You’ll find them in all major art museums, they grace royal palaces and government buildings from Buckingham Palace to the White House. They lend dignity and splendour to fine hotels and stand out like thoroughbreds in famous homes across the planet. HL chatted to international Persian carpet expert, Victor Lidchi, and got the lowdown on all-things Persian.
Why are Persian carpets considered to be so luxurious?
The element of luxury and style with which Persian carpets are associated today provides a marked contrast with their humble beginnings amongst the nomadic tribes that wandered the Middle East. Today, many Persian carpet admirers are unaware of just how affordable and accessible their very own Persian masterpiece could be. There is a Persian to suit every pocket, ranging from a few thousand Rands to hundreds of thousands. Persians carpets are associated throughout the world with prestige, glamour and a true sense of style. The intricate handicrafts are considered an essential part of gracious living, their ability to combine the functional with the ornamental.
Are Persian carpets a good investment?
Trends in home decoration change constantly, but Persian carpets become part of the family. With the correct care, they should steadily increase in value and beauty and give decades, even generations, of service. Many consider Persians to be the most versatile and enhancing of all floor coverings. With their diversity of design, colour, size and texture, Persians integrate perfectly into any home.
Are there many options when it comes to buying one?
Persian and Oriental carpets are used throughout the world as decorative wall hangings, floor coverings, table cloths, seat or bench covers and even, more recently, to upholster furniture. The enormous variety of beautiful colours and designs, from rustic to formal, Tuscan to ultra-modern, ensures that Persians surpass fashion trends and never date.
Do you have any tips when it comes to purchasing a Persian?
1. Know who you are buying from – Because of a small handful of inexpert or less scrupulous players in the industry, it is vital to purchase authentic hand-made Oriental and Persian carpets from a reputable, well-established dealer.
2. Insist on a certificate of authenticity and value – Because an Oriental or Persian carpet or rug can potentially become an ‘investment’, or a hard asset — especially the higher grade examples —anyone who purchases one should insist on a certificate of guarantee, value and authenticity. The certificate is useful for insurance purposes, for if/when it’s time to resell, exchange or pass on your carpet to a new owner, or to family.
3. Ensuring authenticity is important – Many people who love Persian carpets feel the need to know more before venturing to buy. Buyers need to be aware of the differences between hand-made carpets and machine manufactured ones. At a glance, they may look similar. After a short observation however, the differences are easy to spot.
For more tips and information, or to get in contact with Victor directly, visit www.facebook.com/VictorLidchi.
Interviewed by Katharyn Williams-Jaftha