Oriental rugs and carpets are highly valued for their sublime beauty, exotic patterns, and remarkable strength and durability. The beautiful patterns and motifs woven on them often tell stories from the history and mythology of the people who made them. They may depict scenes from historical battles, hunting expeditions, royal courts, or simply mosques, palaces, people, flowers, animals and plants.
Among oriental rugs, the most sought after are antique Persian, Turkish and Moghul (Indian) rugs. These rugs are distinguished by their distinctive designs, attention to detail, high quality fabrics and high density of knots. Made using only the highest quality wool, they have a soft texture that makes touching them like touching a silk fabric. Really old antique rugs are very rare and command a very high price.
Since most of the antique oriental rugs have been bought by Western collectors, very few, if any, can be found in their place of origin. In fact, the two largest markets for genuine antique rugs are New York and London. In New York, Doris Leslie Blau has one of the largest and best collections of antique Persian, Turkish and Indian rugs. The gallery also has antique rugs from Europe (France, England, Spain, Austria, Bessarabia) and the Caucasus region.