The Leading Antique
and Vintage Rug Company
since 1965


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Antique Rug Interviews

04-06-2011  |  By: ESP |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Antique Rug Interviews
So today I embarked on a new project to see what the general opinion is on antique rugs. It's not really a topic that people tend to think about all that often, if you think about it, but I bet that if you ask, you'll find some pretty interesting takes. With this possibility in mind, I set out to ask as many people as I could about their views on rugs and carpets in general. It's always good to start with a sort of general opening question, and then move to more specific interrogation, if you will, later in the conversation.

But that opening line can, in itself, garner some interesting reactions. (Mostly it's that people don't know quite how to respond at first, but then eventually they warm to the question.)

"What do you think about Persian rugs?" I asked one young woman as we were waiting for a stop light.  She looked at me, surprised.

"Um? What?" I had to repeat the question. After she got over the initial shock of my asking her anything at all, she looked thoughtful.

"Well, I guess... I suppose... hmm. I guess I'm pretty neutral on them, really." Then she crossed the street.

Well okay. Not everyone is super cooperative.

But I found if I carried a clipboard around instead, and tried to look more official, I got more positive reactions. Some people waxed poetic n the topic, in fact. For example, one guy went on and on aout a Persian rug he had in his childhood home and how much he loved it. Another woman turned out to be from Iran and had some very strong political arguments about production and factories in her home country.  One young man seemed to be an expert. Their responses and more will be in posts to follow.

Antique Rugs and Metaphors

04-03-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Antique Rugs and Metaphors
    When Im thinking well, everything stands for something else and nothing is itself. A gold wristwatch is half a pair of shackles and a necklace is a chain. Bus stop benches are deathbeds and alone on a winter night, a final bottle of whiskey is a ticket out of this place.

Metaphors are neuron connections in your brain, tangled shining threads between words and sensations, semantics and emotions. The place where you feel icy sprinkles and smell wet concrete is connected by glistening twine to the place where you say rainy day. Sometimes the connections are thick, obvious: the sea is saltwater and saltwater can be sweat and tears, and trickling tears are like rainfall washing into the sea. 

Sometimes, you didnt know two things could go together until you drew out their edges, spun them each a new filament, and wove the tiny ends together.  All the sudden a goldfish is a princess and a castle is a fishbowl. You can drag your fingers through these lacings and tug whole worlds into place, like weaving an antique rug. Sometimes you never fully figure out how things connect, and youre not sure that they should except for the feeling somewhere in your body that tells you they do. Sometimes you dont even use words for this.

    When I read, and when I write, I gather the those spider string metaphors in my hands and then I eat them. I slurp down sticky cobwebs and feel the phrases in my organs. There are drizzling motifs and stonework themes that drip and clunk through my insides. They make me feel. It is so unpleasant.

    I love for things to be unpleasant. A reader should feel anxious or enraged or suspicious or feverish or hopeless or bereaved. Basically I want to make people feel terrible. And burn things to the ground.
I dont feel bad. Guilt is an old dusty grit that gathers new layers every year. Once you accept that things get dirty it doesnt bother you so much and you can draw pictures in the ashes.

Oriental Rugs in Japan

04-01-2011  |  By: ESP |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Oriental Rugs in Japan
Haruto Kotori gave birth on a syrupy night during her sixteenth summer, tsked over by the brothel owner and an old crone from down the street, sweating on a bed of old Oriental rugs. She named her son Sorame, because every single idiot who saw her baby was going to call him that, anyway. Sky-eyes at least had some poetry in it. The other girls at the Akabeko tutted that it sounded like a girls name, but agreed to watch him.
Kotori couldnt bear to be out of work, and went back too soon, half-useless and thick-waisted. Nobody called her little girl anymore. Every night she went to the docks and swilled saltwater, and every morning she came home and cried it back out. Sorame cried with her, out-cried her. Sometimes she buried her face in her antique rug, sometimes she wanted to bury him. By the time the sakura were blooming again, Kotori was dried out.
By his fourth Tanabata festival, Sorame had a mop of lightish hair and his last willing babysitter was the boy-whore Aijirou. Kotori saw them, at sunset as she left, folding a few bits of paper for lanterns and playing with whichever bugs Sorame had found that day. In afternoons she tried to teach him his kanji and hiragana, but her own lessons were hazy.  
So whats this one, Sorame? She kneeled in her worn house-robe on the worn tatami in their room in the Akabeko, chewing on an old fishbone like the sailors did.
Come on. What is it, its not that hard.  The word was sword.
Outside, Mama? Outside?
All he ever wanted to do was dash along the harbor, or tumble through the woods by the graveyard, whacking at things with a bamboo stick. Well, she didnt want to work either.
Fine. Wait for Mama to get her kimono- He tore off to the garden. She let him, and sank down to take a nap. She never seemed to be awake, anymore.
She dreamt of sails and flags with crosses on them.

