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In this segment, appraiser Peter Pap translates the date woven into this Caucasian Perepedil rug as reading "1308" in the Islamic lunar calendar. However, as an alert viewer e-mailed us to point out, the date actually reads "1307." Noting that the Islamic characters for 7 and 8 are very similar, Pap says that the mistake does not significantly affect his approximate translation to a corresponding year of 1892 in the Christian calendar.
Appraisal Video: (4:30)
Rugs & Textiles
Peter Pap Oriental Rugs of San Francisco, Inc.
GUEST: It's actually my wife, her grandfather, born in 1875, and he started an import-export business in New York. And I believe he got it in the early 1900s... maybe 1905, or something like that, because he had to stop the business at the beginning of the First World War. So then it got handed to my wife when her grandmother died. And she had it in her bedroom for years, and then when we got married, it came to my house, and we put it in the breakfast nook under a table. And it sat there for years, the dog used to sleep on it and stuff. And then one day I said, boy, that's really getting dirty. I said we should get it cleaned. So we got it cleaned, and when he cleaned it, he said, "You know, this is a nice rug, and you could hang it, rather than keep walking on it, because it's pretty old." So we had it set up to be hung, and he said it's probably got a value of between $2,000 and $3,000. This was probably eight, nine years ago.
GUEST: So we had it done, and it's been hanging on the wall in my living room. And I just love the shapes on it and the colors, you know?
APPRAISER: You mentioned to me that your sister had been interested in it.
GUEST: Well, when it was under the breakfast nook table, my sister came by and said, "Oh, I'll give you 25 bucks for it." So I said, "No, I think I'll go get it cleaned and see what it's worth."
APPRAISER: Well, that was a good call. What kind of rug do you think it is?
GUEST: He told me it was Persian... I-- I don't know, He said a Kazak, maybe. And I'm not absolutely sure if it is a Kazak.
APPRAISER: Well, okay, it is a Caucasian rug and the Kazak is one of the rugs that was woven in the Caucasus Mountains--
APPRAISER: --in southwestern Russia. And it actually is what's called a Perepedil, which is a Caucasian rug from the Kuba district in the northeastern Caucasus. The Kazaks are a much more coarsely woven rug. The rugs from the northeastern Caucasus are much more finely woven. This is a really nice example, and the date is shown here. And it's 1-3-0-8.
GUEST: The numbers are there?
APPRAISER: Yes, in their script,
APPRAISER: in the lunar, Islamic lunar calendar. And that translates to about 1892.
APPRAISER: Which is plenty old for a Caucasian rug. One of the things that I'm most excited about with this rug is the fact that by 1892, they had introduced synthetic dyes into those weaving areas. But this rug retains all of the natural dyes and the really good saturation of color. You have the nice, strong red, the beautiful mid-blue, the rich indigo, the gold, the teal. Another thing that's really good about this rug is that the Perepedil design, which is always recognizable by these, what they call ram's horns, in many of the Perepedils, it comes off as very stiff and sort of mechanical. And this rug has a lot of spontaneity to it, there's a looseness to it. He was right to advise you to take care of the rug. However, I'm not in 100% agreement with how he actually did it. He used an iron-on tape on the back of it to secure the end of the rug. This is not advisable for restoring Oriental rugs, because it leaves a residue on the back, and it makes it very hard to work on them at any point in the future. Also, on the other end...he prepared it for hanging by using the same iron-on tape and putting these metal rings in it. You should do a simple overcasting through the edge of the rug to preserve the rug from unraveling. He also unraveled the rug very evenly all the way across. And we don't know how much border might have been lost in that process. So he had the right idea, in terms of getting the rug prepared for hanging, but I think that he was a little bit overzealous in the way that he approached the restoration of the rug. And that can mean a lot to a collector.
APPRAISER: I would put a value of about $5,000 on this rug in today's market. I think that if he hadn't approached the ends the way he did, we could have seen a value closer to $7,000 or $7,500. It's a great rug; it hasn't been impacted dramatically. Any collector would be proud to have it.
GUEST: You believe hanging it is better than putting it on the floor?
APPRAISER: Absolutely, yes.
APPRAISER: You going to tell your sister what she missed?
GUEST: She'll watch it on the show.
GUEST: I'll let her see. (chuckles)