Recently, we made an entry about the Top Ten most expensive Persian Rugs and Oriental Carpets of 2008. Soon after posting our results, a reader noted the following:
"What good does a rug or carpet do if it cannot be walked on?!?"
There's a lot of validity in this reader's question, considering most rugs seem fairly fragile and delicate work of art. Certainly an older work one will want to be more wary of the condition of the wool or pile fiber, however, rugs are surprisingly durable when taken care of properly. Some Rug Experts would also argue that it is healthier the wool pile of rugs to be walked on with socks rather than being rolled up and untouched.
We have also heard of unique instances where one owner actually had a 17th century wool rug on floor of their home in NYC. We also seen first hand in collectors homes where (in one instance) a 120 antique year old silk Mohtashem kashan carpet was on the floor and is walked on nearly every day with socks on. How can this happen? One of the most important things about oriental rugs is the condition. In this instance of this silk carpet, it was in excellent shape with healthy silk which was not powdering.
Finally, there are instances where purchasing a carpet can be seen as an investment. It takes the keen eye of a collector and unique understanding to see potential resale of a piece. The point here is, many of these rugs may still be walked on if there is careful consideration of the condition. Like any other collectible item, carpets are valued not only for their practical use of under-foot cushioning, but for their aesthetics. Like a collectible coin that cannot be used as legal tender, there are other ways to display and enjoy your most prized carpet or rug!