Oriental Rug Appraisals

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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The qualities that Oriental rug appraisals take into account include origin, material, design, and condition. The right combination might make the rug a rarity, which will most likely increase its value. Several basics about Oriental rugs put the entire issue of Oriental rug appraisals into context.

All genuine Oriental rugs are hand knotted. The foundation of most is cotton. The pile of most is wool, with silk running second. The oldest Oriental rug--the Pazyryk saddle cover found at a burial site in Siberia in 1949--dates to 500 BC. Most authentic Oriental rugs encountered today on the market, however, date to the middle or late 19th century. A 60-year-old Oriental rug qualifies as an antique.

The Details of Oriental Rug Appraisals

The condition of the rug is one of the primary factors in calculating Oriental rug appraisals. How worn is it? Has it been repaired or heavily damaged? The value of a Ladik prayer rug (Turkish) may well be higher than of a Kashmir (India), for example. Wool is most common for the pile, but silk is the most luxurious. It has natural resilience, a fine fiber, and a far higher knot density. It is very adaptable to most dyes. Silk rugs tend to be more valuable than wool. Wool, however, retains color very well indeed over time. The higher the knot density, the "finer" the rug is considered.

Dyes are either natural or synthetic. Synthetics, discovered accidentally in 1856 by a German chemistry student, came to predominate in rug making through the early part of the 20th century. Natural dyes are absorbed more unevenly but age far better, and are preferred. Antique washes, sometimes applied to enhance the aged look, detract from rug's value.


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