Abrahams Oriental Rugs and Dhurries was established in 1974 as a small Oriental Rug import company at 7101 Beechnut in Houston. The first rug store was opened in August of 1975 at 6120 Richmond, and the size was only 800sq. ft. We were mainly importing Oriental Rugs and Dhurries from India and selling to various showrooms in the Decorative Center. In 1980, we opened a trade showroom at 5120 Woodway, in the Decorative Center, which was about 2,500 sq. ft. During 1984 we moved our retail showroom from 6120 Richmond to 4003 Westheimer in the Highland Village. In 1985 we expanded our showroom at 5120 Woodway and also acquired an adjacent showroom which added 1,800 sq. ft. In July 1991 we expanded both the Decorative Center showroom and the Highland Village showroom. We opened our rug cleaning department, and an Antique Rug restoration department at 3999 Westheimer and added several new lines of very fine rugs in traditional as well as contemporary designs. We also begun to carry Needlepoint Rugs, new Kilims, new Pakistani Persian rugs, and a large selection of Kashmir silk rugs.
We recently closed in the Decorative Center of Houston (5120 Woodway) and a showroom at 7026 Old Katy road, "The Houston Design Center".
To open our own showroom at 2515 Bartlett St and 5000 Westheimer @ Post Oak Blvd, across from the "Galleria"
Rugs as an Investment
According to the available evidence, rugs show all the signs of a solid investment. A steady rise in price, accompanied by increased demand and a diminishing supply. No wonder the publicity about tangibles as a growing source of investment interest has included rugs. Major periodicals have reported very strong gains in Oriental rugs. Barron's noted the recent trend in increase in the value of Persian Rugs of fine quality. In the last two years, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that there were fewer fine examples of Persian rugs on the market than earlier and Business Week stated that the Oriental rugs' price has increased 1000% over the previous ten years. The article in Barron's went on to observe that several investment syndicates were reported to have started buying rugs in the 1960s.One syndicate, operating in Europe, evaluated its holdings in Oriental rugs at $9 Million in 1986. The net worth of these holdings is estimated to be worth over $200 Million in 1998.
The Antique Oriental - Hot to Purchase the Best Value
Particularly important when buying an antique Oriental carpet is condition. Being realistic, anyone looking for a carpet in absolutely perfect condition that is 100 years old is going to find it difficult. A premium price will be paid for the rare antique pieces that is unworn. Those carpets do exist, and yes, there are many clients who demand this level of quality at whatever price, but there are quite beautiful carpets available in very good, if not perfect, condition. For the investment made, they provide exceptional value.
- Generally, all-over wear is an acceptable condition. Before selecting, consider the traffic pattern where the carpet will be used. It is important to remember that these authentic handmade Oriental carpets are extremely durable by virtue of their construction, and that they have been in use for a number of decades. It is not unlike buying a piece of antique furniture that has been exposed to use over time. Many buyers of antique carpets, as well as with furniture, actually insist in seeing those effects; the mellowed dyes, the idiosyncratic patterns, the irregular size, the general patina that only age can give.
- Good restoration is acceptable, and any reputable dealer will point this out. but, don't hesitate to inquire. Some re-pilling and reinforcing of the foundation, without altering the value of the carpet is to be expected. Any such large areas should be known and the price adjusted accordingly.
- Determine whether the carpet had been touched-up or painted in areas of extreme wear. Extensive re-piling of worn pieces is expensive.
- An area of potential problem in older Oriental rugs is the condition of the dry-rot, a result of the warp or weft becoming brittle and cracking due to exposure to a damp environment over a period of long time.