Persian Rugs in the Film 300

03-31-2011  |  By: ESP |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Persian Rugs in the Film 300
300 is a movie about a group of three hundred Spartan warriors, led by their king, holding of a massive horde of Persian troops (near a million) for several days in order to buy time for the rest of Sparta to mobilize for war. The movie is exremely violent and graphic, but in a stylized, artistic way. It is based around good storytelling, and although the protagonist is more of a martyr than a character (very little development/character arc), his story is compelling.

The visuals are simply stunning, and one of the very best parts of the film is actually when the 'enemy camp', so to speak, is portrayed. The Persian empire is shown to have immense opulance, riches beyond the wildest imaginings of the spartan Spartans. (It's funny where that word comes from). They have gold and silver and glittering jewels and beautiful women and food and wine and incense and all manner of delicacies and deliciousness.

Included in the set that the filmmakers created for the opposition were a number of Persian rugs, selected both for authenticity and for brightness and intricacy. They feature very bold colors, reds, greens, and golds, rich purples as well. The god-king Xerxes, enlargened and smoothed digitally, imposes from atop a throne. Many of the scenes feature antique rugs and tapestries, which help lend an historical air to the sets. They make you feel you are several thousand years ago, living this adventure.

It is the small details like this that really make the movie. Clearly the director, artists, and set designers had to find real objects to use on the sound stage. Even though much of the movie was created using computer graphics imaging, they definitely had to commission a few old antiques, as well. These can be seen during the scene when the deformed Spartan goes over to the other side to strike a deal with Xerxes.

Persian Rugs are Not Magic Carpets

03-24-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Persian Rugs are Not Magic Carpets

(But wouldn't that be just totally awesome?)

Although Persian rugs unfortunately do not have any real supernatural powers, flying carpets are known to children the world round thanks largely to the Disney movie Aladdin, featuring a flying carpet imaginatively named "Carpet". Magic carpets are household concepts for most Americans. However, the tale originally comes from the popular One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of tales from ancient Arabic cultures. It has also been called "The Carpet of Prince Housain". Originally, the Pesian rug seemed like any other worthless carpet on the street, dingy and dirty, uninteresting. It was from the Persian city of Tangu. But when the hero happens upon this seemingly innocuous old antique rug, it can fly!

Solomon's carpet, a similar tale from other origins, was said to have been made of silk, gold and green, and was more than sixty by sixty square miles! And when Solomon himself sat on the carpet, it was said that he was "caught up by the wind", and then could fly across the sky so fast that he could eat breakfast in Damascus and catch a sunset dinner in Media. According to this tale, the wind itself obeyed his commands, and this is what made the carpet go where he wanted.  Apparently also it was constantly shaded from the burning desert sun by an enormous flock of birds which acted as a canopy.

In another story, a Shaikh named Abdul Qadir Gilani was able to walk across the Tigris river in Mesopotamia, and a huge prayer rug then magically apparates into the sky above him, just like Solomon's rug.

Usually in these tales, the magical woven rugs are able to help the hero achieve some goal or transport him to distant and mysterious lands.  The stories are truly wonderful, and as rich as the tapestries they describe.

Persian Rugs and the Future

03-23-2011  |  By: Erica |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Persian Rugs and the Future
Practices and traditions fade in and out of this world. One wonders how long Persian rugs will survive into the future. We currently have in our collective possession several specimens from thousands of years ago. Are we going to have the same ones thousands of years from now? Or, will we even have the Persian rugs that we're making now in a few thousand years, or will they be lost to time?

The fact of the matter is, we are entering a future where things are becoming more and more computerized, when information is conveyed through zeros and ones through wires and bytes, instead of on canvases and parchment and with ink and thread. How will the medium of storytelling alter? WIll some forms of expression such as rugmaking, go extinct? Will we lose the ability to create these products, lose the history of the art, as we lost the knowledge of building pyramids of stone like the ancient Egyptians? There are buildings that were created in ancient times that we have lost all ability to replicate, and there is a danger we could lose more technologies if we're not careful.

