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Category Archives: Antique rugs

Happy Thanksgiving, a PS

By | Antique rugs | No Comments

Here is the first photo of a rug that is missing from my earlier post!

Above, you see a nice old rug, going on sale this Saturday (Nov. 24, 12 pm) at Copake Auctions in Copake, NY. This old-fashioned snow scene is Lot 62, Description: C. 1900’s winter farm scene hooked rug. 28″ x 40″.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By | Antique rugs, Making rugs | 7 Comments

Well, it’s been a while, but our Tuesday rug group was cancelled, so I am officially snowed in, and happy to not have to go anywhere! Let’s look at a few hooked rugs that are in the auction sales these days!

Above, you see a nice old rug, going on sale this Saturday (Nov. 24, 12 pm) at Copake Auctions in Copake, NY. This old-fashioned snow scene is Lot 62, Description: C. 1900’s winter farm scene hooked rug. 28″ x 40″.

Here is a charming rug that made me smile:

Thanksgiving is on my mind, and when I saw it, I thought “Great folk art turkey!” but the label from Kensington Estate Auctions, in Clintondale, NY, says Lot 150: American Folk Art Pictorial Hooked Rug PEACOCK. There’s no other info on who, where or when, so maybe they just decided it was a peacock! At any rate, it’ll be auctioned on Dec. 3 (7pm) and the estimated price is $200-$400.

Here is another rug from the same Nov. 24th Copake sale, Description: Hooked rug, Currier and Ives Scene. 23″ x 37″., this one is Lot 205, and the estimated price is $50-$100:

A friend of mine is hooking a different Currier and Ives snow scene, and to me, it looks really, really hard! Not only because of all the shadings of the snow, but making snow on bare branches look right, and trying to get the blue tint to everything that was so characteristic of many of these classic snow pictorials.

OK, here is one more from the same Copake sale:

This is Lot 60, and the estimated price is $75-$100. Description: C. 1900 floral hooked rug. 30 1/2″ x 50″. While it looks a little primitive compared to the very fine shading in many flower and scroll rugs we see today, someone put a lot of work into this, and the colors, to me, just say “Thanksgiving”.

So what have I been up to? Well for those who did not get to the Hooked In The Mountains exhibit so beautifully organized and hung by the Green Mountain Rughooking Guild, here is my Jenny Tornado rug. You can’t truly welcome a new kitty to the family until you have a rug of them:

And just this week, I finished this rug for a wedding present, for my niece Leah and her new husband Mark:

It is, of course, the traditional Double Wedding Ring quilt pattern. After studying a lot of photos of this pattern, I cut out my own circular template from a piece of cardboard, using a dinner plate and salad plate, and just went from there. As soon as I post this blog entry, I will go steam it!

From my house, with all of us inside as the snow is steadily falling, to you and your families, whether traveling or at home, a very happy Thanksgiving to you!

Interesting old rugs…

By | Antique rugs | 2 Comments

This interesting rug is one of several coming up in auctions soon. It is from the Wiederseim Associates sale on Feb. 24 (9 am) in Chester Springs, PA. The description: “Pictorial hooked rug of a running stag, as found, 42″h x 20″w”, estimated price: $150-$200.

At first, I could not figure out what the two dark poles were above the stag, then realized, after seeing the trees at both rug ends, that they were also trees. Do you suppose the maker ran out of the gold background, so the white of the center treetops turned into a less defined area? And was that white of the treetops once a light green wool that has faded? This is, of course, me just speculating, but that is part of the fascination in considering antique rugs, isn’t it?

At any rate, I liked this rug, the stag’s running motion is clear, and of course I like the use of hit or miss around the birds…

Here is another rug from the same sale. This one is described as “Hooked rug of flowers, 19th century, mounted on stretcher for wall hanging, 19 1/2″h x 32″w” and is estimated to be sold for $50-$100:

A classic flowers and scroll design, and it may well have been made from an early commercial pattern.

