Kuba Rug, ca. 1880

Value (2013) | $5,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I bought it in Illinois from a lady on a farm. She advertised it in a little shopper magazine. The dimensions were like three feet, two inches by five feet something and I figured it must be a real Oriental rug. So I went out and bought it from her.

APPRAISER:
And since then you've found out no other information about it?

GUEST:
She just told me that she had had it for about 35 years, and it had always been a wall hanging for her and not a rug. And I thought that was great because it was in such good shape because it hadn't been walked on. So I've had it for about 20 years.

APPRAISER:
Well, you're right, it is in great condition. And actually, what you have here is a Kuba rug, which is from the Caucasus area. Normally, you would see these called Dagestan, but because of this light blue selvage, cotton selvage, or end-finish, it would be actually attributed to the Kuba area. It's a nice trellis design with a flower and each enclosed by serrated leaves. And actually what caught my eye when you were standing in line is the unusual border. And you can also see here how the black here has corroded a little bit because there's iron in the dye that they used. So it would corrode over time. The other feature I like about this rug is the weaver's whimsy of these tiny people.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And that's also just a nice indication that it's a hand-woven rug by a person.

GUEST:
Sure

APPRAISER:
With some imagination. There's also one thing that I noticed is that there is a small repair, and it's sort of crudely repaired.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Which is sort of unusual in the fact that it's such a great condition carpet.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Around the turn of the century, they weren't thought very valuable. So they were actually used to wrap more valuable carpets.

GUEST:
No kidding.

APPRAISER:
So in terms of value, something like this would actually sell around $3,500 at auction.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So more than your $35.

GUEST:
Yes, that's for sure. I almost tore my pocket off getting my wallet out to buy it when she told me what she wanted for it, so....

APPRAISER:
(laughs)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Christie's
New York, NY
Update (2013)
$5,000 Auction
Update (2012)
$3,500 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$3,500 Auction
Event
Louisville, KY (July 11, 1998)
Period
19th Century
Form
Rug

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