Xinjiang – where to find old and antique rugs

27 February 2004, Ivan Soenderholm

Khotan rug, early 19th century - Photo courtesy SothebysJozan Magazine has asked a local Kashgar dealer, Elvis Ablimit Ghopor, questions about sale of old and antique rugs in Xinjiang.

The Kashgar border to Pakistan opened in 1986, says Elvis Ablimit Ghopor to Jozan Magazine. Pakistani collectors bought the best antique carpets the first 6-10 years and not many carpets were bought by western buyers. These Pakistani collectors went from house to house all around Kashgar and Yarkand, Khotan , Kucha , Yining and Altai and nearly bought all the antique rugs to very low prices.

Even now they are working hard to discover our old carpets, says Elvis Ablimit. They arrive each year first of may and continue until October.

It is hard to find antique carpets in good condition and the Chinese custom does not allow shipment of torn and damaged carpets. Most antique carpets are damaged and professional repair must take place in Beijing.

Kashgar Sunday Market,  Photo courtesy Galen R FrysingerCollectors from all over Xinjiang come to the Kashgar Sunday Market to sell their rugs. Most new and old carpets are brought to Kashgar Sunday Market and not to Khotan. The reason is that far more tourists are visiting Kashgar than Khotan. The sale of old carpets at the Sunday Market in Kashgar is dominated by a single rug dealer who has more than 15 employees collecting rugs from all over Xinjiang.

Map Xinjiang - photo courtesy Sunland www.xinjiang-tourism.comBe aware that some of the “old” carpets sold in Xinjiang are fake copies, says Elvis Ablimit to Jozan Magazine.

Your readers are welcome to contact me on email if they have questions, he continues.


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