September 2015 has now seen a number of 'antique' rug and carpet sale where estimates, and prices realized, have proven two things.
The first being the market for barely collector quality and subpar collector pieces, as well as less than 'important' and stellar antique decorative weavings is alive and still functioning. The quantity of merch offered up in these sales has been fairly substantial and a 50% or so sales figure, while not a horn blowing percentage, is still one worth reckoning.
But the second caveat, the prices most of these pieces have changed hands at and do not forget the commissions sellers have had to pay, has fallen to such a low level one participant in the market told us "Three years or so ago I could never have Imagined selling a good but not great 120 or more year old Caucasian rug in good condition for 1200".
So, yup, the so-called deflationary, but more so to anyone who understands economic trends recessionary/depressionary, economic forces have reberverated throughout the rug market and in doing so have played havoc with prices that were established, and have been expected/accepted by all participants(buyers and sellers), for the past 20-30 years.
Is this just a low point on the normal and ever swinging price pendulum all market experience? Or is it a watershed that once broken will taken decades and generations to restore and repair?
Predicting the future is a dicey business BUT when done with far reaching vision and experience the odds of getting it right are greatly increased, though no slam-dunk guarantee.
With that in mind let RK prognosticate the answer.
The antique oriental rug and decorative carpet market has now proven to have suffered a major watershed event and will not in the forseeable future return to its former bouyancy.
Like what happened to the prices for these weavings during and after the great deprression of 1928-1933 we will now see the exact same situation -- antique rugs and carpets will sell but they will do so on an ever declining trajectory. How low will they go? Watch and see but RK believes much lower in the coming decade(s).
Now then one last, and vitally important, criteria to consider: The prices for stellar, best of type, pre-19th century R-E-A-L collector weavings will not be affected (as it has so proved), and will remain on an ever RISING slope.
Same will hold true for similarly outstanding 19th century decorative carpets, as well as better 19th century collector rugs in PERFECT unrestored condition.
So the pervasive doom and gloom which has enveloped most of the antique rug and carpet market will not soon dissipate, and will in our opinion only become more doomy and gloomy.
However, the voracious market for great early examples of non-classical weavings -- Anatolian, transCaucasian and Turkmen -- will continue to record record prices. So will the pre-1900 decorative carpet market, as well as the market for Classical carpets that are either in good condition or best of types.
So, race fans, that's the writing that is on the wall; and for those who hold early non-classival rugs, outstanding pre-1900 decorative carpets or classical carpets as described above the future looks bright and sunny. There will be heated competition for these weavings.
However, for those who hold lesser examples, as described above, the future looks bleak and RK suggests unloading now, asap, when you can still get enough of a return to make selling worthwhile becaure the longer you wait your return will decrease.
Better to bite the bullet, get back 40-60% and reinvest that money in the rare but still occassionally discoverable types of sunny future weavings we describe above, or other types of deflationary/recessionary/depressionary resistant investments, than hold on to articles which will only as time goes by decrease in value and find an even more difficult market to cash out in.
As one very successful stock market trader remarked "Making money in the markets is NOT riding winners, it's knowing when to get out of the losers".
Well spoken words that all carpet collectors/investors/dealers and participants should heed.