But while knowing what condition your Oriental rug is in should be an easy task, but it’s also easy to miss a few things while you’re examining your carpet.

To get a proper assessment, look over every portion of your rug for any sort of damage coming from wear, pests, stains or other sources. Check the edges of the rug for fraying, and look at your rug’s coloring to see if it has a strong, earthy patina that usually indicates both natural dyes were used and the possibility of it being an antique rug.

John Ahdoot, owner of Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, said about this matter in particular:

“An Oriental rug’s age or antiquity is probably the most important factor when making a value assessment for insurance or sale. Many of our clients have been surprised to find their rug is either much older than they imagine or was made a great deal later than they had supposed. It takes a trained and practiced eye to make a determination on a rug’s true age.”

Conclusion

Consulting a certified Persian rug appraisal expert about the value of your antique rug will help you understand its worth and determine if it is a valuable asset.

Top-rated Oriental rug appraisal professionals, such as Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, will be able to tell you how much your rug is worth, what it would sell for in the current marketing, what a comparable replacement would cost and more to help you make an informed decision about your antique carpet.

Need help finding out more information on your Oriental, Persian or Turkish rug? Contact Ahdoot Oriental Rugs HERE or call us at 212-290-8484 for answers to your questions or to have a specialist perform a Persian rug appraisal in your home.

An Interview with the Owner

An Interview with John Ahdoot

John is the founder and owner of Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, located in Midtown, Manhattan. He sat down for a brief interview to tell us about his favorite rug he’s owned, an important rug he repaired, and what it is he loves about Oriental rugs.

How did you come to found Ahdoot Oriental Rugs?

I came here when I was 17, in 1970, and I got my BA at Brooklyn College in Computer Science and Math. I don’t know computers anymore, back then they were these big machines that took up an entire room. But I had a brother working with rugs, and so less than two years out of college I started Ahdoot Rugs in 1976. It wasn’t until 1984 that I turned it into a corporation, which is the same year I got my citizenship.

What is your favorite part of working with rugs?

Either repairing antique rugs—especially family heirlooms—or appraising rugs, because of the history involved.

Is there a particular rug you’ve repaired you were most proud of?

There was this one rug, a Serapi, which I repaired completely. It was beautiful, but had been worn and damaged down to shreds. There was a flood that destroyed a large section, a vase was sitting on it and the water from it completely disintegrated a 3×3 section. The whole thing was in tatters, and I repaired it back to its original condition.

What about a rug you’ve appraised?

Yes, there was a special rug that someone asked me to appraise for them. When I appraise a rug, I’m not giving the owner the wholesale price, what it would cost to re-buy the rug, but the replacement value. If a rug has a history, it’s often worth a lot more. So a family asked me to appraise a rug and it turned out that it used to be in the house of President Roosevelt.

They were wanting to sell it to make some quick money, but after I gave them the replacement value, they decided not to sell it, and instead, to pass it down through generations as a family heirloom.

Do you collect rugs yourself? Do you have a favorite?

I do, but mostly I like to collect Coptic textiles, which were made by Christians in Egypt between the 5th and 10th centuries. I love them for their history and their beauty; you hang them on the wall like a painting. They’re to be admired.

But I do have a favorite rug that I’ve owned. I once went to Florida to buy a rug owned by Rudolph Valentino. He was a big movie star in the 20s, a big ladies man; all the women thought he was so handsome. His rug was beautiful, and all around the border was the writings of Omar Khayyám. That was my favorite rug I’ve ever owned.

What about the rugs you sell at Ahdoot? Where do they come from?

We travel around the world to find the best rugs made by the most practiced hands. Whether that’s here in New York, in Russia or China, or in Egypt, our rugs are made with the highest-quality fabrics and sourced from historic regions.

Finally, why did you found Ahdoot? What is it about a rug that captivates you?

I love them not only because they’re beautiful, but because of the history. Every rug was made by someone, every piece has its own history, and I find that fascinating. That someone made these rugs from hand so long ago and we still have them today—it goes back to what I was saying about Coptic textiles. They’re gorgeous objects, but they’re made by people, almost always by hand, and in that way I believe that Oriental rugs bring us all closer together culturally as a people.