By Lida Lavender
It is my feeling that the wave of the future may just rest in the past. As a part of the rug trade for the last 22 years, I can’t help but fall in love with a new rug every single day. Rugs, tapestries and textiles of the late 19th century are some of the most beautiful / decorative art forms in the world, and there are days when I can’t help but feel like a kid in candy store. As the years go by, I tend to gravitate more towards the early rugs of the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of these early antique rugs are a true testament to the greatness of empires long forgotten. It feels like no matter how omnipotent and grand the empire might have been (like the Safavid, Mamluk, Mughal and Ottoman) they were no match for the longevity of the art that they bestowed onto us all. Early rugs have a uniqueness that cannot be matched, and they are the best examples of the roots from which this whole industry eventually blossomed. More and more young collectors are turning away from the art world in favor of antique rugs. Economically, it makes a great amount of sense… if someone would like to acquire a painting by an old master, it would be practically impossible to find one for less than $1,000,000 (and naturally, that is a very low estimate and by no means is representative of any great piece from any such artist). In contrast, early pieces are still tremendously undervalued. For a fraction of the price of a great work of art, one can easily attain one of the best early pieces in the world – a true museum-quality piece.