Richard Pointon Oriental & Persian Carpet Colelction


My collection of oriental handmade carpets, kelims and collectibles is both large and extensive. It has been put together piece by piece over many years with a collector’s passion and a collector’s eye. Taken as a whole, it is unique and every carpet in my huge collection has been selected by me. Furthermore, if it is one of the pieces from my Cultural Survival Programme then I have been involved in almost every aspect of its creation, from researching the original design and provenance, getting the dyes right, how I want the finished carpet to “feel”, and even how I want the wool to be spun.

What most people see as a business is so much more than that. It is a way of life that has allowed me to follow as best I may Rumi’s dictum, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

Growing up in the Wairarapa in the 1950’s I was, both in distance and understanding, about as far away from the East as a boy could possibly get.

However, when I was about eight or nine years old, a thoughtful neighbour gave me a huge box of old National Geographic Magazines and they were a revelation to me. In particular, I found myself drawn back time and again to any articles about the East, both Near and Far. What a wonder it was for me to see photographs of elaborate palaces and mosques; woman decked out in gorgeous colourful saris, or shrouded in burkhas; wandering nomads with their camels, tents and of course, their carpets. This was a world that I never knew existed. It was exotic, romantic and mysterious, and I have had a fascination for and a curiosity about all things oriental ever since.

So, it should be no surprise that when I was in my late 20’s and earning a reasonable wage, I started collecting Persian and oriental carpets. It was only going to be a matter of time before I got myself involved in the carpet business and in 1982, I made my first buying trip to the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Since then I have travelled to Turkey, India, Nepal, China, Iran, Pakistan and its border regions with Afghanistan. Recently, during a public lecture I was asked how many trips I have actually made over the years. I had to admit that I didn’t really know but, at a guess I supposed it would be around eighty or so.

Obviously, given all the social and political upheavals in those regions, wandering around on my own looking for carpets was never going to be a rational option. Consequently, I have always had a “minder”, a local who not only had some knowledge about the carpet business, but who also had some nous, the presence of mind to keep me out of harm’s way.

Over the years I have had a number of travelling companions, Haji Rhemetullah, Abdul Gaffer and Ali Nazari to name a few, all of them good people and each one of them a dear friend. But if I had to choose a favourite then it would have to be Khudai Bairde.

Khudai Bairde was a Turkoman refugee from Afghanistan, one of the three million or so who fled to Pakistan to avoid the civil war. Neither of us could be absolutely sure when we first met, although we would both agree that it was in the shop of Mahomet Ilyas in Lahore. However, when I refer back to the photographs that I took at the time, I believe it must have been in 1989 ...

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Richard Pointon UNICEF Aid Programme. Authentic Oriental and persian carpets and rugs

UNICEF Aid Programme, Jallozai Afghan Refugee Camp, February 2002

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Open 4 Days
Thursday & Friday 9.30am-4.30pm, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am-4.30pm
Showroom & Warehouse
6 Armidale Street, Petone
New Zealand
0800 rugsnz (0800 784 769)
0r 0274 574 574