Sometimes in the antique rug industry, you will come across a client who is looking for a rug in “German” Condition (Generally, this will be a European client). What this means is that they are looking for a rug that is in perfect condition, with an un-used look. The phrase comes from the fact that rugs in Europe just don’t age the same as those in America. In many European nations, the antique rug is revered. They are placed in show rooms where they are generally un-touched. The rugs in these types of settings age very well. Their color is strong, their pile full, and are without stains or spills. In many instances one cannot even tell that rugs in such perfect condition are antique at all.
For most Americans, however, this is a turn off. Generally, an American client desires that patina that comes with a used antique rug. It is a look, or feeling, that is telling of the rugs age and history.
The way that antique rugs are used and stored can greatly affect what market they will be sellable in. Rugs which have been kept pristine and new looking will be more valuable to the European market, while rugs that show age and use tend to be more desired in the American market.