December 3rd, 2022
This year’s annual rug sale at Robert Mann Rugs was a great day for those attending to ruffle through many beautiful rugs, tapestries and odd fabric items from all times and places and sit down to a delicious home-cooked lunch. No one ever knows what they will run across as they browse through rooms piled full of handwoven eye candy. It is a highly social time, sharing the fun and meeting new people or running across old friends. The excitement of purchasing a new visual to add to one’s living space or a piece of fabric to be creative with was in the air. Watching others lift the corner of a pile of rugs to find untold treasures underneath was half the fun of being there. Regardless of the “lack of floor space back home” talk, a new rug was indeed hard to resist and the longer one stayed, the harder it became to walk away empty-handed.
Many return each year to have fun browsing through stacks and piles of rugs strewn throughout the massive facility at Robert Mann Rugs and many newcomers become bitten by the bug to come back again next year.
This annual rug sale is more than another Black Friday Sale. It is relaxed, filled with sunshine filtering in from high ceiling windows, the light falling on color and texture that lures the eye in every direction. It reminded me a little of the kimono sales I used to go to in Japan where ancient temples would have pile after pile of the most incredible kimonos for the public to rummage through. Simply put, a lot of fun and a great place to hang out. The variety of styles and designs from around the world and through time spoke to the undeniable and seductive beauty that rugs possess.
Carts of free rugs are also a part of the sale which include damaged odds and ends from rug lots along with fragments and remnants of rugs resulting from cutting rugs down for resizing . Also included in the free carts are remnant rolls of rug padding.
Setting Up For the Sale
Robert Mann has been buying and selling rugs since 1978. Twenty-two years ago the annual sale started with the idea of selling abandoned rugs that had been lying around the shop that had been unclaimed for ten to fifteen years. Much of the rugs these days come from estate liquidations acquired through “rug pickers” (people in the rug industry that buy and sell rugs all the time), as well as wholesale lot purchases, other collectors and rugs acquired through travels to the middle east and around the US. All the rugs in our sales are handmade and range from places like Iran, Turkey, Tibet, Afghanistan and vintage Navajo rugs from the Southwestern US.
Waiting for the Doors to Open
Doors Open and The Sale Begins
The Search for Treasure
Charlotte, our event cook, has been working with Robert Mann for over 25 years. Aside from being indispensable with the day-to-day operation of the plant, she is a world -class chef when it comes to Northern New Mexico home-style cooking. Charlotte is an old hand at cooking up feasts for her large family gatherings. Each year she uses both her oven and her daughter’s oven (across the street from where she lives) to cook up a storm for the masses that flock to the annual rug sale. With the help of her friends, daughter and Bob’s wife, Jane, they heap up plates full of heart-warming food with pride. Her cooking is a tradition at the annual rug sale luncheons. Some come each year for the food alone.
See you again next year!