Persian Laver Kirman Rug, ca. 1900
I chose it out of my mother-in-law's estate about five years ago. And it originally came from Shreveport, Louisiana, and that's all I know about the rug.
Well, the rug is a Persian rug made in what is now Iran. And it's made around 1890 to 1900. It's called a Laver Kirman. It's an extremely fine rug. And you'll notice that if you look at the back of the rug, it has very fine knots so that you can see the pattern very clearly. This rug has approximately 300 knots per square inch. So that's a tremendous amount of workmanship. So, for this type of rug, it's important for it to have that degree of fineness, because they have attempted to do a very intricate design with all the flowers. They like to refer to this as a millefleur design, or "a thousand flowers." In this period, they were coming from a Victorian sensibility in terms of their design, but they were starting to be influenced by the Art Nouveau. And so there's a very flowing quality to the design that is evocative of what was happening with the Art Nouveau decoration. They were making these rugs for the Western market, and they were trying to make them so that they would appeal to that Western sensibility. You'll notice that the red is a sort of burgundy or wine color. That is actually an insect dye. We talk a lot about natural dyes, which are dyes that are made from plant materials. This is made from the cochineal insect that's found on cactus. If you'll notice at the bottom, it's missing the outer border. Here we have that red border.
And any time you're evaluating the condition of the rug, you want to make sure that that border goes around to the bottom and the top. And you'll notice that it's lost that red border on the bottom and the top. And oftentimes, what happened is, they would get a little bit of unraveling, and instead of fixing the unraveling, they would just even it off and overcast it. It's sort of frayed on the edge. The best thing would be to take it to a qualified repairer, who could rewrap it with wool so that it was secure. If I were selling this in my gallery, I would sell it for about $8,500.
If it had been able to retain the end borders, it would have been worth more in the realm of $12,000.
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.