For more than 40 years ORRA has been the only national organization working to promote ethical practices in the Oriental rug business. Providing member and consumer education as well as specialized Oriental rug appraisers certification, we strive to combat the spread of misinformation about and the misrepresentation of hand made rugs. For more information about our members and certified appraisers please look on our member list here. And remember, the more you know about Oriental rugs, the more you trust your ORRA dealer.
(The following is a blog entry from Rob Leahy, ORRA Board Member and owner of Fine Rugs of Charleston. The original article, which contains many photographs, can be found here.)
Planning began for a study tour for Afghan carpet makers in January, 2014 when I asked two Indian rugs makers if they would allow me to bring a delegation of Afghans to visit their facilities. Obeetee, Limited, who is our longtime largest vendor, and Saraswati Global PVT. Limited, who is the maker of the largest rug we have ever purchased, both agreed to host us at their factories.
The Atlanta International Area Rug Market is almost here. The ORRA schedule is available here as a download. Also available is the Registration for the Certified Oriental Rug Appraisers Exam.
“Another Year and More to Come” My second year in office is nearly over. The January 2013 Atlanta market, the Spring market at High Point, the Summer market in Atlanta, the Fall Rug markets in September at the Javit's, the October NY show at the Manhattan Pavilion and finally the Fall High Point Market in NC have all come and gone. I attended all these markets, observed the new trends, and the wonderful enthusiasm of all our trade members there.
Can We Get Out of Our Own Way? Once again ORRA enthusiastically drove the winter market in Atlanta with a wonderfully attended presentation by Rob Leahy our newest Board Member and membership chairman. Following his developments in Afghanistan Rob brought the mountain to Mohammed and half his executive staff along with wonderful examples of current rug productions. In addition to Rob's efforts ORRA was again well represented by Jim Garner bringing an array of Sharian rug samples to Phil Menendian's “Knot to be Missed”.
At one point during today's auction at Sotheby's New York the auctioneer, Mary Jo Otsea, laughed after misstating a bid for $16 million as $16,000. "I'm not used to this" she said, and the crowd laughed with her. By the time the bidding was done on that particular lot a new record for the most expensive Oriental rug in the world had been set with the sale of a 17th century Persian Kerman for $33,765,000.
The Clark Sickle Leaf Vase Carpet that has entranced collectors and scholars for decades was one of 25 classical 16th and 17th century pieces from the collection of the "Copper King" in New York at Sotheby's (listing) . The auction estimate for the rug of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 was well below the prior record but passed well into uncharted territory for an Oriental rug to finish at more than three times the previous benchmark.
Once again, on Saturday July 13, 2013 at Atlanta’s AmericasMart, ORRA will present its Certified Oriental Rug Appraiser’s Exam. The test will consist of two parts; the first half is written and the second half is rug identification. No amount of last minute cramming can prepare a candidate for this exam. The knowledge and expertise must come from years of learning and hands on experience. In an effort to help our members, ORRA offers educational seminars on Friday July 12 beginning at 1 p.m.
We’re Not Waiting for Change…We’re Doing the Changing
Three markets have come and gone: Atlanta in July, New York in September and High Point in October. No doubt about it, we’re in a tough market place and we all have to fight for every inch or square foot. Our importers have put forth great showings in all markets and retain the positive attitudes necessary to sustain our industry into the future.
In July 2012 International Area Rug Show in Atlanta, Ga., The Oriental Rug Retailers of America offered their annual certification exam for rug appraisers. The exam is a comprehensive testing of rug history, geography, techniques and rug types. It is divided into two parts: the written section consisting of true/false, short answer and essay type questions is followed by a close examination of 35-40 rugs of which details as to make, origin and age must be accurately given. The two parts can be taken (and passed) separately.