Antique Rugs, Oriental Rugs

Antique Oriental Rugs

There is little doubt that oriental rugs are quite popular around the world. This is especially true of antique oriental rugs, some of which fetch a high price on the auction block. Every so often, stories of people finding antique rugs in second-hand stores for a low price only to sell for ten or more times on the auction block has helped to fuel the demand for this type of rug.

Created from hand-spun wool and augmented by the metals and minerals from the tribe and location from which they are made, antique oriental rugs are long-lasting and quite beautiful in their design. It is a labor-intensive task to create a full-size rug, often taking one person years to complete. Most were made to line the floor of tents, keeping out the dust and dirt while providing a comfortable space to walk and lay down. Their intricate designs representing the tribe and location from which they were crafted.


Area rugs that were created in Asia are considered oriental rugs. This covers a wide range of new and antique rugs that are on the market today. In addition, the term oriental may describe particular types of patterns found on the rug which are common among those produced in Asia. For over two thousand years, Oriental rugs have been produced which means that the market contains many antique rugs as well.

Rugs of this nature are defined by the area in which they were created. In this case it would be Asia which includes the Middle East, Persia, India, China, and surrounding areas. The rugs made from this area are often called “Eastern” and flourished in the golden age of Islamic culture. Because they are hand-woven, no two carpets are identical even if they were made to be so. Machine-made rugs are too precise and lack the charm and patina of the original versions.

While many see antique oriental rugs as collectors items, they have many other uses as well. For those of durable construction, they are used to cover an unsightly-looking floor, to set boundaries in a room, or define a space. To paraphrase a famous quote, oriental rugs can really tie the room together. Because they are in such demand, this type of rug has been evolving over the past century to meet the needs of homeowners along with collectors.

New technology, dyes, and manufacturing techniques have changed the way many rugs are constructed, but antique rugs retain their roots as hand-crafted items. The modern era began around the turn of the 20th century when the demand for oriental rugs rose sharply in the Western world. By the 1930s, the new materials, weaving techniques, and overall design of new rugs made it easy to tell them apart from the antique rugs.

Whether as a floor covering, a wall hanging, or a decorative item, antique oriental rugs are considered works of art which means that they are in demand by collectors.


Oriental rugs have been a part of Asian culture for thousands of years thanks to their beautiful designs that are quite durable. They became popular in Europe thanks to the Silk Road which spread the culture of the East into the West. Many kings, dukes, and the wealthy collected oriental rugs for their palaces and estates.

How to Shop Online for Ancient Oriental Rugs

It’s not just about the selection, it’s about finding the right rugs from areas in the world that are in high demand. Most notably antique rugs from the Far East, including China, Tibet, Mongolia, East Turkestan, and even India. Finding the right location and having access to the selection available is crucial for making the right investment.

The diversity of oriental rugs means that you can find those that compliment your home. Whether hung on the wall to display their abstract patterns or baroque designs that are more commonly found in Europe, the right selection makes all the difference. From Chinese art deco to Ningxia rugs and more, there are many intricate and beautiful designs waiting for you.

The demand for this type of rug has only increased over the past century with so many desiring to have it in their homes. This is in large part because of the inherent beauty of the oriental rugs that make them the perfect addition. Of course, the collectable and reselling aspect of antique rugs should not be overlooked as in a recent auction at Sotheby’s in New York City fetched almost $34 million for one rug.

Identifying Antique Oriental Rugs

For the rug to be considered an antique, it must be over 80 years ago and use hand-crafted techniques in their construction. This can be difficult to determine at times because some modern oriental rugs are constructed to appear to be old but are still made by machines. The true difference lies in the quality of hand-crafted processes that will last for a long time.

While the term oriental rugs covers a wide area of Asia, the antique versions usually refer to those produced in the Far East. These are rugs that have less of the western influence and sport medallions, intricate patterns that repeat, botanical motifs that are often stylized, and spandrels that create a style which is distinctly from the Far East.

You may also find depictions of animals, natural motifs, and flowers on the rugs that are usually tied together with a single concept. A Chinese dragon rug for example explores the myths of the culture while remaining firmly grounded in reality. The distinctions between the rugs come from the fact that they are produced by different tribes.

Thanks to the mass-production of new rugs. The antique oriental rugs are in higher demand that ever. Using ancient techniques, materials, and dyes, the construction of the antique rugs make them highly desired for collectors and for those who want a beautiful rug to decorate their home. It’s also true that antique oriental rugs are pieces of history that define the culture of the tribe and location in which they were made.

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