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Qashqai--what's it worth?
byron Offline
#1 Posted : Saturday, October 19, 2013 6:07:15 PM(UTC)
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This is said to be an old Qashqai in excellent condition. 7'4" x 10'1". KPSI is not supplied or shown. I love the look of this on the screen but am afraid the weave, in actuality, may be more coarse than it appears in the images...
Any thoughts about the value of this type of rug? Thanks.
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byron Offline
#2 Posted : Saturday, October 19, 2013 6:14:00 PM(UTC)
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Here''s the rug:
http://flic.kr/p/gNnZiA
Sharafi & Co Offline
#3 Posted : Sunday, October 20, 2013 3:22:28 AM(UTC)
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I am not much in to KPSI unless it is a very fine piece when that sort of fine scrutiny is important, however, I am being urged to get into it more and maybe I should. It is quite a nice Qashqai rug and it is about 20-30 years old. All dyes are chemical, the shop price for it is about $1900 but on ebay you I would not pay more than $1200 for it and preferably lower than that.

If he has only posted this photo online then I would not really want to pay more than $700 and even play it safe and not buy it.
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byron Offline
#4 Posted : Monday, October 21, 2013 1:27:35 AM(UTC)
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Sharafi, you were right on the mark! Uncanny. The rug was originally listed at $19,000+; limited-time sale reduced it closer to $1000. I offered somewhat lower and seller counter-offered. Sat on my hands after that.

Normally, I wouldn't care much about KPSI either, but rather, how the rug looks and feels...in actuality! Since bidding on an online rug doesn't afford one that opportunity, I hope to be supplied with as many tangible clues as possible. I'm focusing on this for a specific reason, from my personal experience. After I bought the "Gashgahi" mille-fleur (about which we've spoken on another thread), which I was so enamored with, I became fascinated with this tribe and bought a 5 x 7 Qashqai on ebay, years ago, at a ridiculously low price. I was a little shocked and disappointed when I received it--it was so coarse, the lines of the drawing, in comparison to my ultra-fine specimen. Of course, now I've learned that the mille-fleur pattern was a Qashqai outlier, generally executed by the highly-skilled Kashkoli sub-tribe...though mine points to the even more skillful workshops of Ghoochan. (My ebay Qashqai now graces a relative's apartment, and looks good, makes a bold statement, great with her American folk-art...but I couldn't live with it at the time.)

I'm not surprised that you date this to be just 20-30 years old. The seller dated the rug to the 1900-1939 period, but I had my doubts. I've seen a number of Qashqai rugs on ebay with a similar type pattern, a large scale field of diamonds emanating from a central geometric medallion. Frankly I love the pattern. And in this case, I love the saturated red field, decorated with what looks like gems. Some others I've seen of this type have shown clear dye-bleeding, which read, chemicals! But this one looks clean, pristine. The central medallion pics are most attractive; it looks finely wrought and beautifully drawn.

The seller DID provide many more images, the full gamut (just no ruler to the backside). What gave me pause were the close-ups of the corners and borders. Here's where the outlines betrayed a coarseness in the weave and a coarseness in the pictorial lines. But again, that could be a case of the camera misrepresenting what the eye will see in actuality. As much as it may have done in exaggerating its strengths. (N.B., I don't mean to use the word "coarse" pejoratively; I am simply referring to the clarity of the lines of the drawing. I love tribal weavings. Not all rugs are supposed to look a certain way, and if there's one thing I hate, it's those too-perfect Persian adaptations that hail from Pakistan, China, and India. Though the last of the group are often quite beautiful, and I could probably be convinced to pay them more serious heed.)

I guess I really need to see a rug before I commit to buying. There is still a need, for brick & mortar merchants!

Perhaps you can relay a word or two, about the general trends in Persian rug-weaving through the 20th century. I read that the use of natural dyes pretty much disappeared around...the 1940's? Wartime? (Is that why ebay has that 1900-1939 classification?) That the rug industry underwent a renaissance of late, with a resurgence in the use of organic dyes? When did that begin? Is that to say that many new rugs will be of better quality than those produced 30-70 years ago?

As always, thanks for your help. You're an invaluable teacher and have an eager student.
Sharafi & Co Offline
#5 Posted : Monday, October 21, 2013 2:32:52 AM(UTC)
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Thank you for your kind words.

First of all I would never buy anything, especially rugs from a dealer that reduces a price from 19000 to 1000, unless he has one hell of a reason for it.
The piece you were interested in is washed well so it looks good and in fact it is good. For Qashqai it is medium quality however, it is not old.
I am not sure how many antique very fine Qashqais you have seen. I don’t know where you live but I am sure there must some good rug dealers around you. Failing that then the internet can be a good source, looking at some reputable dealer’s sites. Once you see some of the brilliant work done by Qashqais about 100 years ago then you would not pay too much attention to ebay, as they are rarely found there but found in other auctions like Chrities and Sothebys.
About 100-120 years ago all just about all Persian carpet production was with natural dyes. With the onset of industrial revolution and the gradual introduction of aniline dyes in and about 1930s to then Persia things started taking the wrong turn. Obviously at the time it was a new thing and much easier to dye wool with aniline and got the weavers quite excited, even the nomads. By the 1960s the use of aniline dyes had become quite prevalent except a few places like the Bakhtiari region.
After the Iranian revolution and the imposition of totally absurd import and export laws and the weakening of the Rial the demand for the Persian Rugs increased quite dramatically due to the sudden huge fall in prices. This high demand pushed the production up in all weaving centres and the resulted in the quality of production falling quite dramatically in a lot of weaving centres (this is a long story in itself).
Early 1990s the better merchants and dealers heeded the calls from their compatriots in the west and took more notice of the international market and set about productions the traditional way. That was the start of the renaissance in Persian Carpet production along with the fact that a lot of so called dealers that had come into this business for a quick buck leaving it. However, people like Razi Miri, especially in tribal pieces started some really wonderful production and are still continuing and other people entered the fray too.
Production is much lower than what is was in the late 80s but the quality has improved quite dramatically.
I have tried to condense what takes about 100 pages to say in these few paragraphs. One of the best books on the Persian carpets that you can read if you are interested and can find it is “The Persian Carpet”by Cecil Edwards.
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byron Offline
#6 Posted : Monday, October 21, 2013 3:38:11 AM(UTC)
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Thank you. Let me just quickly acknowledge a grave error on my part: The seller's original price quote was $1,900 (the shop price range you put it at), not $19,000!. That was a typo on my part, for which I apologize all around.
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