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ARTS San Francisco – on with the show!

The rugs and textiles speak for themselves at ARTS, the annual multi-dealer show at the Capri Motel in San Francisco’s Marina District (the show ends today, Sunday 19th October). Each year more than 40 American and international dealers travel here in order to rent rooms at the 3-story motel, hanging their rugs on the walls or piling them on their beds, with the overflow draped over the balconies. The exotic rough and tumble atmosphere belies the quality and variety of the material.

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This year the offering was, as usual, wide ranging. There were several early rugs, including an extremely rare 16th century Turkish white field fragment, a handsome ‘Basra’ Ghiordes, several Indo-Persian fragments and an early Caucasian Blossom carpet.  It is rumoured that some of these sold quickly.


The variety of interesting 18/19th century rugs was extensive. It included Salor Turkmen examples, a large number of colourful and often exceptional Caucasian rugs, (including a green field Marasali prayer rug which sold immediately), some rare kilims and several good tribal pieces. A pretty Bijar sampler was among the Persian rugs offered.

Almost all rugs at the show were collector quality. There was something for everyone, and as usual it appears that sales were brisk. Not only do the dealers come from all over the US and Europe, but so do the collectors, if never in the numbers that would make everyone happy.

To add to the enjoyment, each year one of the suites is devoted to a themed loan exhibition. This year the Dennis and Wesley Marquand put on their collection of rare and interesting Central Asian Uzbek pieces: rugs, bags and tent bands.

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