Chinese Qum-Style Silk Rug, ca. 1980

Value (2013) | $17,500 Retail

My husband and I got a call from our neighbor who lived across the street one night and he said that he had a gentleman there that was going to sell him some rugs that he was looking at. He had picked out what he wanted, but that there was one in particular that he was very smitten with, and he didn't have a use for it and we should come take a look at it. And he knew that we had rugs, so we went across the street and we fell in love with this rug and we bought it, along with two other rugs.

You say you have a little bit of a history with rug making?

In my 20s, I was an amateur weaver and a rug maker, and so I know a little bit about rugs. I know just enough to know that the number of knots per square inch was amazing. The colors were amazing and it just really spoke to us.

Well, this rug, it has roughly 500 knots per square inch. It was woven most likely in the 1980s. In 1979, there was the Iranian revolution, and the United States government placed an embargo on the importation of all oriental rugs and carpets from that country. It created a demand for an item that was no longer available, so other countries such as China started weaving rugs in Persian designs, something that up to that point really hadn't happened. And so this rug was woven in the Qum style, which is a certain type of Persian rug, and woven in the country of China.


Meticulously hand-crafted in a good size, roughly about eight by ten.

And it is silk, right?

It is silk, yeah. It's got a lot going for it. You have a very good eye for quality and for detail. How much did you pay for this?

Well, all three rugs that we purchased were $15,000.

Well, in today's marketplace, I believe this rug would sell for $17,500 in a retail shop.

Okay. Wow.

All right, so thank you so much for bringing it in.

Thank you, really appreciate it.

Appraisal Details

M. Topalian Inc.
Closter, NJ
Appraised value (2013)
$17,500 Retail
Anaheim, CA (June 22, 2013)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.