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A Diamond in the Rough

Posted on Sep 13, 2013

Anyone who's followed Sarah and me on our televised shopping excursions already knows how we LOVE discovering a diamond in the rough!  Jumble sales, little out of the way shops, bargain basements and yes, even the odd dumpster dive have turned up some of our most treasured finds.
A Diamond in the Rough

The Find

One of our favourite haunts (which just happens to be located right around the corner from my haircutter) recently yielded a very interesting little rug. Abraham's Antiques was the scene of my discovery.

Abraham had this spiffy little carpet folded up and sitting on a chair - I actually walked right past it twice before noticing that it looked promising.  He unfolded it and held it up for me and I fell in love. With the RUG, not Abraham!  He was willing to sell it for a very reasonable price ($275.00) after acknowledging that it did need a thorough cleaning and one or two minor repairs - fair enough considering you could nearly see through it in a couple of spots!

Take it to the Pros

Next stop was a visit to our old friends at Turco Persian - experts in all things rug related.

Meet Jimmy.  He and I had a very focused preliminary chat about my new find.  I love learning about rugs.  It's almost like learning about wines.  So many of the same sorts of identifying characteristics are employed; region, age, colour and maker.  By looking at the rugs patterns and colours and judging by the quality density of the weave, Jimmy felt he could tell me quite a bit about it.  But first he wanted to lay it out in the back and have a couple of his colleagues take a look to confirm his assessment.  It's always a good idea to get a consensus!

A Diamond in the Rough
A Diamond in the Rough

A History Lesson

Obviously I am known as a bit of a talker, but I do know when to shut it and this was a time for listening.  I took notes while the experts conferred.  They looked, they talked, the measured (it's 3',9" x 6',3") and they turned it over.  

Here's what I learned; My rug is Caucasian Caucasus |ˈkôkəsəs|(also Caucasia |kôˈkāZHə|) a mountainous region in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia that lies between the Black and Caspian seas in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and southeastern Russia.

It was made in Kasakhstan - The Turkic tribes of Kazakhstan were overrun by the Mongols in the 13th century, and the region waseventually absorbed into the Russian empire. Kazakhstan formed a constituent republic of the formerSoviet Union and became an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1991.

It's old too!  Jimmy and his crew date it at around 1890.


I was advised that with a good wash and a little bit of sewing, it would be a real beauty.  Jimmy asked me what I paid and when I told him I was able to snap it up for a mere $275.00, he smiled broadly.  This I took to be a sign that I either got a really good deal, or I got bamboozled…but I was betting on deal.  Abraham is no bamboozler.  Jimmy said it would only cost $91.00 for the makeover required and I gave him the go-ahead but said that I wanted to wait until it was done to learn the appraised value of my spiffy little rug.

A Diamond in the Rough
A Diamond in the Rough


The rug is stunning, the colours have come alive and the necessary repairs have been made without taking away from the original patina the carpet had to begin with.  Now for the moment of truth!  I asked Jimmy for a value.  His answer; $1500.00!  I actually felt like I was on the antiques Roadshow!  Very proud of myself indeed.  The math works out like so…

Purchase price: $275.00

Clean and repair: $91.00

Total invested: $366.00

Total retail value: $1500.00

Makes for a grand entrance to my diminutive pad!

    A Diamond in the Rough