Kashan Silk Rug, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:24)
Rugs & Textiles
Peter Pap Oriental Rugs of San Francisco, Inc.
GUEST: I purchased this in Orlando Beach about 42 or 43 years ago. There was an elderly couple who had an antique shop there for years and years in Ormond Beach, Florida. And I was in their shop and I saw this rug. It really struck me, and so I purchased the rug then.
APPRAISER: What did you pay for it?
GUEST: I paid either $200 or $250 at the time, which was a lot for me at the time. And I've always loved it.
APPRAISER: And have you ever had it appraised?
GUEST: I had it appraised about 20 years ago. He gave me a rather, I thought, high estimate, but... so I don't know.
APPRAISER: What did he tell you?
GUEST: About $10,000.
APPRAISER: And did he tell you anything else about the rug?
GUEST: No, he said it was very unusual. I know the colors are unusual-- that's why I liked it, one of the reasons I purchased it-- and I also liked the design.
APPRAISER: Well, the design is the classic sort of tree-of-life meditation design that you see over the last three centuries, and they carried it through right into the early 20th century-- very popular design. The rug is a turn-of-the-century Persian rug called a Kashan, and it's woven in silk. It has the luminescence that you find with silk, where it really reflects the light. And one of the interesting things about this piece is that at the turn of the century, they were starting to use synthetic dyes as opposed to the natural dyes, and a lot of those were prone to fading. So you get a very pale color palette that you wouldn't get in a piece that was maybe 20 years older. So all these soft mauve and beige tones were probably stronger at the time that it was made. Another interesting aspect is there's some uneven wear to the piece. And you'll notice that in some areas, there'll be a band that is completely worn down to the nub of the knot, but then on either side of it the pile will be full. That's a function of the fact that dyes can be more corrosive than other dyes and so that one band of wear wore out more quickly than the dyes on either side. And so you have that kind of relief throughout the whole piece. Now, have you had it on the floor all this time?
APPRAISER: Okay. Silk rugs are much more fragile than wool rugs and they will not hold up as well, and so I would recommend either draping this over a piano or hanging it on a wall, using it in some sort of decorative fashion, because over the long haul, it will not hold up the way a wool rug will. From a standpoint of value, these pieces were actually a lot more desirable 20 years ago when you had it appraised, and the fine Persian floral silk rugs have maybe become a little bit less popular in the last 20 years. I don't think it was ever a $10,000 rug because of the condition that it's in. It was probably maybe $6,000 or $7,000 retail at the time that you had it appraised. And with the market doing what it's done in the last few years, it's probably dropped to around $3,000 or $4,000, which is still a very good investment considering you only paid $200 for it 40 years ago.
GUEST: Right, uh-huh. I'm happy with that. I still love the colors. I'm a little disappointed that they're synthetic dyes. Oh, well.
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