Selling Your Antique Oriental Rug?

Bokara Oriental Rug

Several readers of What’s Up? Magazines have sent me emails asking for further help on identifying and appraising their oriental rugs. The following letter is one of several that have come in during the past three months.

Dear Nadja,

I read your excellent article in What’s Up? (Apr 2008) and was inspired to research further, and/or sell, a rug handed down to me. If it’s not too presumptuous, I thought you might be able to guide me towards someone who could identify and value the rug. I suspect it’s a Bokhara Oriental but not sure and it is in excellent condition.

I can only assume the following: handmade/knotted, natural dye, no fading, no stains, double pile and fine wool.

Size: L=9’2″ X w= 8’4″, fringe= 4.5″

Pictures are attached. Any direction you might provide on this rug would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for your time & consideration of this request.




There is no doubt looking at the photograph that this rug is a Bokhara and it looks relatively new, of fine quality, and definitely in excellent condition. As to whether vegetable dyes were used, it is hard to tell in a photograph. The yellow certainly looks bright, which brings into question the age and type of dye.

How do you value an antique rug or any antique for that matter when it is time to sell?  In the case of your rug, I really think your most practical course of action is to visit other rug dealers. You can do that online at eBay, Craig’s list or other auction/sales sites and compare the prices being asked and received.  If you spend money on an appraisal, it will cost you a between $75 and $250- money you want to make not spend.

If you need to sell  your rug, you’ll receive a better return if you sell it yourself rather than selling to a dealer. A dealer needs to make a profit in order to cover their time and overhead expenses. In the antique business, dealers are primarily looking for rare and unique items or severely underpriced items. The bottom line is profit.

I hope, what I’ve told you is helpful. If you do have a place in your home to use your rug, it is an item that will only appreciate in value as long as it properly maintained. Put a mat underneath, reposition it periodically for even wear and keep it away from direct sunlight.  If you inherited the rug from someone you are fond of, it is a nice way to remember them.

To read the original article on Oriental Rugs go to:


Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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