Guide to Antique Rug Origins
How Can I know The Origins of Antique Rugs?
Rug Origins – There are a great many factors that one must consider when determining the origin of an antique rug or carpet. Many people think that the design of the rug is the key to its origin.
This is true in some cases; there are distinctive Persian, Turkish, Turkoman, or Caucasian designs. But many designs were imitated from one region to another. Turkish and Indian rugs copy Persian designs, just as rugs of East Turkestan copy Chinese and Turkoman patterns. And the same designs were made all over Persia in many different centers of production.
The key is not only the design, but the weave, which is distinguished by the type and size of the knots, the materials used for the foundation, and the density or tightness, all of which are discernible from the back of the rug.
By correlating the design and use red wefting, wool warp, and symmetrical knots, one may narrow a rug’s origin down to the Caucasus and Turkey. By noting that the wefts are un-plied, it is narrowed down further to Turkey.
A design may be classically Persian, but size of the weave and the coloration will distinguish it as Indian. Acquiring such expertise takes time and patience, but it is worth the effort. Alternatively, one may rely on a reputable to make these distinctions and explain them to the client.
Because the world of antique rugs and carpets is so ancient and so vast, it is sometimes difficult to make objective analyses, unless one has a deep understanding of the history.