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4 Tips on How to Identify Genuine Antique Persian Rugs by Doris Leslie Blau

Although antique Persian rugs stand out quite substantially from other types of carpets due to their intricate weaves, high-quality materials, and meticulously executed classic patterns, it may still be a challenge for a layman to pick an authentic, oriental Persian piece. In the world’s markets, one may come across many counterfeits. How to identify a real deal? Here are five steps prepared by the Doris Leslie Blau Rugs Gallery.

New York, NY, March 01, 2018 --( 1. Check Whether it is Handmade or Not
The high value and awe-inspiring charm of Persian rugs derives in a large extent from the fact that they are thoroughly knotted by hand, thus, require a certain level of skill, and are extremely time-consuming. To recognize whether a rug is hand-made or not, you should conduct a simple test. Turn a carpet upside down and look at its back – if you can see the pattern almost as clearly as on the face, it is most probably a hand-crafted piece. There is a second step to the process which requires you to bend the rug back on itself to expose the roots of the pile. If you are able to see the rows of knots at the base of the tufts, the piece you are looking at is most definitely a hand-made Persian rug.

2. Examine the Weaving Style
In general, antique oriental rugs come in two major forms – they may be flat-woven (no pile, also known as kilims) or pile-woven. Original antique Persian rugs tend to be pile-woven with the application the asymmetric knot known as Senneh or the Persian knot. It is made by passing the woolen strand under one warp, then over and around the next. The knot can be executed to the left or right and, therefore, determines the lie of the pile. Such a technique allows for more flowing outlines and definitely more intricate designs simply because the Senneh knot occupies less space, and, consecutively, the knot density in original Persian rugs is way higher than in other types of weaving.

3. Determine the Age of the Rug
There are certain ways to see whether Persian rugs that we are looking at are venerable creations from the past or just outputs of mass production. Though it is possible to find an antique rug in an excellent condition, there will often be some giveaways on antique rugs, like fraying at the edges or slight abrasion of the main field. Some genuine antique Persian rugs have a date of production woven into the design along with the signature of the author which may give us full clarity in regard to the age and origin of a particular piece. The color and the texture are also excellent age indicators. Despite the fact modern rugs production techniques may be very advanced, they still cannot accurately replicate traditional, toned shades with synthetic dyes. It is advisable to go around to places in which we are sure about the origins of given rugs, and adjust the eye to the look of contemporary and antique pieces. Another thing to do is to actually feel the rug as wool may expose its real age. The production of wool nowadays uses a lot more chemicals than in the past so a modern woolen pile has a drier feel to it than that of older carpets.

4. Scrutinize the Design
Antique Persian rugs come in a dazzling array of colors and patterns, so trying to find out about the real origin of the rug based solely on its design may appear to be very tricky. All the more, a lot of different weaving cultures have adapted Persian craftsmanship and presented it as their own. Nonetheless, there are some major characteristics of genuine antique Persian rugs that can be listed. The most frequently applied colors are red, blue, gold or ivory. The designs often feature central medallions (or one but opulent medallion), spandrels in the corners of the main field, multiple ornamental borders, and symmetry, all kept in consistency. Both bound and fringed edges are possible. Among the most iconic Persian rug motifs there is the paisley, the tree of life, the garden of paradise, the cypress tree, the weeping willow, or the vase of immortality. In terms of materials, original antique Persian rugs may incorporate first-rate wool, cotton, silk, jute, metal threads or animal hair but no synthetic fibers.

You may already be a lucky owner of a genuine antique Persian rug but if you’re still looking for the perfect piece, check out these quick tips prepared by Nader Bolour, the president of the prestigious Doris Leslie Blau rug gallery, to make the purchase even safer and easier:

- Focus on beauty before quality, knot count, condition, and size. Try to fall in love with a rug.
- Look for a reputable dealer.
- Decide on basic color, style, and region of production preferences, but be prepared for surprises.
- Find an independent appraiser for a second opinion.
- If you are looking for longevity, consider neutral allover patterns as they are most in fashion and easier to incorporate in a wide variety of design schemes and they maintain their value longer.

The Doris Leslie Blau Gallery (abbreviated as DLB) is an American company based in New York City which buys and sells antique, vintage and designer carpets, and also produces custom rugs. Established in 1973 by Mrs. Doris Blau, a rug connoisseur, in 1997 the gallery was turned over to Nader Bolour, a descendant of the family of Iranian rug purveyors, who has been the president of the firm ever since. Located at 306 East 61st Street in NYC, DLB features carpets from Persia, Turkey, India, China, Morocco, the Caucasus, America and Europe, including rare specimens, such as an oversized antique Agra rug dating from about 1880, an antique English Axminster carpet from the mid-19th century, an antique tapestry rug from the mid-18th century or an oversized vintage Persian Kirman rug from circa 1900. The workshops of the DLB Gallery where all bespoke rugs are made are located in Tibet. Each custom rug is hand-made in accordance with traditional weaving techniques derived from the Middle East.
Contact Information
Doris Leslie Blau
Susan Izsak
(212) 586-5511

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