Amy and Trevor stood looking at the wall. Amy was in awe as she stared at the hanging rug. Something about it made her not want to look away. Maybe it was the fine stitching or the fact that it was over 100 years old. It sure looked good for 100 years. There were a few tattered parts here and there but the color was as bright as the day it was made. Craftsmen made things better back in those days. And it looked like someone took great care of this rug.
She wanted it... and she knew Trevor would buy it for her. He was a wonderful husband. The question was... Was it worth the price they were asking for it? She knew antiques were expensive, but this price seemed a little farfetched. Not that money was an issue for them, but she was still penny wise. She didn't want to over pay.
There was a little white sign near the price tag. Amy had to squint to read it...
"Hot Afternoon", circa 2010-2015, Switzerland
Textile, dyed yarn with woven backing
12' x 12'
"Hum... Sandalwood... That's my maiden name... and I know my family is from Switzerland. I wonder if we are related" Amy thought. "I'll have to as my grandmother when I get home. Luckily she does not live far away." Amy smiled to herself and turned to Trevor.
"Trevor darling... I HAVE to have this rug. Please. Let's see if we can get it at a good price." Amy smiled at Trevor, the way she always did when she wanted something really good. He smiled back at her and nodded. He knew she had taken a liking to it... they'd been standing there looking at it for a half hour! He chuckled at how well he knew his wife.
The two walked over to the Gallery owner. Now came the hard part... The Negotiation.
"Ahh... Mr. and Mrs. Smythe... May I help you with your selection?" The owner was courteous. Amy and Trevor where two of his BEST clients. They had bought many pieces from him in the past. They were tough negotiators, but he knew they wouldn't take advantage of him. Amy and Trevor nodded and then motioned to the rug on the wall.
"Mr. Kepp, we would like to acquire that rug on the wall by Moe Sandalwood please. If... the price is right." Trevor spoke the last sentence sternly.
"Oh yes... That is a new piece. I just put it out yesterday. MY you two have great taste." Mr. Kepp smiled.
"What can you tell us about the artist" asked Amy?
"Not much I'm afraid. It was found rolled up in the corner of an attic with years of dust on it. Two gentlemen found it and brought it here to be appraised. They told me the owner only knew the the artist's name and I liked it so much that I bought it from them. It was gently cleaned and and framed then hung on that wall. I did a little research on the internet and found the artist lived in Switzerland. How it got here to the USA I have no idea. He was a rather well known artist in Switzerland back in the early 2000's."
Amy and Trevor looked at each other and nodded. Amy wanted it. Trevor negotiated a fair price and soon the rug was rolled up, wrapped, and on its way to its new home, in a delivery van. Mr. Kepp smiled as he waved them out the door. The rug was going to a good home. Just like he had promised the two gentlemen it would.
The couple talked the whole way home about the rug and Amy told Trevor about her thoughts of the family lineage. "Do you think we could be related," Amy asked? Trevor looked at her and answered. "It's possible I suppose. Let's look tonight on the internet. I'm sure I can find you some more information Amy dear."
As they pulled up the driveway they noticed the van, with the rug, had beaten them home. Trevor let his wife out at the front door and then went to park the car. Amy motioned for the deliverymen to bring it in to the house and unroll it of the floor of the study. As they took off the packaging and unrolled it out on the floor Amy felt a slight chill. It was as if she felt the carpet was telling her it was "HOME."
That night, after dinner, Trevor and Amy searched the internet. They found only the few tidbits that Mr. Kepp had mentioned, but could not find anything else. This frustrated Amy. She needed to talk to her grandmother. She needed to know if she was related to the artist. Sandalwood is an unusual name... they HAVE to be related... somehow!
The next day Amy visited her grandmother in the nursing home. She was a frail old woman but her mind was still sharp. She told Amy she remembered a Moeuhane Sandalwood on her mother’s grandmother’s side of the family but she didn't know much about him since she had moved to America when she was just a little girl. She remembered her mother talking about Uncle Moe and the wonderful gift he had made for someone as a wedding present. It seems it was the talk of the family for years. It was an expensive gift and the only one of its kind.
"Grandma... think... Was it a rug???" Amy's heart was pounding fast.
"Child, I don't remember. I was a little girl at the time and it was only family gossip." Her grandmother was tired. Amy had to cut her visit short. At least she had another name to look up on the internet. Moeuhane Sandalwood!
The name Moeuhane Sandalwood was all over the internet. He WAS from Switzerland and he did mostly digital art. She found lots of his artwork but nothing about a rug. She waited for Trevor to come home from the office. He was MUCH better at searching the internet than she was. Her heart was racing when he came through the door that evening. She didn't even let him put down his briefcase before she flooded his ears with what she had found.
Trevor watched his wife with wonder. He too was amazed at the possibility that the rug could be a family heirloom. If it was an heirloom... HOW had it gotten to America from Switzerland? Trevor was intrigued. He ate his dinner at the computer that night. Amy left him to search until she heard the words she KNEW he would say... "AH... Haaaa," she heard from the study. Trevor had found something. She ran to his side. He found a piece of Moeuhane's artwork that looked EXACTLY like the rug, but nothing about how/when the rug was made. The artwork even had the same name on it... Hot Afternoon.
The rug WAS her family heirloom. How it had made its way to America was still a mystery, but Amy was sure that Moeuhane was her relative. Somehow THAT rug had made its way back to its rightful heir. OH the stories it must have to tell.