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Who is Fritz and Larue for Oriental Rugs?

This is a question submitted by one of our readers this week.  They bring up an interesting inquiry regarding this company, and additional information on the rug they have which bears their label.

Question:

I haven't been able to find ANY information on this name Fritz and Larue. That's the name on the tag. It also says Katmurt. Any idea as to value?  It's 6' by 9'.  The style plate may say Katmurt or Kaimuri and 13723. Please feel free to use the info.

-Anonymous

Lilihan Sarouk Design Carpet, Fritz and Larue

Red hand knotted rug field

Kilim, fringe and corner of red Rug

Fritz and Larue tag

Katmurt Tag

Obeetee importer tag

 

Response:

Hello, great question

 

Fritz and Larue was for many years (perhaps close to 75), a New York based Importer of oriental rugs.  Not sure of the exact years, but sometime in the late 80's to early 90's, Fritz and Larue was purchased by another prominent importer of hand made rugs by the name of Pande Cameron.  From our understanding, the two companies were actually commonly owned by Pande Cameron, however, run independently, maintaining their separate names for several years.  After some years, Pande Cameron phased out Fritz and Larue, then subsequently, it too was acquired by yet another Company by the name of Obeetee.  Obeetee was a strong importer/exporter itself (still around today), which for many years had actually produced a fair portion of the rugs imported by both Pande Cameron and Fritz and Larue before they both closed down.

As for the labels on the back....  Importers often assign private names to collections of rugs.  Although the rug you've sent is a 6' x 9', the design and quality was probably available a wide array of sizes with the same design and quality.  The name "Katmurt" is probably the collection name of this certain design and quality.

The rug is hand knotted, with a wool pile and cotton foundation. This is an antique Persian Lilihan Sarouk design, however, would properly be called an "Indian interpretation" of a Lilihan Sarouk Design. The rug is probably from the early 1990's or Late 80's.

As for the value, if the rug is in very good condition with no staining, wear, dry rot, odor, moth damage, sun fade, etc...  You're probably looking at something in the vicinity of $750-850 for retail value (what the rug would sell for at retail showroom).  Private party value will be lower, perhaps $400-550 would be appropriate if you're in no rush to sell.  Bear in mind, this is a very loose assignment of value. 

For a more accurate estimate, you'll probably want to take the rug to a local Oriental Rug retailer.  We can suggest dealers in your area for such info.  If you decide to sell, let us know and we can create a Rug Rag Verification Certificate to reinforce it is hand knotted, and the lineage as well, so you may post it at auction or local listing.

Thanks for a great question, I hope this has helped.  Check in often, we're probably going to research the background information further on both companies.


Sincerely,

-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 a look at the bottom of this page, or feel free to Contact Us at Info@rugrag.com

 

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For all those interested in submitting a question to the Rug Rag Editors:  We'd be more than happy to help, please send some photographs of the reverse side of the rug very close up with a quarter placed on the knots, plus a picture of the fringe, the whole face of the rug and detail shot of the pile.  If the rug is worn, please include photographs of worn areas.  For rugs of any age, please be sure to check for dry areas, moth damage, odor, and whether or not the rug is straight/has right angles where called for.  If you have any questions about our assessment request feel free to send us an email.  Otherwise, we are looking for something similar to these images posted here

 

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Comments

November 5. 2008 22:57

Barry O'Connell

Hello,
I am not disagreeing with anything you wrote, I don't know enough to disagree but I thought I would add a little. Kaimuri indicates that it was made in India at the Kaimuri carpet works that was owned by Eastern Kayam OCM Limited. At some point I believe in the 1980s Eastern Kayam OCM acquired Fritz and Larue. Leslie Stroh from Rug News was the last President of Fritz and Larue.
After the fall of the Shah there was a great deal of reshuffling in the Oriental carpet Business. the Scottish Heritable Trust plc bought OCM and then Eastern Kayam the old Eastern Carpets. then it grabbed Amiran Inc., CNA Tapis, Oundjian Ltd., and E. Hill & Co. which was independent to some extent to at least 1959 but worked hand in glove with OCM. Fritz and Larue was the biggest US importer and worked in partnership with OCM for years before the acquisition.
What is odd is that OBEETEE and Pande Cameron competed with the E. Hill and OCM team for years. E. Hill and OBEETEE even produced their rugs in the same town in India. Bryan Huffner wrote a yet to be published history which will untangle this web of partnerships and acquisitions. The important part is that Kaimuri was the quality OCM line in Indo-Persian carpets.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

Barry O'Connell

November 7. 2008 05:55

RD Gupta

Comment by Mr. Barry O'Connel is very very relevant. Thanks to knowledge sharing, we are able to have a better understanding of the business dynamics of oriental carpet export industry of india. Things are again changing. mergers & demergers of bigger scale are expected to take place withing next 2 - 3 years & you should expect a lot ownership change in favour of asian & chinese who will be taking over carpet import & trading business in USA due to highly lucrative business deals after the financial meltdown.

After seeing the carpet image, I find areas around the edges are worn out. Base is sharp in colur & design is good. But knot quality is perhaps on lower side. As it is bought from a reputed & branded retailer, it will fetch some antique value. At US$ 450 - 500, it works out to about INR 25000/- which is higher than the cost of a brand new carpet of this quality from India (based on current parity rate of US$1=INR 50). But it seems to be a fair valuation for USA market.

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RD Gupta

January 16. 2009 15:39

graham smith

Hello.

The name Kaimuri originally had no connection to Eastern Kayam. Kaimuri is a place name in India, (a range of hills) and was the (brand) name of qualities/constructions of hand knotted rugs.

These were the first good reproduction s of persian rugs produced in India, and were first developed by OCM, most development work done by Jim Ford, and manufactured by E Hill & Co. When Pande Cameron took over Fritz & La Rue the production was eventually switched to Obeetee. The various take overs took place later.

The design shown is often referred to as an "American Sarouk".

Graham Smith

graham smith

April 25. 2009 02:46

Shahid Ansari

hello,

Myself is Shahid Ansari. I am 27 year old young boy. I born in carpets manufacturers and exporters family and grown up to see this business.
I have good knowledgeabout all kinds of carpets and rugs.

I am confused but sure that my grand father Mr.Abdul Waheed and His Partner Mr.Rashid started rug business with Pande cameron & company of New York.
But After died of Mr.pande Cameron our business was stopped.

I don't know about Kaimur because I am not so ole as If my grand father's partner is alive then deginitely I could ask him about this matter.

But finally I heartly daying that Mr.Pande Cameron was very good presonality as My grand father acknowledged me.

Thank you and Kind Regards,
Shahid Ansari.
Bhadohi,INDIA

Shahid Ansari

April 26. 2009 13:48

David

Very, very interesting!

Thank you for your contribution, do stay in touch and check in frequently!

David


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