Resources for Collectors of Area Rugs
This article originally appeared in Oriental Rug Review Vol VI, No. 10 (January, 1987). The author discusses the passionate pursuit of objects of artistic significance, are dangers of a more existential nature. There is a rule of thumb in rug collecting circles, according to the article, that the more you understand about rugs, the less you know. That's only the beginner collector who speaks with any assurance about rugs, the article says. Itís a good look at the attitudes that can shape the rug-collecting industry.
This Web site brings rug making and collecting home to the United States. The society provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about textiles worldwide, from artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives. It was created in 1987, and is run by a Board of Directors from museums and universities in North America. Its 500 members worldwide include museum curators, teachers, historians, artists, students, dealers, and collectors. The Web site is useful because it keeps track of textile and rug collecting events across the U.S.
This section on Brandon Oriental Rugs has some valuable non-commercial information that can help anyone interested in rugs learn more about collecting. Here is advice from a rug expert who knows his stuff. Information in this section discusses how to purchase rugs as a dealer, learn about rug pricing factors, how to use rugs as an investment, and more. There's an article about why you should choose handmade rugs over carpets in your home. There's also an article For Students of Rugs, as well as an article warning about tufted rugs as well as a video on problems with tufted construction.
This conference began in 1976 and features exhibitions. Probably the most notable are "The Eastern Carpet in the Western World" & "Carpet Magic" (London 1983), "Orient Stars" (Hamburg 1993), and "Studies in Colour and Geometry: Turkish Pile Carpets from the Christopher Alexander Collection" & "Anatolian Kilims: The McCoy Jones Collection" (San Francisco, 1990). As well as exhibitions from museum collections worldwide, ICOC exhibitions have always featured the collections of "local" collectors, such as "Oriental Rugs from Atlantic Collections" (Philadelphia 1996). In addition, since 1986, the conference has hosted an ever more successful Dealers' Fair. An international conference exists on many levels. As a forum for academic papers, it also serves as a godfather to research. The conference also provides a good meeting place to discuss fashions in rugs and theories. Perfect for newcomers because of the easily understandable forums.
Beluchistan is an area that formerly produced some of the most interesting and high quality rugs of the Easta country of desolate character, with a lot of sandy, waterless waste stretches. Their rugs were woven on crudely made looms, and do not look at all similar to the artistic, floral Indian weaves to the east or those of Kirman to the west. Interestingly, they're also not closely related to the Turkoman rugs, though they are frequently grouped with them. One could say that Baluch rugs exhibit individuality reflective of the isolated condition of the country and rarely colored with aniline dyes. This article talks about5 the history and origin of the Baluch tribes, the Baluch weaving culture, typical types of Baluch rugs, typical Baluch weaving colors, tent rugs, pillows, saddle bags and general purpose bags, and the types of rugs that were not produced by the Baluch.
The Armenian Rugs Society is a non-profit organization founded in Washington D.C., in 1980, dedicated to the identification, preservation and promotion of knowledge of Armenian rugs. The Society holds symposiums and exhibitions in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Montreal, London and Geneva. The Society also maintains a data bank of hand-knotted Oriental rugs, carpets, kilims, bags and trappings bearing inscriptions woven in the Armenian alphabet. Anyone with a hand-woven rug with Armenian inscriptions is encouraged to contribute their photos to the data bank. The website have information about exhibitions, news, information on dating Armenian rugs, and the database mentioned above of rugs with Armenian inscriptions.