It’s the thrill of a hunt that keeps me thrifting. Learning about different cultures and the history behind art is the icing on the cake! I was so excited to find this oriental rug at an amazing price on an online marketplace. The colors and patterns were even more beautiful in person. Over the years, I’ve researched how to best tell if a rug is authentic. *Disclaimer: I am not an expert on authenticating oriental rugs. When in doubt, please visit your local oriental/antique/fine rug shop! Just sharing a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
The first thing is to always look at the back! Flipping it over can tell alot about whether its a real oriental rug or not. Read the rug label. If the label is missing, take a close look at the knots. If you’ve ever seen a latch hook rug, this is how the back should look – the fibers and pattern should be visible. If it looks machine-made, then follow your gut. Remember: If it ain’t handmade, then it ain’t authentic!
On the back of this particular rug, the label was still in tact and provided detailed information on how, where and when the rug was made. This rug is 100% Wool, between 40-50 years old (semi-antique) and made in Iran by the Bakhtiari tribe. To research tribal and nomadic rugs, my go-to book is Oriental Rugs by George O’Bannon. According to the author, the Bakhtiari is one of the major tribes in Isfahan. Rugs from this tribe are predominately made from wool and have symmetrical knots. I also like to get a bit of personal history from the owner to learn more about the rug’s life. The owner shared that she originally purchased the rug in Telluride, Colorado.
This is one of my favorite oriental rug pieces that I own! I enjoy collecting them and, of course, at an amazing deal! After a brief search online, similar rugs of this type and size (6′ 7” x 4′ 2”) retails at $2,000.