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When I was a little boy I used to torment my father by hiding behind the stacks of rugs in his big warehouse. In my naivety, I regarded it as an ideal place to have fun and I couldn’t care less about those wonderful Persian rugs! Coming from the third generation of a carpet family I was always surrounded by beautiful carpets. I remember we had an extra-large Tabriz carpet in our dining room and a pair of cream-coloured Persian Kashan-Boteh-design rugs in the adjacent sitting room. If you walked into the small cosy corner room we used to call Shah Neshin (Farsi for “king’s place”) you would see a splendid handmade silk Isfahan rug. This was a room we needed permission to enter, as it was furnished purely for my father and his male friends. Here he would entertain his friends with a game of backgammon and a glass of vintage whiskey. We were told that everything in that room, especially the Isfahan silk rug, was very precious and therefore we were forbidden to play hide-and-seek there. I noticed, however, that my mother’s favourite rugs were the fabulous and colourful antique long runners which covered our staircases. Our home was an open-plan four-storey building, where the staircases looked like snakes and ladders and were made of Italian marble. My mother used to decorate these runners by putting plants on them. You would only need to step back to look at the whole place with admiration. So having handmade carpets scattered around the house was something we were accustomed to. But having a father in the carpet business had its pitfalls as well! By the time we became used to the colours and patterns of a particular rug and felt its presence in the room, it would have disappeared and been replaced by another. I could never decide if this was a good thing or a bad thing. I thought a rug was meant to serve for a couple of generations. Once worn out and unusable it would be replaced by a new one. On the other hand, we never got bored by having the same rug for too long.

As I grew older I realised the true value of this rich heritage. My father used to say, “If you take care of the rug it will take care of you”. I know now what he meant: that cherishing and looking after these beautiful things will bring rewards in both the financial and the aesthetic sense.

Imperial Rugs, sourcing and selling some of the finest available antique and decorative rugs, carpets and kilims. For further information email info@imperialrugs.co.uk or telephone 0044 2084 558056.