Shirvan Rug, ca. 1890

Value (2013) | $5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I acquired that rug from my college landlady. I saw it the first night I was in her home in 1942. I stayed there all my college career. And years later, when she died, I managed to get it from her sister in the estate, who just simply said, "Here, this old thing, take it."

APPRAISER:
Well, that was quite lucky. And how have you been displaying it?

GUEST:
We've kept it hung on the wall. We don't walk on it. And she kept it over a dining room table as more of a display piece.

APPRAISER:
Which is wonderful, because it's in such great condition. Well, it comes from the Caucasus, which is north of Persia. And it's in between the Caspian and the Black Sea. It's from a village called Shirvan, which is on the coast of the Caspian sea. And Caucasian rugs in general are known to be quite geometric in format, and with a wide variety of colors. And it's also in a prayer format here. However, it probably never was intended to be used as a prayer rug.

GUEST:
Oh, I assumed it had been.

APPRAISER:
It just took on that design. No, it was used as a decorative element.

GUEST:
Can you give an approximate year it was made?

APPRAISER:
Yeah, it was probably woven in the late 19th century. I would say about 1890. So its condition belies its age. You would expect to see a little bit more wear for something that's 100 years old.

GUEST:
Well, I suspected she had had it 50 years before I ever saw it.

APPRAISER:
What's wonderful about this rug is that you can really tell that there was maybe possibly two weavers working next to each other weaving this rug, almost talking to each other. And you can see here one wove one dog, and then over here, they did another animal.

GUEST:
There's some interesting differences from one side to the other, too.

APPRAISER:
And that's how you can tell that it was probably two weavers working next to each other. At auction, something like this would sell between $3,000 and $5,000.

GUEST:
Three and five.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Christie's
New York, NY
Update (2013)
$5,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Update (2012)
$4,000 Auction$6,000 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Event
Rochester, NY (August 08, 1998)
Period
19th Century

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