How to Buy an Antique Square Rug on eBay

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How to Buy an Antique Square Rug on eBay

Rugs have been popular for hundreds of years. When chosen well, antique ones can add a lot of character and allure to any space. It is sometimes hard for consumers to find valid and straightforward information to help their purchase of antique rugs. Details, types, styles, and sizes of available rugs can be confusing.  This guide endeavours to provide that information. The following topics will be covered in greater detail: a history of antique rugs, discovering antique square rugs for contemporary use, the components of antique rug design, common motifs on antique rugs, different types of antique rugs, and factors to consider when buying one on eBay safely and securely on eBay.

History of Antique Rugs

Two major cultures have dominated the history of antique rug making ─ Persia and Turkey. The first evidence of rugs being made ornamentally occurred during the Achaemenid Empire in Persia (550-330 BCE). Lavish rugs were exhumed by archaeologists from the tomb of Cyrus the Great, one of the Achaemenid Empire’s major leaders.

Rug creation depended heavily on the existence of a dominant leader or culture in the Middle East. When there was such a culture, previously divergent tribes would unite and the division of labour would become more complex and expand. The first major example of this, post Achaemenid Empire, was during the Selijuk dynasty in 11th century Turkey. During this period, Persian and Turkish cultures would transfuse, leading to an explosion of rug weaving in both nations.

The Seljuk Dynasty would have two long lasting effects on rug creation. Firstly, its legacies of rug creation would be passed on to the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. From the early 14th century onward, Ottoman carpets, using the empire’s vast trading networks, would find their way into European castles and cathedrals. Secondly, many of the flat weaving and rug creation techniques would be assimilated with techniques occurring in Persia. The end result would be what scholars have called “the Golden Era” of rug creation during the Safavid Dynasty (1492-1722). With a central authority in Iran, this dynasty would unite the Persian and Turkish traditions and rug weaving techniques still renowned the world over. 

Discover Antique Square Rugs

Antique rugs emanating from such rich tradition have long been sought after for home decoration. The next sections of this guide will look at a few of the decorative components of rugs. The intention of this exploration is to show consumers the wide range of choice that is available in rugs available for purchase on eBay.

Parts of Antique Square Rugs

The following list describes the components of an antique rug.



Main Border

The widest decorative design on the outer edges of the rug.

Guard Border

The narrower decorative design that separates the main border and the field of the rug. 


The largest decorative space on the rug inside the guard border.


The round, oval, or polygonal design element that often occupies the very centre of the field.

Corner Brackets

Matching designs placed in the corners of the field.


A decorative border of knotted threads that often finishes the ends of antique rugs.

Types of Antique Rugs

Though antique rug listings include mostly Persian and Turkish rugs, the following list contains a few other rug producing nations:





A vast array of styles, motifs, and sizes.

· One of the most well-known and established handmade crafts. Turkish rugs are famous for first using the double Turkish knot. 


Have rich colours and often use an octagonal elephant’s foot (Bukhara) print. Often have a red background.

· In modern times many of these rugs are woven by Afghan refugees displaced by war.


Mainly made from wool though silk was often used in the fields of larger carpets.

· Aladdin’s magic carpet is a popular cultural reference from Arabia.


Used a wide range of different styles that were categorized by the region where the rug was produced.

· Rugs were created for internal consumption and not exported to the West until the 19th century.


Created geometric motifs, and more traditional Oriental (Persian/Chinese) influenced rugs.

· Interest remains for tiger rugs, used for tantric mediation.

· Wangden rugs that had a lower knot count and a shaggy fringe.


Known for attention to detail and presentation of realistic attributes. Often hand knotted with high knot density.

· Citipore rugs ( a small Indian town) are now often purchased for wide sale by Ikea and Agocha.


See common motifs above.

· The world’s pre-eminent producer of rugs.

Common Motifs Found on Antique Rugs

Antique rugs were decorated with a number of motifs. The following list details a few of the most common ones: 





Repeated daisies with interlinked circular lines and diamonds.

A design that traditionally only certain weaving guilds were allowed to create.

Shah Abbassi

A grouping of palmettes

in medallion designs.

Used in the centre of designs, and also as a border.

Guli Henna

A diamond shaped bouquet medallion with plant-like motifs, flowers and leaves around the diamond.

Guli Henna refers to the Henna Flower.


