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What are the most expensive oriental carpets ever sold?

While you are browsing the many highly affordable Persian rugs in our clearance range, it may interest you to learn more about some of the oriental carpets that have previously changed hands for much more generous sums.

Persian rugs have consistently been purchased for staggering amounts

For the first example of an oriental rug that sold for a truly spellbinding figure, one only needed to look back to Sotheby’s London’s “Arts of the Islamic World” auction in October 2009. It featured a Safavid silk, wool and metal-thread prayer rug made between about 1575 and 1625. It is thought based on its inscriptions to have possibly been a diplomatic gift from the Safavid Persian court to the Ottoman Turks. It ended up selling for $4.3 million.

The World's Most Expensive Carpets | Sharafi & Co

Another excellent example of Safavid art was the silk Isfahan rug that was made in circa 1600, during the reign of Shah Abbas (1587-1629). By the time it appeared at Christie’s New York in 2008, it had gone through a succession of esteemed owners, including art collector and philanthropist Grace Rainey Rogers and Armenian-American archaeologist and art collector Hagop Kevorkian. The rug eventually went for $4.45 million.

It was also Christie’s – albeit in London on this occasion – that sold a Kirman “vase” carpet for an astounding $9.6 million in April 2010, despite its mere $307,600 to $461,400 estimate. It could be dated to the mid-17th century and was the earliest known example of the typical Persian carpet design known as the Herati pattern.

But they were no match for this next rug…

Persian rugs may often be highly treasured and therefore expensive items, but few of them will ever come near the price fetched by the sickle-leaf vine scroll and palmette “Vase” carpet that was put up for auction by Sotheby’s New York in June 2013. This early 17th-century rug had plenty of admirers, given that it ultimately changed hands for a record $33.7 million, or £22 million – the equivalent of £3.5 million per square metre.

Browse our extensive clearance range now to discover the many rather more affordable Persian rugs that we have to offer here at Sharafi & Co, but which will nonetheless very much grace your home.

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