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November 18, 1994 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-11-18

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eed a
of scene?

CARPET page 14







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well as the $35-an-issue Hali
magazine, for the dedicated fan.)
But the real clincher came
when David was about 11, and
he chanced to see a documentary
about the Qashqa'i, a nomadic
tribe in southwest Iran.
The program focused not only
on the beauty of the carpets but
on their history — everything
from how they are made to how
they reflect the everyday life of a
`That's when I knew there was
a real scholarly aspect to the
rugs," Mr. Morrison says.
By the time he was 12, David
had made his first big purchase.
It was at Hudson's.
"I thought I knew everything,"
he says. "So I go in with my fa-
ther and I start looking at the
prices and announce, 'I'm not go-
ing to pay that. Let's bargain.'
"You can imagine — this is the
kind of place where everybody is
wearing a suit and tie and my fa-
ther couldn't believe what I was
doing; he used his hand to cover
his eyes."
In the end, the Morrisons
bought some carpets, pieces "I
wouldn't even want around the
house now."
As David matured and his ex-
pertise increased, he came to re-
alize that estate sales are the real
Shangri-La for any collector
worth his weight in Oriental car-
pets. That's where he gets most
of his treasures today, though he
secures some from his mentor
and rug dealer, Hormoze Al-
izadeh of Azar's Oriental Rugs in
A dealer you trust is vital, Mr.
Morrison says, because carpet col-
lectors are a savvy, passionate
bunch who will do anything, any-
thing, for a great carpet.
"Making a rug deal is like a
dance," he says. "Rug dealers are
some of the sharpest traders go-
ing, and you have to know what
you're doing.
"Half the battle is learning to
competently identify what a rug
is. You've got to consider age, ori-
gin, quality and whether you

even like it."
And whether you can afford it.
This is no hobby for the down and
out in metro Detroit. A decent
Oriental rug can cost anything
from several hundred dollars to
more than $150,000. And natu-
rally you will need to go to Ori-
ental rug auctions, few of which
are in the United States.
But none of that deters Mr.
Morrison — who does not own
any $150,000 rugs — from mak-
ing good use of his collection. He
has a Tibetan treasure on the
floor in the dining room, and a
Kurdish rug and 50-year-old Chi-
nese carpet in the front hallway.
There are three carpets on the
floor in the bedroom and three
hung on the wall, "and it's not
One of his favorites is a mys-
terious small rug, which 15 years
ago he picked out of a pile at a
store in Royal Oak, showing the
Tomb of Rachel with unreadable
Hebrew writing at the bottom.
"Many rugs have identifying
marks," he says. "Not this one.
That's where the whole Sherlock
Holmes thing comes in. Where
did this come from — it could be
from virtually anywhere because
Jews have lived everywhere —
and who made it and why?"
Although Mr. Morrison says
his dream job would be dealing
all day with carpets (in real life
he's the vice president of the
Bradley Marketing Group), he
admits there are those who can
become a little, well, compulsive,
about the whole thing.
"I heard of a surgeon who was
so into this that he had carpets
everywhere," he says. "I mean,
bits and pieces of them were even
in his drawers. You couldn't go
anywhere in the house without
seeing rugs.
`That's all this guy did. He was
obsessed. Finally, his wife left
him." 0

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issue of Dec. 4.


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