Now here is a nice rug that came up for sale the other day at Homestead Auctions in Norton, Ohio:

I liked the sweet little hooked floral center, with a two-border effect from the braided outer bands. It was just described as “Round Braided and Hooked Rug, 30″ Dia.”, but apparently it went unsold.

Now here is a beauty of a geometric, coming up for sale on March 9 (10 am) at John McInnis Auctioneers, in Amesbury, MA:

The description is “HOOKED AREA RUG w/ GEOMETRIC BASKET WEAVE PATTERN” and the size, quite large, at 68 x 94 inches. The estimated price is $100-$300. Here is a close-up for you to see the details and colors a bit better:

And finally, in another McInnis auction on the next day (Mar. 10, 11 am) is something pretty rare:

Description: Octagonal whale bone handle, brass hook. 6 inches. Note: This tool was used to fashion “hooked rugs”. See McManus “A Treasury of American Scrimshaw page 48 for another example. **May only be purchased by a Massachusetts resident and will not be shipped out of state. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Well. I am not sure how I would feel about using a scrimshaw hook, but it is beautiful, and I certainly have never seen one before. But I do not live in Massachusetts, so cannot buy it anyhow, especially for the $500-$700 estimated price. Glad I saw it, though.

Photos are used courtesy of the auction houses, and as always these days, all the items for sale can be seen (and bid for) online. And there are all kinds of other interesting items, if you have a chance to mosey around. Wiedersheim Auctions is online at www.wiederseim.com, Homestead Auctions is online at homesteadauction.net, and McInnes Auctions is online at
www.mcinnisauctions.com.

Rugs from years gone by…

By | Antique rugs | 5 Comments

It’s been a while since we’ve looked at rugs from years past, so today let’s look at a few antique rugs I have come across – a good way to finish out the “old year” of 2017. Above is a very charming pictorial that will be sold at a Feb. 10 sale at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, MA. It is Lot 83, “Handmade Scenic Hooked Rug”. Here is the catalog description:

“Country landscape scene with a road along the right side, farm fence and large tree to the left and a red home in the background. Has some fraying along the edges…”. The estimated price is $250-$400.

My immediate reaction to seeing this rug was “how wonderfully wonky the whole thing is!”. Not sure if you know what I mean by “wonky”, but I was reacting to how the house in particular doesn’t really have a truely square corner anywhere, and yet this slightly-off rendition gives the entire rug a lot of charm.

One chimney is set at a quite different angle than the other. And that road just disappears over the lip of the hill. The ground is green and there are flowers here and there, but no leaves at all on the trees. Strange, but lovely!
And the sky and clouds are quite well done:

This next rug is Lot 977: FINE PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG, PROBABLY NEW ENGLAND, 1892 at the Jan. 20 (10 am) auction at Sotheby’s in New York:

Hmmm..again we have flowers in the garden but no leaves on the trees! Here is the catalog description: “Worked in brown, red, blue and green and depicting three houses within a landscape setting with flowering bushes centering the date 1892; now mounted on a stretcher. Provenance: Elliot and Grace Snyder Antiques, South Egremont, Mass.”

This rug’s estimated price is $5,000-$8,000. These houses are all trim and square, and while this might be a more valuable and older antique rug, I personally like the “wonky” rug a lot better.

Finally, here is another very old rug, which will come up for sale at the same Jan. 20th auction at Sotheby’. It is Lot 1016: RARE HOOKED RUG, NANCY SHIPPEE (1813-1903), BENNINGTON, VERMONT, CIRCA 1851:

“Description: worked in wool threads on a woven plaid wool ground; signed along the bottom, Nancy Shippee, Aged 38 1851.” The estimated price is $5,000-$7,000.

So Nancy Shippee of Bennington, VT hooked this traditional flower basket design, with an intricate border of diamonds and crosses, and flowers in each corner, about 166 years ago. She was middle-aged during the Civil War, and lived to the age of 90. And because she hooked rugs as we do, we can feel a connection to her, through time, just by looking at her rug.

