Tuesday, July 22, 2014

History of the Hajji Baba Club | The Passion of a Few Sparks a National Desire to Possess Oriental Rugs

History of the Hajji Baba Club
http://www.hajji75.org/ClubHistory.html          http://www.hajji75.org/RugsintheCity.html

Undeniably, cultural tastes for entire societies are established and influenced by taste-makers. The examples set by the style choices of the rich and famous become models for imitation by aspirants to "the good life".

In a society such as that of the United States where members of a thriving middle class enjoy immense, widely distributed wealth, the opportunities to realize the lifestyle standards set by elites help those standards to pervade the culture broadly. Luxury automobiles are parked in the alleyways of city neighborhoods; workers, who punch the time-clock for their hourly wage, vacation on the Riviera; and residents of tract housing decorate their homes with exquisitely refined objects.

The links at the top of the page show how the acquisition and display of fine handmade rugs (a perquisite of privileged life relished by the founding members of an exclusive club in New York City) when once seen and appreciated as status symbols by society-at-large was emulated by the broader culture. Evidence of the desirability of oriental rugs as a necessary backdrop to elegant living can be seen in movies, TV shows, advertisements, and perhaps your own home. 

The widespread use of excellent oriental rugs in homes everywhere and the establishment of many personal collections has not diminished them as symbols of status, or made their use and display common or vulgar. Far from it. Rather, the passion of exceptional individuals for the intricate beauties of exotic rugs found outlet and expression in the enduring club they established to share that passion; and, in turn, set a standard for all to follow and enjoy.

[Many rug societies and clubs have been established in major metropolitan areas around the United States. Links to some can be found on the Hajji Baba Club's LINK page.]

Monday, July 21, 2014

Is That Really an Antique Rug? Antique Rugs Might Not Always Be As Old As You Think.

(Adapted from an article by Elaine Rogers, Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- posted: 07/17/2014 12:01 AM -- supplemented by Brandon Oriental Rugs)

Persian carpets and other "rugs of the East" are firmly established as elegant design elements - subtle and often-unheralded - that loudly whisper refinement and good taste. Long considered status symbols, and often too precious to put on floors as recently as two hundred years ago, the story of Oriental rugs is quite ancient: try 3000 B.C., when Nomadic tribes in Mongolia and Turkey used hair from their camels and sheep to weave carpets to keep their earthen floors warm, and 1000 B.C., when rugs with an impressive 300 knots per square inch were already in existence. In Persia, especially, the artistry of the carpet developed so much that, today, a dizzying variety of distinctive patterns and styles is linked to at least 40 different rug-making Iranian cities or villages.

Rugs are like paintings. They should not be tucked away and ignored. These types of carpets are meant to be used and enjoyed for many years. A true Oriental rug is "hand-knotted," woven one knot at a time, a tribute to the patience and craftsmanship of the weavers. (The terms "hand-tufted" and "handmade" are misleading. Those can still be machine made.) It is said that the average weaver ties as many as 10,000 knots per day, and a 9-by-12-foot Persian rug that has 500 knots per square inch takes four or five artisans, working six hours a day and six days a week, about 14 months to complete. 

Some care should be taken to analyze claims of age relating to particular rugs. In Iran and some other rug-making countries merchants sometimes use city streets to age rugs prematurely by having traffic drive over new rugs until they look old and worn. This is done because old rugs command higher prices. Industry experts are dismayed to admit that it is extremely difficult for a layperson to tell the difference between a real antique rug and a new rug that's been antiqued in this or similar ways. One such insider, admitted that a lot of rug-finishers are very good at what they do. "They can make a new rug fresh off the loom look very, very old, and no one can tell the difference." That's why you've got to deal with people who are reputable and trustworthy.

With worldwide interest in rare antique, and collectible rugs booming because of their investment potential as stores of value, it's essential to proceed with caution when contemplating an acquisition. Careful research on features of a particular rug type; a verifiable (or at least trustworthy) provenance associated with a specific rug; and the opportunity for independent appraisal by an expert other than the seller are all desirable routes for investigation prior to a purchase of such significance. A good amount of research can be conducted online exploring sale results for rugs like the one in which you have an interest. The major international auction houses maintain archives of prior sales and prices realized which can be used in your investigations. Visits to other rug sellers to look for similar rugs and compare prices can also be helpful if the style is one that has been commonly available in the estate homes of your country or region for the many generations it takes for a rug to truly become an "antique".

