What was the initial reaction from Gillette’s Rug Care Specialist, Derek Powell of Disaster Recovery, after his recent tour of the Mussallem Galleries in Jacksonville, Florida? “Unbelievably awe-inspiring… Words and photos cannot begin to describe the experience of actually being there.”
Rug Masters is a division of Disaster Recovery of Gillette. As part of his on-going education and training as Gillette’s premier Rug Care Specialist, Derek had an opportunity to meet and network with some of the leaders in this field. Guest speakers shared their knowledge of Oriental rug repair, advanced rug cleaning chemistry, and some innovative cleaning tools.
Mussallem Galleries – The Tour of a Lifetime for any Rug Care Specialist
But the highlight of the “Rug Detour” event was a private tour of the impressive Mussallem Galleries, personally-guided by two of the Mussallem family members, Michael and Charles IV. In the oriental rug business for four generations since 1897, their family is well-known throughout this industry. Located in Jacksonville, Florida, this 90,000-SF gallery showroom is home to a unique collection of art, including oil paintings, water colors and mixed media by Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pollock, and others. There is an extensive collection of Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Continental and European works of art, as well as magnificent estate jewels and antique furnishings from around the world. And of course, rugs… lots and lots of rugs. Although this beautiful showplace is filled with museum-quality pieces, there is ONE unique difference—Everything in THIS museum is for SALE.
Palace Rugs—fit for a King!
In the Rug Gallery, racks lined the walls, filled with beautiful handmade rugs. Unlike the hands-off policy of a regular museum, at the Mussallem Galleries you are allowed to touch, walk on, and examine all of the rugs on display, despite their expensive price tags. However, one of the most unique features of the Mussallem Galleries is that it houses THE largest, most complete collection of over-sized and palace-sized rugs in the WORLD.
Derek is especially passionate about Keshan Persian City Rugs, and could not believe his eyes when he came across one of the finest examples of this particular type of rug, a beautiful Manchester Keshan. “I noticed a crowd gathered around a particular display. When I saw this rug, everything else around me faded away. Its design and provenance, the quality of its construction, its craftsmanship… this was the finest, softest wool rug I’ve ever touched, almost silk-like… Perfect in every sense. I forgot everything around me—until I flipped the price tag over and realized I could never afford this rug. For any Rug Care Specialist, Rug Owner, or Rug Enthusiast, this collection of exquisite rugs are the finest examples on the planet. I actually felt sad when it was time to leave this place, wondering if I would ever get a chance to see this again. Truly an experience I will never forget.”
Needless to say, Derek will remember this “tour of a lifetime” which has fanned his growing passion for “all things Rugs.” He picked up some invaluable rug washing tips, made some great contacts with the movers and shakers in this industry, had the privilege of being present for the release of a new innovative rug cleaning tool, and enjoyed the ever-growing comradery as a fellow rug care specialist of this unique division in the cleaning industry.
If you would like to “experience” a little of this unique tour yourself, head over to Mussallem.com, then click on their VIRTUAL TOUR. It is awesome!