Photos are courtesy of the auction houses. Fontaine’s is online at fontainesauction.com, and Sotheby’s is online at sothebys.com.

As we turn from 2017 to 2018, may your houses, straight or wonky, bring you happiness, may your trees, leafy or bare, bring you satisfaction, and may your borders, plain or fancy, continue to please!

Old rugs and new wool

By | Antique rugs, Color, Dyeing | One Comment

Any moment now, this charming old rug will be auctioned off. It’s in today’s sale (10 am) at Eldred’s, in East Dennis, MA. The estimate is $450-$650, and since it is Lot 440, you may still have time to bid on it.

I liked the nice bright, random colors of the autumn leaves in the outer border, and the bright yellow and orange lines of the oval inner border – the colors frame the pale horse well, and let’s face it, that just looks like a happy horse that someone loved!

The sale description was: “ HOOKED RUG: DEPICTING A PONY (25″ x 30″), 19th Century. Affixed to a modern painting stretcher.”

Now here is an antique rug that will be in another Eldred’s sale, on Nov. 17th (also 10 am). It will be Lot 994, described as “Lot 994: EARLY 20TH CENTURY HOOKED RUG 5’9″ x 7’2″ Multicolor geometric design.”

The odd thing about this rug (especially as it is a hit or miss) is that I actually don’t like it much. That seldom happens to me! So I stopped to think about why I don’t like it. I think the geometric border is great, and you know I love hit or miss, but for me, the two just do not go together well. It feels like the precision of the border is almost the complete opposite, in style, of the hit or miss center. If the outer border was done in slightly less precise squares, maybe I’d like it more. Or if the color palette were brighter…But as it is, it actually made me feel a little tense to look at it. Well, sometimes you can learn from thinking about what you don’t like, as well as from what you like and admire.

So on to the “new wool” part of this post. I had a “Jumbo Size” Hefty bag, full of multicolored snippets from the last many months of hooking. When I work on a rug, my snippets go into a little tin next to me, and when the tin is full, I go dump the wool snippets into the plastic bag.

So the bag was full, and it was getting in my way. I was still pretty down-and-out with my cold, so thought I would do some spontaneous and unpredictable dyeing, mostly to get rid of that full bag, and of course to see what would happen. And while feeling punky, it would make me feel like I got something done.

So all the snippets got emptied into my biggest dye pot. I soaked three small pieces of white wool (each about a foot long and 6” wide) in synthrapol for a few minutes, and then rumpled them up and shoved each of them into a different part of the pot. Then I just left it to cook for about an hour, not stirring it at all. And I poured in a “glug, glug” of white vinegar for the last 15 minutes.

Somehow, I thought I would get three completely different colors of wool, or maybe something with many multicolor flecks of color. I was amazed that each of the three pieces basically came out the same color! A nice bright but light green, with highlights only here and there of other colors. In person, they are more green than this photo shows:

The snippets I started with really were every color of the rainbow, collected during the time I hooked at least four different rugs, each with a wide variety of colors. Were there a lot of greens, plus a lot of blues and yellows to make more green? Who knows?

But I was greatly pleased with the experiment, and will definitely find these three new pieces of wool useable. My conclusion: dyeing is magic. So if you have snippets and are willing to give up a few small pieces of white wool to fate, try it yourself with your own snippets and see what sort of a surprise you get!

The photos of the antique rugs are courtesy of Eldred’s Auctions, online at www.eldreds.com.

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

By | Antique rugs, Design, Making rugs | 3 Comments

Let’s start by looking at this patriotic-themed rug from the late 19th or early 20th century. A grand-looking eagle, looking somewhat fierce, as all American eagles should look, carries a red and white banner in its beak. Its wings are a somewhat improbable red and tan, with blue stripes, but it looks just right. It sits on a gray-ish background, and is surrounded by a double red, white and blue border.

