My answers

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Posted by Mar vin Amstey on June 07, 1999 at 09:04:34:

1.Where do I find rugs? Anywhere I can: auctions, dealers, private, etc.

2. How freq. do I buy rugs? 3-4 times/year.

3. What is a collectible rug? How much space do I have to write this answer? a)Central Asian b)Chinese before 1850 c) great, small Baluch pieces. Then they have to meet my desire for color, wool quality, design aesthetics, rarity.

4. COndition? Used to be very important, but recently, certain rare, and very old pieces have less condition. My wife and I are currently discussing the merits of restoring or not restoring - particularly on an 18th c Ersari maincarpet that we just acquired. We have not bought fragments, but that is not to say I wouldn't. I've been bugging a high end collector to sell me his fragment of a saryk maincarpet - without success.

5. How are rugs kept? On the floor, tables, walls and a special rug closet.

6. Analysis and writing about a carpet? Yes, I've done that with a modern baluch - see old ORR. I've also done that with an old salatchek (salanshek) anaylizing it compared to all the published pieces I could find - not published.

7. Resources for learning? Knowledgeable collectors and dealers, publications, museum collections.

8. Collecting changed? Absolutely! After the first five years I realized I couldn't be another McMullen, so out went the Turkish and Caucasians, and we now concentrate one those in items listed in #3.

9. What happens after I'm gone? Wish I could be around to see. But the kids get first choice - if interested - and the auction houses get the rest. There may be 1 or 2 with which I will be buried. I know an old Armenian retired dealer who believes he will either outlive his rugs (he's in his 80's, or they will be buried with him. He still refuses to sell wonderful things.

10. Learn, learn and learn. Make mistakes and chalk it up to "tuition" - part of the price of learning. Have fun! NEVER buy for investment; Jerry's correct: the books do better than the rugs.

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