IN the near future, our grandchildren will have to visit museums in order to view a Persian carpet up close. Far from an empty warning, this is, sadly, a harsh reality.
The Persian carpet trade (whose current state is symbolised by Puerto Banus haven, Kambyses’s, closing down sale) is on the way to extinction, and it isn’t because of a waning demand; on the contrary. The industry itself is dying, owing to the impossibility of making carpets in Iran at a low cost.
Kambyses was founded in 1978 by Kambiz Daemi, owner of one of the most renowned establishments dedicated to the millenary art of Persian carpets. Kambiz muses that he is closing his shop next to the bullring in Puerto Banus, not because he cannot make sales, but rather, because he cannot source new stock. He explains: “The rise in the cost of living in Iran and the effects of globalisation have made it impossible for the industry to thrive at competitive rates. Young Persians are seeking easier, less engaging ways to make a living. They aren’t willing to put in the time and sacrifice that older generations did. The industry of carpet-making is almost completely gone at this point.”
Currently, the totality of Persian carpets (stunning Ghom, Tabriz, Isfahan, Nain, Bidjar, Baluch and Ghashgai varieties) in Europe are being sold at prices much lower than their actual production costs in Iran and this is only possible thanks to establishments such as Kambyses, currently disposing of stock purchased at a time when prices were more competitive.
Kambiz says: “In Europe, manual craftsmanship is impossible because of the cost involved and the same phenomenon is occurring in Iran.”
He predicts that once current stocks in shops throughout Europe disappear, the prices of carpets will skyrocket to what they used to be in the 1970s, when a silk Ghom Persian carpet with one million knots measuring 3x2m cost two million pesetas (the same price as an average apartment at that time).
Persian carpets don’t just make great investments; they are also an ideal way to liven up your home.
Kambyses is not just for those with deep pockets; buyers will find everything from small rugs costing less than €100, to beautiful silk carpets worth €150,000.
If you are looking to add a work of art at a very reasonable price this Christmas, step into Kambyses and allow yourself to fall in love with the myriad of patterns, colours and shapes. Better yet, grace your home with a piece of art that harks back to a millenary tradition which will soon be a thing of the past, yet remains an excellent investment for the future.
Kambyses also specialises in the cleaning and restoration of oriental carpets; during the period that the shop remains in liquidation, clients can bring in their carpets for these services.
Avda Pilar Calvo 43 (just before the Nueva Andalucía bullring), Marbella Tel: 952 812 222 – www.kambyses.com