Oh, for antique rugs which have a tag saying exactly where, when and by whom it was made… but in the passage of time, this eagle holds its own meaning, love of country, whenever it was made. And on November 15, (10 am, EST) it will be auctioned off by Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, PA. It is Lot 344, and the description reads “Hooked rug with eagle and bannerette. Late 19th/early 20th century. Worked with polychrome wool and cotton. 31 in. x 52 1/2 in.” The estimated price is $800-$1,200.

And now here is an early 21st century rug, also meant to convey a love of country. This one you may recognise from its beginning stages. It was designed and hooked by me, adapted from a photo I took of my own flag flying from my own porch.

I wanted to do a patriotic flag rug. I remember I spent the good part of a day looking around on the internet for flag patterns, and ideas for primitive designs featuring our flag. There were many nice ones, but all of a sudden, it occurred to me that I wanted to do a design based on my own US flag. And so this rug began. I took one photo of the porch and flag, but the flag was hanging somewhat limply that day, and I thought not enough of the “Stars and Stripes” were showing. So I waited for a quite windy day, and took another photo where the flag, fluttering in the wind, showed itself more. I used the first picture, and when tracing it on my linen, just used the flag itself from the second picture. Just right.

I really stuck to the photo pretty closely. The cat on the little stone wall is actually a stone cat sculpture, and that is exactly where the stone cat sits… but of course it is also representing Ruby the cat. I always have a little trouble hooking stones. Each time, I usually hook them first in dark grays, then realize that is not right, and re-do them in lighter grays and beiges that look more like the big rocks around my yard.

It came out well, I think, and as usual, I tried to be patient with the multi-greens of the tree foliage, which I did using “pixilating”, where you take strands of various greens and do three loops of one strand here, four loops of the same green there, skipping around, making tiny little three- to six-loop patches here and there. Then you take the next shade of green strip and do the same, and gradually fill in the leafy area. I like the effect, but it the slowest of techniques!

So I’m happy with the rug. Now the big challenge is finding a place in my house to hang it.

The web site for Freeman’s is at www.freemansauction.com, and the photo of the antique eagle rug is courtesy of them.

Before I go…

By | Antique rugs, Design | 4 Comments

Before I go off to rug camp, here are a few antique rugs coming up for sale for you to contemplate and consider. First, above, is a perfect combination of a floral pattern with hit or miss completing the geometric design. It is Lot 337, coming up for sale by Wooton and Wooton, in Camden, SC, on Sept. 16th (10 am). The description: Early American Hooked Rug Late 19th/early 20th century. Having floral pattern throughout. W 41 1/2″ L 61″. Estimate: $100-$200.

This next photo shows two rugs being sold together, by Locati Auctions, on September 18th (9 AM) in Maple Glen, PA:

The larger rug does not interest me that much – a bit too blotchy even for me – though I do like the border. If the center section had been hooked in all one color, the other areas of variation would not bother me nearly as much. But the Hit or Miss rug is great – the simplest of a geometric design, with an internal grid border to define the blocks. I can say it is simple, but if I got out a piece of linen to draw it out, I would really have to focus on finding the exact diagonals in each block that forms the pattern. One of those designs that look simple without being easy to reproduce! These two rugs make up Lot 917639. Description: The larger rug has floral decoration, the smaller rug has a geometric pattern, both early 20th century. Dimensions: 60″ x 35″ and 37″ x 24″. Estimate: $200-$300.

And here are three more antique rugs which will both be sold tomorrow (Sept. 9, 10 am) at Garth’s Auctioneers, in Delaware, Ohio:


This is a large rug, and I think it’s quite elegant – the bright flowers and center design are framed by the two-tone scrolling leaves. It is Lot 497, described as AMERICAN HOOKED RUG. Twentieth century. Room size rug with large polychrome bouquet of flowers in center, bordered with flowers and foliage. Backed with cloth. 9′ x 12′. Estimate: $600-$1200.

