Ahdoot Oriental Rugs
102 Madison Avenue | 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
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Contact: Jessica Camp
RUG ONCE DISPLAYED IN WHITE HOUSE DURING FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT’S PRESIDENCY WORTH $30,000
NEW YORK – John Ahdoot of Ahdoot Oriental Rugs, Manhattan-based rug appraisal, repair, and sales service, recently discovered a rug in a New Jersey couple’s home that once belonged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The rug, which Ahdoot valued between $20,000 and $30,000, was once prominently displayed by Roosevelt during his tenure in the White House.
According to Roosevelt’s personal library, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, the former President spent his entire life amassing collections of stamps, ship models, rare books, printings, coins, and drawings during his childhood that expanded to include Chinese carvings, Scandinavian glassware, and Oriental rugs during his presidency. Pieces from his rug collection, which was so vast that much of it is still unaccounted for today, inevitably turn up in private collections, or are discovered by an appraiser in an unlikely place. Chief amongst those discoveries is that made by John Ahdoot.
“I was called to a New Jersey apartment for what seemed to be a standard rug appraisal job,” said John Ahdoot. “What I found was a 12 foot x 19 foot Oriental rug in an Islamic pattern featuring a large, distinct mosque. I wasn’t very impressed with it at first, and initially appraised it at $2,000 to $3,000.”
After leaving the couple’s apartment, Ahdoot reports, he came across a newspaper kiosk displaying a magazine that featured a photograph of the very same rug he had just appraised. While common to see a similar pattern among mass-produced rugs, he explained, this piece was one of a kind. The magazine had featured a story on Franklin D. Roosevelt and, after weeks of research and phone calls with historians, Ahdoot determined the New Jersey couple’s rug had indeed been owned by the President himself and had once been prominently displayed in the White House. He set the worth of the rug to a much higher tune – $20,000 to $30,000.
“I couldn’t believe it. I had seen this very same rug. I recognized the mosque – it was quite distinct. It felt surreal, like being in a dream,” said Ahdoot. “This kind of thing doesn’t necessarily happen often and it’s why I began collecting in the first place. A rug is not just valuable for the craftsmanship, but also for whose floor it has decorated.”
After Roosevelt’s death, the rug was placed in the entrance hall of the Springwood at Hyde Park, and then moved into the master bedroom after Sara Roosevelt’s passing. When the National Park Service acquired the home, the rug was sold to an anonymous bidder, and through the next few decades the original owner was forgotten. Following the new appraisal, the New Jersey couple decided to donate the rug to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and Museum. It is currently on display as part of the museum’s main collection along with many of the former President’s most prized pieces.
Ahdoot Oriental Rugs is New York City’s premiere rug appraisal, repair, and sales service. Located in the heart of Midtown, Manhattan, Ahdoot Oriental Rugs was founded in 1976 by John Ahdoot and has provided top quality appraisal services to a diverse client base for nearly 40 years. A member of the International Society of Appraisers, customers are assured that Ahdoot’s service exceeds expectations, setting the bar for competitors in the rug appraisal industry.