Most Expensive Rug Ever Sold
Antique Rug sells for nearly $10,000,000 shattering all previous records
At a recent sale of Christies in London, the early Kerman vase carpet from the seventeenth century pictured here shattered all previous records for rug sales in auction, going for nearly $10,000,000, twice the existing record. High quality antique rugs and rare pieces are repeatedly commanding prices beyond market expectations. This is the time to buy, at the point where the trend has become discernible, but before it has effected a radical escalation in price structure. Some of the earliest vase designs are extremely intricate, with a plethora of blossoms, leaves and trees in brilliant colors. One example is the spectacular fragment exhibited in Milan in 1981. Two fragments of a carpet with a slightly later version of a similar design, are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. From these extremely complex designs various elements appear to have been used in later carpets to create different effects.
The designs on these two carpets were simplified in a spectacular antique carpet now in the Gulbenkian collection. It has spectacular swirling scrolling saz leaves enclosing palmettes on a near black ground.
An interesting feature of these three carpets is that they all split the curving serrated leaves into two or three colors, running longitudinally. The de Behague carpet from the renowned collection of Martine Marie Pol, Comtesse de Behague uses exactly this tripartite division of leaves, but the designers have worked out an arrangement that makes the blossoms completely secondary to the leaves. It is also a carpet which can claim to be the earliest design which can clearly be demonstrated to be a prototype for the most popular Persian carpet design of all - the so-called herati pattern.
The Behague collection included antiquities, Islamic Art and a number of European and Oriental rugs. Much of the collection was dispersed after her death in 1927, but this outstanding carpet was not included and sold at some later stage between the 1930s and the 1950s.
This carpet provided evidence for the theory that the weavers of Kerman rugs in the seventeenth century were the most inventive and influential of all carpet designers in the history of Persian carpet.