This next one is Lot 401 in tomorrow’s auction at Garth’s:

and what’s not to love about that charming, smiling dog? Even the star is sweet! Description: AMERICAN HOOKED RUG. Early 20th century. Large dog. With fringe. 26.5″ x 41.5″ Estimate $200-$400.

And here is Lot 408, in the same auction tomorrow:

I really like this one, both the design itself and the combination of colors used. Description: AMERICAN HOOKED RUG. Early 20th century. Floral design on purple ground. 31″x 65″, Estimate $100-$250.

Well, I am fairly ready to set off for my rug retreat on the Isles of Shoals this weekend. I took Lynne Fowler’s advice, and cut a lot of 3″-4″ wide long strips of wool in the colors I think I will need for my flag-on-the-porch rug. I put each group of colors together with a large safety pin, so all my grays and tans are in one bundle, all my greens in another, and so on. It cut down my pile of wool substantially, but I will have a good choice of colors to be getting on with. Great idea, so thanks, Lynne!

Here are links to the auction websites, and all photos are used courtesy of them: www.wootenandwooten.com, www.locatillc.com and www.garths.com

Hope you have a great weekend with at least some hooking involved, wherever you are!

Simple, repeating, captivating.

By | Antique rugs, Textiles | 3 Comments

From time to time, I stop by the Nazmiyal Antique Rugs collection, just to see rugs from all different cultures – Moroccan, Scandinavian, Art Deco, Ottoman, Chinese, Berber, Persian, and many more. But today I found this rug, pictured above, in their gallery of antique hooked rugs. Just had to show it to you!

It is hand-hooked, and huge – 8’7″ in x 12′ 6″ – so must have been years in the making. It’s dated to be “early 20th century”. Not only is the overall design captivating, but look at how there are hit-or-miss borders in a basketweave pattern to the squares, and the inside of the squares are solid color! Just the opposite of the hit-or-miss rugs I have seen or made myself. It really becomes three-dimensional once you look at it for a little while.

Here is the online description:

Beautiful and Early Antique American Hooked Rug, Country of Origin: American, Circa Date: Early 20th Century – Ingenious in its style, color and composition, this spectacular antique American hooked rug features a splendid allover pattern that creates an illusion of depth and texture. The beautiful basket-weave pattern with its poly-chromatic stripes follows a strict under-over form that sets it apart from the monochromatic and subtly variegated squares featured in the background. Like a patchwork quilt that incorporates innumerable colors and prints, this stunning antique hooked rug is a joy to behold. The varied earth-tone hues are juxtaposed beautifully against the vivid pink, vermillion and turquoise accent colors that are set between the basket-weave stripes. This outstanding antique rug, an American hooked carpet illustrates the amazing versatility of a simple geometric repeating pattern, which is executed in a way that is full of color, texture and visual appeal.

I do love this rug, and it has given me ideas! And I also got a kick out of our “hit or miss” being referred to as “poly-chromatic stripes”. We’ll have to remember that! And isn’t it lucky that I don’t have a place for this large rug in my house – its price is $24,000.

Photo is courtesy of the Nazyimal Collection, online at www.nazyimalantiquerugs.com. You can go straight to their hooked rug gallery here, but I do encourage you to browse around in their collection to see many beautiful examples of rugs and carpets from around the world and throughout history. It is enough to make one dizzy with inspiration.

If you get Rug Hooking Magazine, look for my first published article (whee!) in the new issue, on making hit or miss rugs. I must say, seeing this rug is quite humbling!

More rugs! Never enough!

By | Antique rugs | 3 Comments

There are many more hooked rugs coming up for sale during this summertime auction season, and this may be the only time we get to look at them. First, let’s travel down to Texas, where Bright Star Antiques will be selling the floral rug, above, at their Aug. 26 auction in Sulphur Springs (9am, CST). The only description of it is: Lot 112: Early Floral Hooked Rug 26 1/2″ x 52″. No estimated price given.

