Persian Rug Sold For $33,765,000

The art world stood astonished as an antique Persian rug recently sold for a record breaking £21.8million ($33,765,000) at a Sotheby’s auction.

Persian rugs have long been sought after collector’s items based on the intricacy of their design and the expert craftsmanship that lends them their longevity. But how much do you actually know about these masterpieces? For many the rugs simply remain ‘those fancy carpets with the patterns on’ that they might remember from their parents’ homes.

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Everything You Never Knew about Persian Rugs

  • According to the Iran Chamber Society the history of Persian rugs dates back 2,500 years.
  • The area previously referred to as Persia is now Iran
  • The Encyclopedia Irania states that Persian carpets can be grouped into three categories: Farsh / Qāli (sized anything greater than 6×4 feet), Qālicheh (meaning small rug, sized 6×4 feet and smaller), and nomadic carpets known as Gelim; meaning rough carpet.
  • One of the oldest known Persian rugs in existence today is the Pazyryk carpet which dates back to the 5th century BCE (Before the Common Era).
  • Persian carpets tend to be made from either wool or silk.
  • There are a number of designs, referred to as motifs, which all have different meanings. They are; Boteh, Gul, Herati, Mina-Khani, Rosette, Shah Abbasi, Azari Kharchang and Islimi Floral.
  • The weaving of a single rug can take anything from months to years to complete.
  • According to Wikipedia the major, classical centres of production in Persia were in Tabriz (1500–1550), Kashan (1525–1650), Herat (1525–1650), and Kerman (1600–1650).

The Record Breaking Rug

The rug recently sold at a Sotheby’s auction for literally three times the previous record for a Persian carpet, going to an anonymous collector; whom many suspect to be from either the Middle East or China. The rug measures 2.67 meters by 1.96 meters(8ft 9ins by 6ft 5ins), Express calculates comes to £359,550 per square foot.  To put it into perspective; you could buy a nine-bedroom house in London’s Mayfair area for the same amount.

Taking a Closer Look

Upon closer inspection it becomes clear why someone would be willing to fork out such an extravagant amount of money; not only is the rug thought to be more than 360 years old but Sotheby’s expert, Mary Jo Otsea, told Express that “The Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet looks great from 100 yards away but when you get up close, it is absolutely mesmerizing”.

The beautifully hand-woven rug is adorned in patterns of red, green and blue cotton and silk,  and the Daily Mail reports that it was created “during the Safavid dynasty in Persia in the 1650s and made by several weavers at a very sophisticated workshop in south east Persia”.

American billionaire, William Clark, bought it in Europe during the early 1900s and donated it to the Corcoran Gallery of Art upon his death in 1925.

Otsea told The Washington Post that this was the most exciting collection she’s dealt with in her 30 year career, stating that carpets of this caliber don’t come up often.  One can only hope that its new owner will continue to preserve it, sharing it with future generations.

Pippa Green is a London-based blogger with a love for parquet flooring and is looking into getting a steam mop to care for her floors with.


Persian Rug Sold For $33,765,000

Stefan is a co-founder of and one of the lead contributors. He brings you hot style tips and awesome outfits on a daily basis. You can find him on Google+ and on our Facebook Page where he posts his latest fashion and beauty finds.