German Heriz-Style Rug, ca. 1925
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:07)
Rugs & Textiles
GUEST: It was part of my grandmother's dowry and they were married in Berlin in 1930. Then they came to America and they brought it with them and it was in my grandfather's house and then in my mother's house and now it's in my house. And that's about what I know about it.
APPRAISER: You've always referred to it as your grandmother's carpet.
GUEST: "Our Oriental carpet," that's what we basically call it, yeah.
APPRAISER: This isn't an Oriental carpet. This is actually a European carpet made in Germany in the 20th century, in about 1925, 1926. It's basically a fake, but it's not really a fake in that collecting Oriental carpets in the early 20th century was such a popular thing that countries like Germany-- industrialists in Germany-- tried to create their own industry in replicating both Oriental patterns and then also European patterns. What I think is amazing about these is how true they are to the originals. The design of this is really based on a Heriz carpet that would have been woven in northwest Persia in the late 19th century. But the Germans have kept all the elements that you'd see in the older 19th-century carpet here, in this version, down to the color change. As you come down, you can see where it starts out to be a deep red. It fades out to a lighter pink all through here and then as you get down here, it goes back into the deep red in kind of bands. That's something that in a hand-woven carpet is called abrash. It's the change of dye lots as they change over time, and for the German manufacturers to replicate that in a carpet really shows that this was something of quite good quality when it was made. If you look at the worn areas, particularly to this flower here, you can see that it's isolated to one particular area. And that's actually oxidation of the dye stuff on the wool as opposed to real wear. This shows that they were using real dye stuffs that corroded just like they would've in the Orient.
APPRAISER: But you can see it's not like a traditional Oriental in that it's not hand-knotted. It's actually done with a tufting gun, and it's something where it's like a hooked carpet in America. They'd take yarns, put it on a hook and punch it through a canvas back. Value-wise, since it's not a real Persian Oriental, it's not worth as much, but it still does have some value. I would say in the market today, something like this would sell for about $3,000 to $5,000 at auction. In a retail store, it would probably be about twice that.
GUEST: A question I had about the condition of the carpet: it's starting to lose some of the fringe, and is that something that we should look into having restored?
APPRAISER: They can even that out and just put on a binding stitch so it doesn't unravel any further.
GUEST: Well, thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Thanks for bringing it in today. I know it's a big object to lug.
GUEST: Yeah, I brought a wheelbarrow.
APPRAISER: I appreciate some effort.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.