What a happy rug! I’m not even sure why “happy” is my first impression of it, but that’s the way it is. Certainly, the bright colors help, and there is something about the way the little rosebuds are peeping up toward the center. And there is just enough oddity in the varied greens (from lime to mid-range to dark gray-green) around the outside border to add interest. Whenever I see “patchy” sections like this, I can’t help but wonder if this is by design, or if the hooker ran out of other greens, and just used what she had. I think the lovely effect this patchiness creates gives us (with our almost instant access to so many wools) reason to loosen up and let the wool go where it will.

Here is another sweet rug in the same Bright Star auction:

This one is Lot 111: Pa. Cottage Hooked Rug 28″ x 52″. No estimated price given. Somehow it got from Pennsylvania to Texas. No real shading, just a bit more of that patchiness on the roof and a bit in the trees, bushes and border. It could have been an early pattern – seems like I have seen a similar cottage rug before, but I’m not sure. It reminds me a lot of Grenfell Mission rugs from Labrador and Newfoundland, maybe because of the simplicity of the design, the outline around each of the design elements, and the lack of any real shading.

This dazzling primitive is going to be sold on Aug. 17 at the James D. Julia auction in Fairfield, Maine:

Another cottage, but so different than the other one! It is Lot 2347: FOLK ART HOOKED RUG OF A HOUSE. Description: First quarter 20th century, American. A folky hooked rug depicting a homestead under a starry moonlit sky in bright colors including reds, blues, greens and more. Also with earthy whites and beige’s. SIZE: 40″ h x 48″ w. CONDITION: Good. Estimated price is $3,000-$4,000.

It looks like it was hooked with yarn, just judging from the fine texture. There is something almost modern/cubist about this design, with the blocks in the background and the moon and stars block above the house. Wouldn’t you love to be able to talk with the person who made this?

And here is one rug that was sold on Aug. 1st, at the D. L. Straight auction in Sturbridge, Mass:

The pre-sale estimated price was $200-$400, but this sweet spaniel, sitting on his own hit or miss rug, was sold for $100.

And one more. This rug will be sold off today at Eldred’s Auction’s sale in East Dennis Mass, sometime soon after 10 am today:

Lot 915: PICTORIAL HOOKED RUG 29″ x 39″ Depicts a winter landscape with horse-drawn sled and rider, a cottage and distant mountains.
The estimate is $150-$250. It’s hard to know what the colors on this rug were originally – it has the look of wools that have faded quite a lot. If I were looking at it in person, I sure would want to turn it over and check the back side, the less faded side, to get a better idea.

As always, there are many design ideas to be found from the antiques on these sites – from stained glass windows, painted dressers, carved birds, weathervanes, pottery. And of course, from paintings, like this amazing one of our beloved U.S. Frigate “Constitution” that sold for about $13,000 at Eldred’s July 20th auction:

© Robert C. Eldred Co., Inc.

Painted by DEREK GEORGE MONTAGUE GARDNER English, 1914-2007. “U.S. Frigate ‘Constitution’ with the sloop ‘Hornet’ at sea 28 October 1812”. Signed lower right “Derek G.M. Gardner”.

All photos are courtesy of the auction houses, and many thanks to them for making their catalogs accessible to be copied and show here. Bright Star Antiques is online at brightstarantiques.com, James D. Julia is at jamesdjulia.com, D. L. Straight is online at www.dlstraightauctioneers.com, and Eldred’s is at eldreds.com.

I confess I have never been to a live auction, but what a treasure trove of lovely things – held in private possession, brought into the public for sale, and then likely disappearing again into a private collection.

Animal Rugs from the Past

By | Antique rugs | One Comment

Let’s look at a few antique rugs that are now in public view, because they are coming up for sale at various summer auctions.

