Five Celebrities and Famous Antique Rug Collectors
Antique Rug Collectors – If you are thinking about starting your own antique carpet collection, you will be in good company. You will join the likes of Sigmund Freud, Ursula Andress, Christopher Meloni, Howard Hesseman who are among these famous rug lovers. Antique rugs enjoy a special status among celebrity collectors from television and movie stars to politicians and leading intellectual figures.
Many of these icons have fallen in love with the unique beauty and unsurpassed quality of antique rugs.
Below are five such icons who are also antique rug collectors:
1) Christopher Meloni plays a tough-talking detective in the NYPD’s Special Victim’s Unit on NBC’s Law and Order: SVU, but he has a softer side that includes an appreciation for fine textiles. According to a profile for the “It Works for Me” feature in Men’s Health Magazine, Meloni first caught the collecting bug in 1995 during a trip to Turkey. His collection now includes Persian rugs, Turkish prayer rugs, and Navajo rugs.
2) Howard Hesseman is best known for his hilarious portrayal of DJ Dr. Johnny Fever in the late 1970s sit-com WKRP in Cincinnati, but he is serious about rugs. In a November 1979 interview with People Magazine, he described himself as a “thread head” who collects a range of textiles, including oriental rugs.
3) Ursula Andress – As the original Bond girl, Ursula Andress played bikini-clad femme fatale Honey Ryder opposite Sean Connery in Dr. No, the very first James Bond movie. Her unique position in film history has led Andress to cultivate a deep appreciation for beautiful objects from the past.
In 2003, Andress spoke to Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine about her passion for collecting antiques and rarities, including antique rugs.
4) Henry Kissinger – Nobel Prize winner and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has an appreciation for high craftsmanship as well as high politics. In addition to being an expert on foreign affairs, Kissinger is also a connoisseur of antique rugs.
His love of buying Oriental rugs is documented in Kissinger: A Biography published in 2005 by Walter Isaacson.
5) Sigmund Freud – Viennese physician Sigmund Freud was the father of psychoanalysis and one of the leading intellectual lights of the twentieth century. He was also an avid rug collector. His collection of antique rugs was one of the finest private collections known to exist in Europe.
Freud did not hide his rugs away, but put several of them on display in his study and library, using some as floor and furniture coverings and notably using a Qashqai rug to cover the couch on which his patients rested as they revealed their secrets to him. Many of the rugs in Freud’s amazing collection are on view at the Freud Museum in London, which is located in the home in which the Freud family lived after fleeing to England to escape the Nazis.
Freud’s library and study have been preserved exactly as he kept them during his lifetime, complete with his splendid rugs.
One of Sigmund Freud’s rugs is actually part of the Nazmiyal Collection (click the image to see the rug):