We need to preserve these arts as best we can as we march into the future. If, one day, we send out starships full of colonists to distant planets, will we be able to load up the ships with relics of the past? Will we be able to bring delicate vases, storytelling tapestries, and painted masterworks? Or will the world be made out of metal and smooth plastics and nothing gritty at all. 

The ancient and now modernized practice of continuing to sell antique rugs is its own way of preserving these traditions. If we can keep that practice going, we can preserve so much culture over the next few centuries.

Persian Rugs in Costa Rica

03-05-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Persian Rugs in Costa Rica
Its at least a beautiful morning. The light is all pink and gold and makes me ready for the day. I will just have to love this trip based on how gorgeous everything is, and how insane the activities are. Because I can basically tell I am not going to make a lot of close friends.
Not that I really care- these kids are all way younger than me and none of them like Harry Potter or anything good.
Have you every listened to Ben Folds?
No wait. Is he like, that guy from Death Cab for Cutie?
Triple no. Thats Ben Gibbard, idiot.
No, but Ben Gibbard is pretty cool, sometimes. And with that I sort of turn away from her in that way that signals that our conversation is ending. Not that theres really anything wrong with her, but I havent explored all my possibilities yet and Im sure there are more interesting people to talk to than Jessica from Boston.
Weve been waiting for our bus to arrive for half an hour, and were all perched tentatively on our luggage because there is no place to sit. The hostel, by the way, is beautiful, with gorgeous Spanish tiles and a strangely wonderful hexagon motif. Gorgeous Persian rugs are in the lobby, and each room has its own beautiful antique rug. And this intricately ornate, yet completely appropriate fountain in the front. I love Spanish-speaking people, I really do.
I do not, however, like how everything in Costa Rica ( at least San Jose) seems to run at least half and hour behind. They call it Tico Time all affectionately, but the sun is really bright at eight in the morning and I would SO rather still be in bed. We definitely woke up about two hours earlier than necessary.

Antique Rugs for Spring

03-04-2011  |  By: Erica |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Rugs in spring

Sicovering an Antique Rug

02-24-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Sicovering an Antique Rug
The sun was assuming its late afternoon position as we entered the skeletal courtyard, and I stopped to appreciate the way it gilded the shifting leaves of the deciduous trees. The four adults of our party led us into a hallowed cemetery, but I took my leave to go investigating along the sunlit hilltops crowned with the remnants of the sandy citadel, layers of walls an ancient labyrinth that must once have been covered in tapestries and Persian rugs. I climbed over falling fortresses, through gaps in the ramparts, and wonderingly crept through open arenas to discover I was now atop a hundred foot wall, dangling over a small cliff.

Eagerly, I took the hard way across what might have been a bridge or tunnel, to reach an isolated area with what looked like stairs and a door. Halfway there, I realized I had taken the wrong path. My road ended in a solid, living wall, sustaining green life in its fissures, even two hundred feet up. My path picked up about thirty feet to the left of me, the only way to reach it by scaling the wall. I would have to climb over, drop down about twenty feet, or go back the way I had come.

A gust pulled my hair upwards, and I thought of the spirits of the castles gatekeepers. In my imagination, they urged me on, too.  I reached for a handhold, feeling like a brave soldier or an escaping prisoner. The floor dropped from under me as I went, and I  was suddenly very aware how far away the stones were. I grasped the jutting roots and dug my pink sneakered toe into the missing chunks. I felt a bead of Spain-kissed sweat trickle down my back as I made my attack, or retreat.

Solid ground greeted me with a crunch, and I was now on a narrow strip of rock, with the tiny door I had seen below, and a rectangular gap in the wall at my knees. Iron barred and pitch dark inside, I decided it was a prison cell. Apparently, I had escaped the wrong way, and having reached my destination, found myself quite trapped.

I tried the door. It opened, much to my surprise. And inside was stored several baskets full of dust, an old broken loom, and an ancient, antique rug.

Oushak Rugs

02-21-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Oushak Rugs

Oushak rugs are not as familiar a household name as Persian rugs, but these Turkish masterpieces should get the recognition they deserve. They come out of an ancient tradition in western Anatolia, which is south fo the main city of Istanbul, in a small town called Oushak, and huge production center for rugs dating back to the fifteenth century. The rugs are definitely Persian influences, but were hand woven by Turkish nomads for hearth and home, as necessities as well as art.