First, above, is a lovely old rug (described as just “Hooked Rug”, Lot 357-156) at today’s auction at the W. A. Smith Auction sale in Plainfield, NH. We don’t know when, where, or by whom this was made, so we just can look, and imagine who loved these two dogs enough to create this rug. I especially like the twisted rope border.

Here is another dog rug coming up for sale, this one is Lot 130 at the Aug. 1st sale at D. L. Straight Auctioneers, in Sturbridge, Mass:

The dog is sweet, and I’d bet the hooker worked to get her own dog’s markings just right. But the red vine elements are a little too unbalanced or maybe un-flowing to my eye. Still, much care was put into making it, and someone loved this dog, and probably this rug, too. Description: 19TH C HOOKED RUG OF A DOG, GOOD COLORS, 26 X 49. Estimated Price is $200-$300.

James D. Julia Auctions, up in Fairfield, Maine will be auctioning off this rug, Puppies at Play, on August 17th (10 am):

Here is the description: Lot 2490, “Last quarter 19th century, American. Based on the Currier and Ives print “Puppies at Play.” Depicting puppies playing upon a hilltop with trees and a house in the background in natural earth tones of greens and browns. SIZE: 25-1/2″ h x 50″ w. CONDITION: Good, rug is professionally mounted.” The estimated price for this one is $2,500 – $3,500.

I searched for the original Currier and Ives print of the same name, and while I can’t be sure this is the only one, the figures of the two pups are pretty similar, though reversed.

If this is the same print the rugmaker used, (and the more I look the more sure I am that it is) then the rest of the design of the rug was the maker’s own. I especially love the closely figured grassy hill the pups are playing on. And my guess is that she set the two puppies in her own yard, and that the house on the far right is the hooker’s own. A wonderful example of a rughooker adapting artwork she liked and then making a rug her own. I think copyrights were not an issue back then!

And here is another lovely rug from the same Aug. 17 James D. Julia auction – just to give the cat world a little equal time:

The description of this one, Lot 2366, is: FINE AMERICAN HOOKED RUG OF LIONESS AND HER CUB, Last quarter 19th century, Probably Edward Sands Frost, Biddeford, Maine. Believed to be a first pattern example of a lioness and her cub in a tropical setting with palm trees in the background within a red and black striped border. SIZE: 32″ h x 62″ l. CONDITION: Area of losses above haunch of lioness and additional holes in area of right foreleg and in lower right foreground facing. Colors remain vibrant. Otherwise structurally good. Estimated price is $400-$600.

Finally, again from the same Aug. 17 auction, is Lot 2484, which includes TWO AMERICAN HOOKED RUGS:

Description: 1st quarter 20th century. 1) Depicting a spaniel resting on a small checkerboard mat within an oval polychrome border and ground, framed by four black, brown, beige floral spandrels. 2) Depicting a pair of songbirds beneath floral boughs, each perched on a branch within an oval border of earth tones. SIZE: 1) 27″ h x 44-1/2″ l. 2) 21″ h x 33-1/2″ l. CONDITION: 1) Deterioration around edges and with light even soiling throughout. 2) Good pile, light soiling. Some bleeding to red dyes. Otherwise good. Estimated price is $250-$350.

You can look at (and bid on) all these rugs online, and photos are courtesy of the auction houses. W. A. Smith is online at www.wsmithauction.com, D. L. Straight is at www.dlstraightauctioneers.com, and James T. Julia is online at jamesdjulia.com.

So which rug do you like the best? Once you decide spontaneously, think about exactly why you like it. For me, as much as I adore both dogs and cats, I would pick the bird rug, the last one shown. Why? I like the birds, the design with the oval inside the square, and the little checkerboard figures at each top edge of the oval, and I like the darker lines outlining some parts of the birds, leaves and branches, and of course, (no surprise to anyone), I like the hit or miss outer border!