Q: This rug has been in my family for many years and is in need of quality repair. There is a label on the back that says it is from the Priscilla Turner Rug Guild in Maine. According to the tag it is 8 by 12 and wool. The carpet is in generally good condition except where the furniture has worn away the wool. Where might we have the rug repaired?
S. W., Boston
A: It is unfortunate that rugs used in high traffic areas are rather easily damaged over long periods of time. It is even more unfortunate that repairing them can be very expensive, and finding a competent person to do the job can be very difficult.
We get lots of mail about the Priscilla Turner Rug Guild, which endeavored to make hand-hooked rugs in the style of rag-hooked rugs made in New England in centuries past. There is not much solid information about this enterprise, but we know it was initially located in the village of Turner, Maine.Initially, the company was called DeFrost Products Co., then DeFrost Associates and finally the Priscilla Turner Rug Co.
Who was Priscilla Turner? No one seems to know, and she may have been just a made-up name to give the rugs a feeling of Americana. The rug company closed after only 12 years. There is some speculation that it was started up again in Lewiston, Maine, and produced hooked rugs into the 1940s, and other conjecture that the company was still operating in an industrial park in Lewiston as late as 1986. But there does not seem to be any concrete evidence of either operation.
We are a little reluctant to recommend someone to repair this very attractive Priscilla Turner Guild rug, but we do have a thought that might help. A new hooked-rug museum opened in Nova Scotia in the past few years that seems to be very fond of Priscilla Turner rugs.
It are called the National Hooked Rug Museum of North America, mailing address 9849 Highway No. 3, Hubbards/Queensland, Nova Scotia, Canada, BOJITO. The staff may be able to direct you to someone who specialized in repairing Priscilla Turner Guild rugs.
From the photographs, we could not discern what repairs might be necessary, but unless this rug has great sentimental value, a good quality repair may not be cost effective.
However, in very good condition, a rug such as the one in today’s question should be valued in the $750 to $1,000 range.
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