After the fifteenth century, such area rugs became more popular and were beginning to be produced for trade and profit, not just for personal use. Oushak surpassed other towns in the region with their rich dyes and superior wool. The rugs became known for their quality and distinctiveness, and retain that fame to this very day, all around the world.


Even today, these rugs are in high demand for their bold colors and classic, intricate patterns, and for a nice fusion of traditional Persian aesthetic and a thick, durable, double knotted Turkish weave. They tend to have fairly geometric designs, as most people in Turkey are Muslim and may not depict humans or animals in art. Plants, leaves, and flowers are common themes, and dark ivory, gold, and red make many appearances in the palette. These particular combinations are unique to these rugs and found nowhere else in such numbers. In Turkey, only prayer rugs are allowed the privilege of using the sacred color green, and many Oushak rugs use green for this very purpose.


Oushak rugs would look great in a living room or under a dining room table for a sophisticated, non-mainstream flair. They tend to be small to mid-ranged, in terms of size, because they were often produced on smaller, portable looms used by nomads.




Persian Rug History

02-18-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Persian Rug History
Every year, Iran exports more than 500 million dollars worth of hand-woven rugs and carpets to places all over the world. In fact, hand-woven carpets are the number one non-oil export of Iran, and the third total.
Carpet production in other parts of the world has become largely mechanized, but a majority of producers in Iran still do them by hand. Almost five million laborers are involved in the carpet industry in Iran, one of the biggest industries in the country.
Unfortunately, many companies in other countries have capitalized on the popularity of Persian rugs by mechanically producing fakes that are much cheaper and quicker to make. The traditional art faces many challenges in the modern area because it is not a patented process, and doesnt follow modern western branding and marketing schemes- which helps maintain the authenticity of the art, but also puts the producers at a disadvantage. Others can use lower-quality materials and cheaper processes to make a fairly good facsimile. Unfortunately, as a result, the market value of any Persian carpet has dropped.
But people around the world can help maintain the integrity of this fine art by buying only authentic Persian carpets, checking with retailers and vendors about the origins of their products, and resisting  settling for the cheaper substitute.

Cleopatra and Rugs

02-17-2011  |  By: Erica |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Cleopatra and Rugs
    Cleopatra styled herself a goddess. She was Isis, Aphrodite, Venus, Nefertiti.  She draped herself in ropes of gold and webs of emeralds, sprinkled her dark hair with lustrous pearls. Ambrosial incense hung in a cloud around her, filled nostrils and spun heads; she delivered all of her proclamations sunset. She was the first of the Ptolemy line to learn the languages of her people, switching fluidly as it suited her. She was trained in rhetoric, enchanted opponents with watertight arguments and arch replies, wrangling with such cunning as to inspire dread hatred and devoted passion in turns.

Cleopatra was not simply the dexterous, competent ruler of her people, administering their affairs as other monarchs do. She was the goddess of every stalk of wheat, every scroll of poetry, every woven Persian rug, every finely sharpened blade in Egypt. Every harvest was her harvest, every ship sailed at her leisure. Her sighs and tears were the winds and the waters; the Nile rose when she gave the word.
    Roman rivalries were her undoing. When her kingdom was conquered and everything she had ever worked for was falling to ruin, she said: you wish to strip me of my crown? Here are all my treasures. Here are my engravings and golden vases and statues crusted with tortoiseshell. Here are my heavy shimmering fabrics, my storytelling tapestries, my antique carpets, my silver crescent scepters. Come to my mausoleum and I will burn it to the ground.

    Octavian caught her and locked her in a tower and whispered through the door: woman.  Your man is dead. You will come to Rome and be our nonpareil of beauty, our chained fallen queen.

    When they cracked open the doors, her ladies were draped dead over the settees. Cleopatra lay, crowned and glowing like the face of the moon, with poison on her lips and a snake at her breast.


Customer Profiles

02-13-2011  |  By: ESP |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Customer Profiles
    You expect a man named Rabbi Shlomo Shulman to be shlumpy. I am constantly surprised that hes handsome a strong jaw peppered by a Clooney-esque five oclock shadow, an expressive pout. When he opens his mouth, though, his voice does not sound like George Clooney.

Welcome, welcome!

When he buys my coffee, he says, Each figure in the Torah represents a different major character trait, and Mosess was generosity. That is why Jews have laws about charity. You know, the Jews were the first people to care about human rights. He fiddles with his straw wrapper.

