Monadnock Ledger-Transcript – Antique carpet store in Dublin full of life

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Driving through Dublin on the road. 101, it’s hard to miss the big sign for Peter Pap Rugs. Tucked away on the edge of Yankee Field, Pap opened its storefront in Dublin in the early 90s. Inside, around 2,500 rugs are spread out on the floor, hung on the walls and rolled up to save space. Looking at the showroom lined with white pillars and gallery lighting, is a world of colors and textures, geometric patterns, unique carpets not found anywhere else. “It is one of the most important carpet collections in the country,” Pap said.

Around 1974, Pap was living in Boston. Not knowing where to find another job, he was hired at a nearby second-generation Armenian-owned carpet store as a stockist. He worked his way up the corporate ladder and started working as a salesperson, which was when he said older rugs “piqued my curiosity”. Pap began buying rugs at auctions, antique shows, and estate sales. At that time in the United States, many people disposed of rugs without appreciating their value. Pap knew how much those rugs were worth, he knew they were art, and his career took shape.

Pap is a country owner; he has a store in San Francisco and just bought a business in Oakland. He has recently become a resident of Dublin again and is spending more time in the area now that his son is at university on the east coast.

Pap explained that the term “oriental” as in “oriental rugs” was derived in the 19th century in reference to “the Orient”, the region we now know as the Middle East. This is where most of the rugs were made, especially in Persia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and the Caucasus region of Russia. Generally misunderstood and misused, the term has taken on a somewhat negative connotation.

Pap was a reviewer on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow for 16 seasons. This has earned him recognition around the world. He described an episode in which a woman entered with a small carpet cart that she had rescued from a dumpster in San Diego. A carpet, a ‘Trapping Camels from Turkmenistan, c. 1800, one of only 10 designs known to the world at the time, ”Pap estimated to have a retail value of $ 125 to $ 150,000.

Looking closely at the rug on his office floor, Pap pointed out that the diamond shapes are much larger on one side than they are on the other. In fact the border becomes shorter, the design slightly different on each side. It’s asymmetrical.

Pap explained that when you buy one of these rugs, you “get something that will never be made again.” Mostly wool, rugs were made by tying rows of individual knots, which were then cut. It was a very time consuming process. Pap explained that making rugs was an “art form for women, basically”. He explained that two or more women (depending on the width of the mat) would work side by side. With different eyes and hands working on the same piece, there were variations within each rug. As Pap described it, it was “almost like a jam session except it takes several months.” Among modern rugs that attempt to replicate the originals today, Pap said they tend to be “a little forced, a little too symmetrical”.

Placing two rugs side-by-side, Pap compared a tightly knotted, intricately designed rug, likely made in an urban workshop with the intention of being exported (often designed to appeal to Western tastes) to a looser, larger pattern. free. These are said to have been made by nomads or villagers to be used for practical purposes within their community. “You can feel the joy. I think it was a happy experience, ”Pap said. It gives ethnographers and collectors like Pap a glimpse into life, the value of colors and patterns. Each rug tells a story.

Pap said there is “a lot of personality and soul to rugs – when carefully chosen. [one] almost becomes like a member of the family. Unlike a generic rug that someone might buy at a department store, if taken care of, these rugs don’t lose value. When examining the place old rugs will have in the future, Pap said there was a “change where young people are tired of buying disposable things.” Maybe more people will choose to buy a rug with personality, one that “can be with them for a lifetime.”

Pap pointed out that the pandemic has changed our relationship to spaces. With many people working from home, it has become more important to feel connected to the art around us. He encourages people to stop by to take a tour of the store and take the opportunity to see some beautiful rugs.

Peter Pap Oriental Rugs is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 am-6pm or by chance. Pap can be contacted at 603-563-8717 and at investigations@peterpap.com. He can be found on Instagram, Facebook and his website, peterpap.com.


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