Interior Design Pet Peeves

Interior Design Pet Peeves

Guidelines (not rules) for not having your home look like everyone else's.

The suggestion to "make it your own" by not trying to get the job done in one fell swoop over one weekend with one big shopping spree is the best advice to internalize. Making a decision on one essential and then building thoughtfully from it will yield a look that is more an expression of you and your tastes than if you hastily assemble the pieces of what amounts to a ready-made style.

Though cold, bare, noisy floors are not mentioned here, they could easily be named as easily avoidable problems that merit application of the curative oriental rug.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bucks County Rug Store and Rug Search Service (Brandon Oriental Rugs - www.BrandonRugs.com) Helps Upper Bucks County Homeowner to Select Living Room Rugs for Old Farmhouse Renovation

Last year, Brandon Oriental Rugs helped new homeowners in Quakertown, PA  find a rug to complete the farmhouse kitchen of their two hundred year old estate home: http://brandonrugs.blogspot.com/2013/10/brandon-oriental-rugs-helps-find_3.html 

Recently, they invited Brandon Rugs to again help by finding a group of style appropriate rugs to complete the large living room spanning the first floor area from the front to the back of their farmhouse.
A 3.25m X 2.5m "Super" Pak Kazak was selected as the central rug for
the living room which spans the length of the old farmhouse
A large centrally located fireplace took a big cut out of the room, making it necessary to treat the overall space as three distinct areas with separate rugs for each area.

Three coordinated Pak-Kazak rugs provide a coordinated visual procession
from the front of the house (in the foreground) toward the backdoor entry.
Three "Super-Kazak" reproduction Caucasian-style rugs made in Pakistan, were selected, and offer a useful visual example of how to place multiple coordinated but non-identical rugs in proximity to one another within a single room (or adjoining rooms.)
View from the backdoor into the breakfast room

View from the backdoor toward the front entry

  • Brandon Oriental Rugs is a specialty oriental rug store located just outside Doylestown, PA in southeastern Pennsylvania and serving the Greater Philadelphia area (including Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties); Central and South Jersey (including the Jersey shore); and the Lehigh Valley. We are only minutes from popular destinations like New Hope, Lambertville, Peddlers Village, and Newtown. And if you can't make it to us, we're happy to arrange to bring as much of our store as you'd like to see to you.
  • Brandon's proprietary Rug-Search(tm) service helps our customers save time, effort, and cost finding the fine quality handmade area rugs they want. 
  • We are a full service rug store, providing rug cleaning; rug restoration and repair; rug padding; and rug appraisal services.
  • We welcome anyone with an interest in oriental rugs to visit or contact us. Whether you are a rug connoisseur or merely curious, you will be amazed at how the right handmade rug can make any room or area of the home or office a more beautiful and functional place. 
  • We promise you will feel the "Pride in Every Room (tm)" where real, handmade oriental rugs are found. (You can get a sense of just how true this assertion is from other pages on our blog, and also by visiting our "Decorating with Rugs" page on Pinterest.) 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What Will Tomorrow Look Like?

If you have faith in the future; if you are working on a dream; if you take thought of what another day may bring, you necessarily have regard for the decisions you must make about how best to apply the resources of the present in order to realize a better tomorrow. With that in mind:

Photo: www.countryliving.com/homes/decor-ideas/antique-filled-living-room#slide-52

The hand-knotted Persian rug in the living room of the picture above has been in continuous use in various homes for over seventy years, and still looks great.

The contemporary "animal skin" rug seen in the dining room has not been around that long.

The timeless design of the Persian oriental rug consists of 100% natural and organic materials (wool pile on a cotton foundation.) Skilled artisans meticulously crafted the rug by tying tiny knots one-by-one by hand into its foundation over the course of many months. It is one-of-a-kind.
The stylish "animal skin" rug was machine made with 100% synthetic (man-made) materials on a production line. Many others like it were made at the same time.

As a consideration -- trusting that tomorrow will come -- which rug do you think will still be around, and on proud display ten, twenty, or thirty  years from now?