I try to ask him about himself. Shlomo was born in Cleveland. He has nine children, a lovely wife. And did I know? Einstein, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Feinstein, Hank Aarons? All Jewish. Inventor of penicillin? Jewish. First woman physician? Jewish girl. Jews arent satisfied with being good. We want to be great. Were half a percent in the U.S., but weve won half of the Oscars and Nobel prizes. How do you like that? God commands us to be great, and so we are driven to be so. Surely you dont think thats a coincidence? 

 It certainly is an incredible correlation. I say carefully. So how are you liking your new Persian rug?"

 His Adams apple bobs up and down.  If you read the Torah carefully, the stories all have lessons. We believe that everything in the Torah has meaning for how we should act. Not including buying antique rugs, though! 

Meanings that we interpret, though, right? We then talk about how the images in rugs have a lot to do with the kinds of stories that are in the hebrew bible. Many rugs actually feature patterns that are stories from the Torah. It's an enlightening conversation.

Life with Rugs is Better

02-11-2011  |  By: ESP |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Life with Rugs is Better
Imagine this scene, and imagine what would be happening if this family didn't have arug in their living room!

Curled before the fireplace on our new Persian rug, my siblings and I sip hot cocoa with marshmallows, made from the packages. We happily drink in the wafting scents of baking gingerbread, burning wood and delicate pine from the angelically adorned Christmas tree.

I murmur, checkmate, as my sister knocks over her king, and we both gaze into the blazing flames, too content to make a fuss. The gorgeous antique rug itches my elbows as I reach for the lovingly chipped pieces, gathering them in my lap carefully.

I turn my stare onto our large Christmas tree, shimmering beside the piano; divine because we decked it as a family. Twinkling, multicolored lights reflect off the tinsel and glass ornaments, tripling the glistening effect. Every crevice and outcropping of limb is winking merrily, and I wink back. Many forms of Santa Claus are nestled among the evergreen needles, and old, stale candy canes jolly the bare patches at the bottom. A few brightly wrapped presents reflect the light from the tree, waiting excitedly for dawn to be joined by their numerous brethren come morning.

My older brother peacefully sips his cocoa, watching us reset the pieces; we carefully arrange the pawns so that they all face forward, striking shadows almost bring them to life. The glass is steamed up from the warmth of the living room. The flickering, mellow glow of the fire dances across the ivory piano keys, resting after a long bout of caroling.

I contemplate allowing my baby sister to best me in our game of softly blurring wits. I foggily decide against it, because she would probably know Id faked it.  As she tentatively pushes forward the petite white pawn at the very front, I lean back to look through the window, which is encrusted with hokey holiday stickers.

 Only a downy coat of wondrous, powdery snow outside could brighten the atmosphere.  My heavy eyelids creak shut, and I imagine what it would be like to have a white Christmas; the soft flurries of snow whirling across the black sky.

My imagination fails me, so I twist back around on my stomach for another go at the chocolate chip cookies.



Perisan Rugs Auctioned Off

02-07-2011  |  By: Azaad |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Perisan Rugs Auctioned Off

Some Persian rugs are unfortunately getting some negative attention in the press lately. Apparently, the incredibly infamy of Bernie Madoff has rubbed off onto his things. The Ponzi-style swindler lived in royal splendor among his ill-gotten gains, and this is potentially an opportunity to usurp the usurper. At an auction house Sunday, a large standing crowd gathered for the spectacle of Madoff's things being sold off to the highest bidder: priceless works of art, incredibly expensive watches, old jewelry and some hand-woven antique rugs. These and more were a part of what was billed as the "Liquidation of Bernie Madoff", taking place yesterday as the man himself sat in a prison in North Carolina. 

The attraction of buying things back from someone who essentially swindled them in the first place is an enticing one, slightly salacious but with a tinge of vengeance. One hopes that those who are trying to buy the items are doing so out of a sense of duty to the priceless artwork, to in a sense liberate it and return it to the people. Hopefully they aren't motivated by trying to screw over the guy that screwed them over. 

Among the objects up for auction are dozens of incredibly expensive works of art, including original Picassos, Matisses, Miros, Rembrandts, Pissaros, Moneys, and Cezannes. It seemed the multi-billion dollar scam artist was also an appreciator of the visual arts. His home was almost like a museum. The jewelry was also art: rings, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and necklaces that the man himself could not have worn, but surely valued for their diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.

In addition, at least six very large, very old hand-woven Persian rugs were included in the items to be auctioned, priced at almost a million dollars each. Hopefully they will fall into scrupulous hands that will take care of them.





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