Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carriage Trade Rug Washing: The Talk

Some terms in the world of Oriental Rugs words get used that are not common in every day speech or take on a special meaning in regards to rugs. Here are a few of my favorites;

Atelier; among rug washers there is a great debate about the place where you wash and repair your rugs. Do you call it a plant or a shop or do you go with the more female friendly Spa, or Salon. My dear friend Harold Keshishian referred to his work shop as his Atelier. An Atelier is the French word for workshop. Atelier has the connotation of a workshop of an artist or master craftsman. Under Harold the shop was very much an Atelier.

Extant: meaning complete. When a rug is as it was when cut from the loom it is considered extant. A rug is always worth more extant then if reduced.

Reduced: less than whole. With rugs it has the connotation of being almost extant or complete but missing something. If a rug is reduced at one end or reduced at both ends it means that there is loss to the pile often extending into the outer guard borders. If the rug is reduced on 4 sides or very far into the rug it is not reduced it is a Fragment.

Fragment; a part of a rug. It may have uneven borders and holes or it may be rectangular and in good shape except that it is reduced on all 4 sides. It should always be valused at a lower price than if it were extant but keep in mind some fragments can still command astronomical prices.

Polychrome; more than one color. Most oriental rugs are polychrome in that they are more than one color. One color is monochrome and more than one is polychrome. This usage is common in auction catalogue descriptions.

Accessioned: bought, acquired. Many great rug collectors don’t use buy or sell in regards to their rugs. Rugs are either accessioned (bought) or deaccessioned (sold). To use buy or sell would be too plebeian.

Acquired: I got this from Academy of Oriental Rugs Senior Fellow Stephen Dusty Roberts. Dusty makes the point of never asking his clients where they Bought their rug. He asks where they Acquired it. A Great point that will work amazingly well with your clients.