Herat Antique Oriental Rugs

The Auction: Is It A Good Place To Buy A Rug ?

Some brief comments on buying at auction. They are written primarily for the new collector and assumes one is dealing with one of the major auction houses, not something held at the local Holiday Inn. There is absolutely no reason to attend one of those things. So, what’s good and what is not so good about a day at the auction house. First, the good part:

It can be educational. You have the chance to see, touch and examine a wide variety of rugs and textiles. You can experience the often subtle nuances of color and feel.

It can also be a good chance to meet and talk with other collectors and dealers. This, likewise, can be educational and will bring you into closer proximity to the entire collecting environment.

Frequently good, sometimes great, rugs are on display. And, the really fun part, they are all for sale.
But there are some things to think about. Getting into the action comes with a price. An auction is a form of combat. People go head-to-head with each other for a chance to win the prize, or in this case the rug. Remember usually two or more potential buyers are lusting over the same rug. The result frequently is an inflated price. And, at an auction, it’s caveat emptor all the way !! Let’s assume you paddle yourself to victory. What’s the bottom line in terms of costs.

First, of course, there is the amount of the winning bid.

It is getting even more expensive to buy at auction. On September 1st, Christie’s will increase its buyer’s premium to 25%!! This is the second increase by Christie’s in twelve months.

In addition, there is state sales tax. Add about 6-7 %.

In addition, there is a shipping charge if the rug is a big one or for any reason you can't take it with you.

In addition, for those not living in or near the city where the auction is being held, there are expenses relating to travel, room and board.
Auctions can be fun. Is it a good place to buy ? Well, that depends !!

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