I constantly get asked this very simple sounding question on a daily bases however, the answer is not that simple and requires a more defined answered. You can’t simply open a book on rug values and pull a number out nor can you just quickly glance at the rug and determine value. You have to consider a few more important details and take those factors into consideration too. In reality a rug maintains two values one being the market value and the second being the sentimental value the owner places on the rug. Which value is worth more can vary from rug to rug but I can assure you sentimental value always wins out.
The sentimental value is based on how a person obtained the rug and how long they have held that rug in their possession. I have one I purchased, a Tabriz Hand Knotted rug over two years ago and I have received numerous offers on it but, can’t bring myself to part with it because I appreciate the artistry and enjoy looking at it too much to sale it. In some cases the rug was given to them as a family heirloom and the sentimental value soars in those cases making the monetary value portion a non-player in the discussion of value. Maybe you purchased the rug on your travels and have used and appreciated the rug at all your homes over a lifetime thus making the sentimental value priceless. As you can see the sentimental value side has no price tag and eliminates the need for market value to be place unless you intend to add as a rider to your insurance; a story to be discussed in future articles.
The Market Value is one that we can place on a rug based on what the market would pay for your rug if it were to be sold and is based on tangible factors. Some of those factors are; fiber content, age, type of rug and country origin, some cases knot count, and size of the rug. These are factors that we use to determine value and place a snap shot of value for that rug based on the market that day. You can’t go by what the rug is listed at in a rug store because it looks like your rug. Your rug may be a newer version an older version or your rug may have different fiber content and knot count. We have to physically examine your rug to determine those factors and also less we forget, we must also look at condition of your rug. There are however, some exceptions on condition of a rug and those are determined by age of the rug. If you have a true antique rug, condition can play a lesser role in the overall value because of its rarity and design. A Navajo Chiefs Blanket sold for over a Million dollars with damage on it because it was an authentic 1850s blanket.
As you can see that simple question of, how much is my rug worth, becomes very complicated when you are dealing in rugs. Rugs to me are art on the floor and many pieces like art works, can’t be replicated and mass produced. They tell a story and become members of your family and centers of conversations during gatherings. The world of area rugs is like the world of art and we all learn something new every day and enjoy the beauty of the work of the artist.