Repeated design of flowers within a diamond, surrounded by curved leaves parallel to each other.

Various forms based on this motif are available that are either geometric or curvilinear.


Repeated octagonal patterns often with a flower theme.

Common in carpets originating from Turkman, Gorgan, and Khal. 


A continuous motif that resembles a vase of roses.

Most often woven in Qum and Abadeh in Iran.


A circular design radiating from the centre medallion that resembles a petal of roses.

Used often in military award decoration.

Factors to Consider When Buying Antique Square Rugs

  • Consider the space available - Before purchasing an antique square rug, envision how it will be used and the space where it will be laid. A floor measurement should be taken to make sure the rug will fit correctly into the space. Consider the furnishings in the intended room. Will they interact well with the rug that is being considered?
  • Hand knotted versus machine-made woven rugs - When looking for an authentic and high quality antique rug, consumers should know the difference between hand-woven and machine-made rugs. A hand-woven rug will have significantly more value. To test for this, look at the back side of the rug.  Hand-woven rugs will have small imperfections in the stitching while a machine-woven rug should look nearly perfect.
  • Knots per square inch count - A rug’s craftsmanship can be determined using the knots-per-square-inch test. (KPSI) To do this test, flip the rug over and use a tape measure to measure out one inch (2.5 cm). Next count the number of knots within that inch. The more knots counted, the higher the quality of the rug. A good handmade rug should have a KPSI range between 150 and 250.
  • Rug colour - Assess the colour of the rug. Historically there were only vegetable dyes. These dyes produced pure shades that mellowed beautifully with age. The authentic colours produced from vegetable dyes raise the value of antique rugs. Learn the difference imparted by vegetable dye as opposed to synthetic dyes in order to quickly assess an antique.

Buying Antique Square Rugs on eBay

With so much choice available, buyingantique rugs can be a complex process. This section will address making the process easier and alleviating any fears customers may have of completing online transactions. eBay aspires to create a safe and secure experience for their customers while shopping. Below are a few tips on how to buy an antique table on eBay.

1.  Research the seller

If a fantastic Persian antique rug is being listed at half the price of other sellers, perhaps it is indeed ‘too good to be true’? A good method to ensure that sellers are going to deliver exactly what they have promised is to research that seller. Click on seller’s hyperlink, this will bring up a variety of information available about them.

A few possible questions to consider are:

  • What is the seller’s feedback rating? How many transactions have they done? Ideally, the feedback rating should be over 95%. And it might be a bad sign if a seller doesn’t have very many completed transactions.
  • The buyer’s comments? Are they positive?
  • Does the seller offer a return policy? A money-back guarantee?

2.  Always pay with Paypal

When making payments online, Paypal is the most secure and eBay advises that you use it over all other forms of payment, as it offers superior protection against unauthorized. Try to avoid sellers that claim their Paypal is not working, as well as less secure online forms of payments such as Western Union or moneygram.

3.  Ebay Safety centre

If there is an issue with a seller, or you as a buyers wants to collect all available information in order to best make a safe and secure purchase check the following link. There is a variety of information for protecting yourself in online transactions available at eBay's safety centre.

Popular Origins of Antique Rugs

  • Afghanistan
  • Caucasus
  • China
  • East Turkestan
  • France
  • Israel
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Persia
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Uzbekistan
  • Ukraine

Finding Antique Square Rugs on eBay

Once you determine the type of antique square rug you want to purchase, visit the Antiques portal on eBay, click on ‘Carpets / Rugs’ then ‘Square Rugs’ and start searching item listings The Categories list on the left-hand side of the eBay page helps to narrow the search.

Searching forAntique Square Rugs on eBay

Search eBay listing titles for specific words when shopping for antique square rugs. For example, to find a handmade Zanjan Azarbay Jan Oriental square rug age 80-90, type ‘Antique Rugs’ into the search box, and then click the Advanced button to customise the results. Also visit eBay’s Search Tips page for more advice on searching for antique square rugs with keywords. If you can’t find the exact antique rug you want, try shopping eBay Stores.


With information about the different types of antique rugs, common decorative themes, and methods to assess the quality of rugs, consumers now have the tools to make a successful purchase. When buying online through eBay, bear in mind the suggestions in this buying guide about how to research for the antique square rug that you are looking for and how to purchase with confidence.

Once you have collected this information, you can buy an antique square rug safely and securely on eBay.

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