Toronto Archives – Rug Making in Turkey


These images come from The Robert Simpson Oriental Rug department photo album, held in the collection of the City of Toronto, Museum Services. It features a collection of photographs from the expeditions of Edward Budd of the Oriental rug department at The Robert Simpson Company. Edward Budd worked for The Robert Simpson Company from the 1910s to the 1950s, and led many expeditions to Turkey in search of stock for the Canadian market. Negotiating with rug vendors and agents was a skill that required considerable experience and tact. Deals were sometimes made in large depots and other times in desert tents. Photographs of Edward Budd seated on piles of rugs in warehouses and on top of a camel in front of ancient ruins were used to help promote sales. Anecdotes from adventures and negotiations on foreign buying trips, coupled with his collection of black-and-white photographs displayed in an album, certainly added colour to the showroom floor and a bit of excitement to an otherwise mundane floor covering purchase.