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Rug Experts & Persian Rug Authentication


We love coming to work and checking out the inbox to see what we've received.  Below is a standard evaluation we provide the public here at Rug Rag.  We now have a new form for submitting inquiries on rug values and other questions.  Take some time and drop us a line!

Dear Sir,
I would like to have this rug verified.  I am considering buying it from a retail showroom on "50% off sale."  The seller has written on its tag that it is a Sarouk Mahajaran from the 1910s.  His sale price is $3,000.  This rug is 16' 9" long and 11' 5" width.  Enclosed are pictures. 


Please do bear in mind, while we make comments within which may seem forward looking or critical, we make notes as we see it.  Tips for the inspection are not to scare or intimidate from purchase, just to help you be more informed on what to look for.  We try to help out as much as we can so you can make a better purchasing decision, and have the tools to do so later too. 

Clearly this is an attractive carpet, however, when it comes to value & condition, aesthetics are one of many facets. We are making some assumptions such as ends being fully intact, corners complete, good selvages, a usable carpet which is clean and proper, etc.  It is an old rug, so many of the small things are going to be forgivable, the objective is you know what are the points to negotiate if necessary, and if it's the right carpet for you.


General, overall review:

Reviewing information as relayed from you by the vendor, it seems as though they've made a good faith effort in describing the genre, and approx. vintage.  As we noted in the verification, in 10 ten years from now, certainly the rug will be 100 years old (antique).  Vintage 1910 is somewhat debatable.  Value range is very difficult to ascertain without seeing in person.  The asking price seems reasonable and fair pending a more careful inspection.  For insurance, you're looking at ~ $5,000 - 7,000.  Auction you never know what the result may be especially depending on location and crowd, perhaps ~ $2,000, but auctions often have their disadvantages and the retail seems fair providing...

Tips for inspection

No offense to the seller, but the best way to review the carpet with them out of sight.  Shouldn't take you too long, but it's best not to have someone else looking over your shoulder or agressively persuading before you can make your own deductions.  Below are some serious and some not so serious points to consider.  They may help confirm it's a good carpet, perhaps provide leverage, or dismiss consideration entirely.  After you review the rug a second time, let us know if you noted anything of concern, we'll try to help out.  If everything checks out, you should be fine.

The rug has overcasting, just ensure this has not been dropped or is loose anywhere.  Tug on some of the fringe to see if it pops at all.

Inspection from the face of the rug:  This is an older carpet and does show signs of use.  Although the wear in some areas appears to go down to the knot heads, be sure to look specifically for exposed foundation which may have been markered in these low lying areas.  As seen in image S1 attached, it appears as though the rug has white knots.  Do check these out.  If they are secure, you're fine and you shouldn't mind them.  However, some dealers cut these under the knot node which can drop a warp or cause loose strands/lost knots and even a hole.  Not a good thing. Just make sure no small holes are adjacent. 

Inspection for reverse of the rug:  Have them flip the entire rug upside-down.  Watch (and listen) as they do this, if you note they handle the rug in an awkward way, or you hear noises or see stiff spots when in motion, note and check.  Every square foot of this type of rug should be soft and malleable.  Looking for problems such as dry rot can be tricky, but is one of the most important things to check.  The best way to do this is roll the carpet or gather select suspect areas crease in several directions.  Do not apply too hard a pressure if you hear cracking or think it may crack.  It may do just that.  This indicates the rug has a bad area of dry rot and will be more susceptible to damage and prohibitively costly repairs.  I would keep track of all areas you're in question of, then afterwards ask the seller to manipulate the rug harder if you're concerned it may break. 

Look for previous splits, cracks, tears, holes and areas which appear stitched or otherwise repaired.  Don't miss the ends or edges.  If anything is affixed to the back of the rug, try to feel under it or deduct why it may be there.  Check for 'grids' of horizontal and vertical warp/weft on the back, this could be indicative of moth damage or wear to the reverse.  In some cases this could lead to loss of pile.  On the fourth image down on the verification page, we cannot say for sure, but in the blue this may be a very small area of reweave.  Not a problem if that area is or is not, but the point in case is this is how subtle some underlying issues can be.

Let us know if you have any other questions, it's a great looking carpet at what seems to be a fair price. Keep us updated!


- Rug Rag



We look forward to talking with anyone who may have questions on or about Oriental Rugs.  We are an Independent Reviewer, and will give you our opinion for any rug, new or old.  Should you have any questions you would like to submit for a blog entry response, please do so, and be sure to include photographs of your rug.  For more information, please take

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