What does a museum quality rug mean?

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The term "museum-quality" has become increasingly popular when it comes to hand-knotted carpets (meaning museum-quality carpets), however museum-quality carpets are very rare.

Museum quality rugs

What does it take for a carpet to be museum quality?

There is no single feature or quality that can determine a carpet to be museum quality, but the most important features to consider are the age of the carpet and the material the carpet is made of.

There are some very rare exceptions (such as the Pazyryk carpet), which are the oldest carpets in existence so far in the world, dating back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and are the rarest of their kind and are usually considered museum-quality carpets if their design is quite clear.

Pazyryk carpet, the oldest carpet in the world

Another category of antique oriental carpets falls under the description of museum-quality carpets, which date back from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, and were woven during the Ottoman Empire, as well as in some places in China and throughout Asia.

The level of preservation plays a vital role for museum-quality carpets. The more the carpet is preserved appropriately for its age, the more likely it is to be a museum-quality carpet. We can also include carpets that have a specific and documented history, such as the Rothschild carpet in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. This 16th-century carpet, owned by the collector Doris Duke before it was sold at auction by the Doha Islamic Museum, is an example of a high-quality carpet.

Rothschild carpet owned by the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha

There are other examples of carpets that can be considered as museum quality carpets, which are the carpets made by famous professional weavers in the late nineteenth century. The production of a limited number of them, as rarity also plays an important role in determining whether the carpet actually matches the quality of museum carpets.

Where can we find carpets whose quality is equivalent to museum carpets?

Real museum-quality carpets can only be found in museums or with a dealer who exclusively sells antique carpets, and you certainly will not find this type of carpet on a sale site such as Amazon, and we can say that most of the high-quality carpets that exist in the world today are either in ancient museums, Or at trusted dealers, or antique collectors.

Some ancient families keep this type of carpet and it is passed on from one generation to another, and in some rare cases it is decided to sell it in auction houses such as the famous Christie’s and Sotheby’s houses, and these carpets are sold in closed circles as these carpets never enter the open market.

If one of these museum-quality rugs is announced for sale at auction, the price will start in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and run into the millions in most cases. For example, a small antique Persian Isfahan rug from the Doris Duke collection fetched $116,000 at Christie's.

The Persian Carpets of Isfahan by Doris Duke

Another 17th-century rug, with a gorgeous red background and Persian vase design from Kerman, sold at Sotheby's for $33 million (making it the world's most expensive rug) and is often sold to a museum. Naturally, the price of an actual museum-quality rug runs into the millions. dollars.

Antique Persian Vase Rug - The most expensive carpet ever sold at auction

The most important thing to know about museum-quality rugs

It is possible to find collector's value rugs in the market through reputable dealers. You can find rugs somewhere between museum quality and high market value, but you have to take into account their very high price.

Late 16th century "Lotto carpet" in the Metropolitan Museum

If you want to purchase a high-end carpet with a high value, then you should go to a well-known and reputable dealer who has been in business for many years and knows the value of the carpet.

The most important criterion to consider when buying a rug unless you are a collector is whether you really want to have this type of rug. A rug that is properly cared for will last for decades and even centuries, and the most important consideration is finding a rug that you love and matches your style.

Translated by: nazmiyalantiquerugs.com


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