Discovering exactly when an undated rug was made is difficult. However, rugs can typically dated to a given quarter of a century.
Having a rug appraised by a certified rug appraiser is the best way to determine the age of a rug.
Moreover, a certified rug appraisal is important when insuring a rug. A “certificate of authenticity” may not be accepted by an insurance company if a rug is ever stolen or damaged by fire, water, etc.
Establishing / Dating when a rug was made- This is achieved by carefully examining its structure and design, which usually change to some degree with time, and taking into account its general condition and appearance.
Dating a rug from its weave and design requires extensive specialist knowledge and can only be undertaken by an expert. The condition and appearance of a rug can be affected by a number of factors other than age. A relatively old rug that has been well looked after may be in far better condition than a newer item that has seen less considerate use, and some contemporary items are deliberately made to look old by the use of chemical washes.
Dates and signatures- Sometimes woven into the pile of the rug, usually in the border; these can usually be taken as a clear indication of when and by whom the rug was made.
The fact that a rug is signed or dated does not imply that it is in any way superior to similar items that have not been inscribed, although it is fair to say that weavers rarely sign inferior examples of their work.
At Ageless Rugs in Webster Groves, Missouri, we mainly carry ‘new’ rugs, but we also carry some old and antique rugs.
We also can direct you to a certified rug appraiser if you’d like us to.