Hali Magazine Recognizes Nazmiyal as the Global leader in Antique Rugs
Nazmiyal Global Leader in Antique Rugs – The market for antique room-sized carpets has taken many twists and turns over the past decade. With many dealers turning their attention to newly-made custom carpets, Ben Evans talks to Jason Nazmiyal his New York showroom about his commitment to antique rugs.
When we published The HALI New York Supplement in 2001, the city was firmly established as the beating heart of the international rug market. Indeed antique decorative carpets, the vast majority of which were passing through New York retailers and auction rooms on their way to their newly realised designer homes, had become the most highly prized and highly priced items in the carpet market, shifting attention away from collectible rugs to room-sized Ziegler, Tabriz and Oushak carpets.
Today the city is still at the centre of the hand-made rug market but the money and activity has flowed away from antiques into the manufacture and sale of new rugs, both contemporary and reproduction design, leaving the market in old rugs in a much-changed state.
This change in how the city’s leading high end rug firms do business is best illustrated by a quick glimpse through Architectural Digest, the magazine of choice for the US interior design market, where it is immediately obvious that there are only one or two antique rugs advertised, in contrast to five or six years ago when there were many such adverts, a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of high end antique rug retailers.
With all of this in mind, I visited Jason Nazmiyal, one of the few dealers in the city and beyond focused solely on selling antique decor¬ative carpets. With no new carpets or samples to be seen anywhere in showroom, I was interested to try and understand how he has managed to maintain and build his business in a market sector deserted by so many others.1 Sultanabad carpet, west
1) Sultanabad carpet, antique Persia rug, late 19th century. This carpet sold by Jason Nazmiyal, was installed in in the refurbished east room of the McKim Building in the Morgan Library & Museum, Mew York. I should add that my interest in Nazmiyal was not only based on this assessment of the state of the decorative carpet market but also because over the past couple of years I have regularly visited his website, nazmiyalantiquerugs.com.
The site, which has over 12,000 pages and contains the gallery’s complete inventory of 2,000 pieces, is visited by 500 people per day, and consistently comes top of any Google search for antique rugs. It is almost unique among proprietary antique rug sites in that it very active with fresh material added constantly. The content shows that a lot of resource has been directed towards the internet: each piece has a short commentary there are discussions, a blog, educational notes about rug types and their manufacture.
The site can be searched via Pantone colours, types and sizes, and It also hosts online exhibitions. The current edition focuses on weavings made from designs of famous designers and artists, and contains useful information and examples from famous workshops such those of Marta Mais-Fjetterstrem and About Ghasem Kermani, top tier artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dail, as well as the work of less well-known names such as Hendrik Polvliet and Marc Saint.
It soon becomes clear that the website is at the forefront of Nazmiyal’s new approach to selling antique rugs. By 2000, he had become reliant on wholesale business and most his revenue was generated by rugs consigned Soother dealers. But with fewer sales in the depressed market and the increasing difficulty of getting money from sales out of the trade, he decided he had to develop a new strategy. Thus he started to build a customer base of his own within the design community and through the Internet.
The latter allowed him to offer rugs to anyone anywhere in the world. and this limitless marketplace Is now reflected in the variety of the rugs that he non-Includes In his inventory. The usual distinctions between wholesale trade, retail and designer were broken down and he began to .11 to everyone and everywhere. Although the antique decorative carpet market Is quite depressed.
Nazmiyal is currently buying very well. helped by the fact that many of the established trade buyers at the top level are now not buying and today’s prices, particularly at auction, are so low. With himself and four staff dedicated to sales. Iris clear that hell doing business; I see a package addressed for Sydney Australia as I arrive and a courier arrives to collect a rug destined for Poland during our meeting.
The Internet has had a profound affect on his business, and I find It refreshing to witness a company that has successfully resolved the conundrum of antique rugs and the web. In fact the discipline of being constantly open for Its worldwide customer base has instilled the business with a realism about the market. ‘My father always said to me. buy in a bad market and sell In a good one. That is what I am doing.
For my customers, now is the best time to buy an old rug as prices are quite depressed at the moment. As I am selling a lot. lean buy a lot and rugs from all around the country eventually find their way tome, so I am buying well. By turning over my inventory, it allows me to pass on savings I make at the buying stage through to my customers. Recently I sold an antique Sultanabad carpet, 12 foot x 19 foot, for $29.000. How many dealers in the city can manage that and still be making a profit.
I mean what can you get lathe new rug market lot that? He Is not laboring under any illusions about the market that he is in. Indeed he tells me quite plainly that if he had Invested a small percentage of hls many millions of dollars of inventory In the stock market in March 2010.
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