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Museum-Quality Oriental Rugs, Persian Rugs, Caucasian Rugs & High-End Home Furnishings
Who is Richard Rothstein & Co.?
My name is Richard Rothstein, and I am the owner of Richard Rothstein & Co. I am in my mid-thirties and live in New Jersey with my wife, Katrina, and our three young children. I am the fourth generation in the high end home-furnishings industry.
Personally, I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. I had originally intended on becoming a doctor, but I turned down Stanford Medical School to pursue a career as a screenwriter. In 1996, I was signed by CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and remain with them today.
In 1903, my great-grandfather Frank S. Rothstein began selling mattresses via horse and cart through the streets of Boston. In time, the horse and cart grew into the Globe Mattress Company, and Globe Mattress ultimately became one of the largest mattress manufacturers in New England.
In the 1940's, my grandfather Irving Rothstein, along with his two brothers, upgraded from mattresses to furniture and formed Emerson Lounge, a furniture manufacturer. With the help of my father, Frank Rothstein, Emerson Lounge grew into one of the largest furniture manufacturers in New England, making its home at the historic Ayer's Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
In the early 1980's, with furniture manufacturing in New England moving south to the Carolinas, our family sold Ayer's Mill to the New Balance Shoe Corporation, who remains there today.
In addition to running after three children aged seven and under, I collect Chinese export porcelain for the American Market, antique botanical, ornithological, and nautical engravings (with a particular emphasis on Whaling and French engravings), and antique Oriental rugs.
How did you get started in this business?
The short story is that I grew up in a family that collects, among other things, museum-quality American antiques (primarily Chippendale and Federal furniture) and museum-quality antique Oriental rugs. As an adult, when I started to shop for new Oriental rugs (I couldn't afford my parents' antique pieces) I was disheartened at what I saw was available. To me, everything was wrong: the wool, the colors, the designs, knots, pile, even the fringe.
Yet even if I could have afforded my family.s rugs, in all likelihood I wouldn't have bought them. At that point in my life I was about to be married and had all intentions of having children and getting a dog for the first time. (Babies and dogs: the ire of serious rug collectors. My parents would've bought me fireworks before a dog.)
So, in essence, what I really wanted then were new rugs that looked like my family's old rugs; that is, before their rugs became old. And as one rug dealer so delicately put it, "Good luck, kid. That's like trying to buy a cannonball in a hardware store."
I was not convinced. After all, I knew there were companies, an entire industry even, devoted to the manufacture of reproduction furniture so certainly there had to be somebody still hand knotting authentic, historically accurate Oriental rugs.
And in the end I turned out to be right. Because after years of research, countless letters, numerous phone calls, and a good bit of travel, I finally did find that elusive "hardware store," one of the only remaining, and to my mind the finest, consortium of rug weavers in Azerbaijan.