The investment case for antique and modern rugs

Rugs are not just a perfect complement to internal décor; they are also a very big business. To give some idea of the scale of money that changes hands in the rug trade one has only to looks at examples such as modern auctions and export data of the countries known for rug making. A Sotheby’s of New York auction sold a rug with a final price of 33.8 million dollars. Figures available from recent years show Iran as earning over 500 million dollars annually from the export of rugs. This gives some idea of the demand for fine rugs.

When choosing a rug there are many options. Some people prefer traditional, antique Persian rugs which are always in vogue. Other people like the fresh appeal of modern cutting-edge designers such as Calvin Klein or Kathy Ireland.

There are many factors that affect the value of an antique Persian rug. These can be complex and difficult for the novice to evaluate. The age of the rug is an important factor. The knots per square inch also adds to the value, for the higher grades you will be looking at numbers closer to 1,000 while the lower value rugs may be in the low hundreds for a KPI measure. The dye, whether it has been faux aged or painted all speak to not just the value but the actual authenticity of the rug. Proper evaluation of these and the multiple other aspects that go into choosing an antique Persian rug as an investment piece are why it is key to get the services of an expert. Persian and modern rugs ( is a specialist dealer in rugs and a word with Nicolas, who has over 33 years of experience, can point you to the right rug for your needs.

When it comes to contemporary or modern rugs there is, again, a broad range of choices. The final decision will come down to the use to be made. Is a particularly hard-wearing rug desirable? Or will it be in a less travelled section of the home or even hanging on a wall? There may be particular designers whose value has held up well over a number of years or others whose star is in the ascendant and you want to get in early while the pieces true value has not yet been appreciated by the broader market.

While decisions about the type of rug, modern or antique, and even things like the style or colours can be thought about remotely there is no substitute for seeing the rug first-hand. This gives an opportunity to get a feel for the weight and texture, observe the play of the colours and a true feel for the size.

In summary a rug can be much more than a mere floor covering. Truly good quality rugs can represent a significant investment opportunity that can appreciate over time. Just like investing in any other asset careful due diligence and professional guidance are key.