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Affordable Antique Rugs


Question Received from Reader:

We recently purchased a hand knotted rug on ebay from an individual.  It was not quite what we were expecting.  It seemed to have some hard areas.  After deliberating for some time, we brought it to our local rug dealer for evaluation.  Turns out, there is some substantial wear, but worse, 'dry rot'.  Perhaps online was not the best place to purchase after all!  

We want to know where you would suggest to purchase antique rugs for a low investment.  We need affordable and the look!  




Affordable Antique Rugs



This is a great question, and thank you for sending it in! 

Generally, the best way to purchase a used or antique carpet is by seeing it in person.  Up close, with your own eyes, hands and, in some cases, nose.  Sometimes the most affordable antique rugs are not affordable at all.  Costly repairs based on expert evaluation, such as dry rot, can substantially decrease long-term investment potential & utility.

Our best word of advice is to purchase in person, and have the option for return if you are not 100% satisfied.  Being new to rugs, the best thing to do is go with what you do know.  Look for the basics - even wear, healthy and supple structure, watch out for any abrupt anomalies in the pile height, pet stains, or other issues.  Another tip - if you must buy online - is to really look at the design of the rug to determine if symmetry in motif was cut short.  Removed borders or worn ends can significantly diminish the value of a carpet.

Outside of the general tips above, the most affordable antique rug (or any for that matter) is the carpet you enjoy the most, and take care of.  Even substantial upfront investment can be worth it years to come.  Perhaps the best bargain is done by extensive hunting - find local small auction houses close by, yard sales, outdoor flea markets, etc.  If you get very good at spotting potentially problematic areas in a used rug, it could be a good option.  Unfortuantely, returns often are not an option. 

Alternatively, and by far the best option, is to find a local reputable Rug Dealer.  Perhaps the dealer you brought your current rug to would be a viable option?

We wish you the best in your search!  Remember, you can always interact with the rug experts on our oriental rug forum to help guide you in making educated purchasing decisions.

Additional resources:  Check out LiveAuctioneers for potential local auctions, and Calendar


David Dilmaghani

Note: Photograph above is a stock image from a NY antique rug auction in 2010.

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