Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Berkeley Hills Books; 2 edition (July 2003)
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #532,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #19 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Houseware & Dining > Rugs #33 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > Decorating & Design > Floors #93 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > Decorating & Design > Upholstery & Fabrics
I saw a review of this book in HALI magazine, and have found it clarifies a lot of things that I found confusing and intimidating about buying an Oriental rug. It explains exactly where the rugs in today's rug stores come from, and how much you should expect to pay for them. It's well written and very much on the level-you don't get the impression the author is pushing you to go out and buy something. There's a lot of mystification in the Oriental rug business, and although the book is not an expose in any sense, I felt better equipped to buy a rug and get a good value than I did after reading other books on the subject, most of which seemed out of date. Lots of color plates too.
As someone who already has an intermediate knowledge of oriental carpets, I was disappointed by this book. It is extremely basic - something akin to a Dick and Jane primer. It provides only a few pages of information on carpets from each region (if you can believe it, Iran [Persia] was lumped together with two other countries, and all three countries were covered by approximately only five pages, including illustrations. It does not provide any information on specific carpets (i.e. Nain, Bokhara, Yahyali, etc.), but did explain the general difference between wool types, dyes, etc. Also, while it did have several photos of carpets, many of them seemed to be photos of novelty carpets, and not of traditional designs. Overall, I believe that this would be good for someone who knows absolutely nothing about oriental carpets and is only looking for general information. In my opinion, there are much better books on the subject for both beginners and experts alike, such as Oriental Rugs, A Buyer's Guide, by Lee Allane.
Unlike the gentleman below, I had little knowledge of oriental rugs prior to reading this book. I found it to be a perfect place to start my education. The text was informative, particularly in regards to the "renaissance" in traditional rugmaking techniques over the past 20 years. He does a wonderful job of covering the pros and cons of natural vs. chrome dyes, and handspun vs. millspun wool - again without being overly opinionated or judgmental despite his personal leanings.The writing was engaging, fair, and accompanied by high-quality photographs (n.b. the photos on his website are the highest resolution I've seen anywhere). He gives equal weight to each country's production. Helpful information is also provided regarding approximate prices per sq. ft.In fact, I liked his book so much that I just purchased two rugs from him - two years after reading the book, and after looking at dozens of sites on the web and a handful of shops in person.
I've read both editions of this book and, yes, the first edition only had a few words on Iran but, as the author explained, there was an embargo at the time. The new edition has an entire chapter on new rugs from Iran, with photos of some really gorgeous rugs.Most of my personal knowledge about rugs was that rugs made today are lifeless, uninteresting pieces cranked out from rug factories in places like India and China, or poorly made, touristy pieces from places like Turkey. Boy was I wrong. It's good to know there are finally interesting, attractive, reasonably-priced, handmade carpets available again.The possibility that some carpet made in Iran in the last year or so may rival the beauty of my 19th-Century Persian Bidjar is stunning.
It you are interested in buying high quality new oriental rugs you need this book. I wish it were updated to 2016 but still a lot of useful information. Well written and excellent photos. Most rug stores do not carry these rugs but they are worth seeking out.
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