Guide to 17th Century Rugs and Early Carpets
The History and Development of 17th Century Rugs
17th Century Rugs – Early 17th and 18th century rugs have received yet another affirmation to their rapidly increasing demand and value. Among the many items up for auction at Christies (November 24th auction) were numerous carpets from the 17th and the 18th century.
It has long been argued by people in the antique rug trade that these pieces are grossly undervalued, but now there is strong evidence that these carpets will continue to sell for increasingly larger amounts of money for years to come.
As time goes by – this caliber of carpets will become even more scarce, fueling the drive of private customers and collectors alike to acquire these magnificent works of art.
During the Christie’s auction, we saw lots selling for double, triple and even exceeding their highest estimates, (which were strong to begin with, for example: Lot 130 & 129). This trend seems to be indicative of the future for these carpets, but only time will tell.
The 17th century marked the later years of the Renaissance, a rebirth in the philosophical ideals of the past. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers lived and wrote during this period such as Issac Newton, Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes and Galileo Galilei.
But during this time philosophy wasn’t the only milieu budding with brilliance. The 17th century also marked the golden age of rug making in such places as Turkey and Persia, as well as the opening of numerous trade routes that made these beautiful artisan-produced rugs available throughout Western Europe.
Today decorators are creating a Renaissance of their own by incorporating these beautiful rugs from the 17th century into modern interior designs.
There are 17th century antique rugs that have survived the test of time and are still available today which makes them wonderful collectibles as well as breathtaking decorative pieces. These pieces originate from all over the world including France (like the elegant Savonnerie and Aubusson styles), Persia (from renowned weaving centers such as Isfahan), India (weavings of the great Mughal empire), Transylvania (rugs woven in the Turkish / Ottoman empire) and many more.
This variety provides decorators with a wide array of colors and patterns to choose from which in turn guarantees the ability to find the right piece for the right setting.
The decor of any room in the house can be enhanced by the use of an antique rug but a 17th century rug undoubtedly becomes a conversational piece. The reason 17th century rugs are so popular and sought after in today’s decorating market is that they are much more than a rug or simple floor covering.
These historical artifacts from ancient times are true works of art, made from the finest silks and wools available during a time when true craftsmanship was honored and valued.
In fact many of the first imported rugs during the 17th century were not used as floor coverings at all but were proudly displayed as table and wall coverings instead (which is one reason why these pieces are still in useable condition today). Some use the smaller rugs in the same manner today – to add beauty to a room’s decor by using the rug as a wall hanging where it serves as a focal point of art for the room.
Incorporating the beauty of antique rugs from the 17th century into today’s decor lends an historical accent to any room of the house. 17th century rugs have a story to tell and since they have recently been escalating in demand and price they are proving to be one of the smartest home decorating investments that can be made.