Carpets transcend from being just a decorative form of furnishing to being a literal work of art that makes the floor sparkle with life and adds to its aesthetic value. A tradition that dates back 2,500 years in Persia and has spread across the world, it has some of the finest specimens, which are listed below.
The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet
Persian rugs themselves are some of the most prized possessions in the world since they have intricate designs and are handwoven to perfection. Its personification is the Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet, which is the most valuable and famous carpet in the whole world and was sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2013 for a whopping $34,000,000. What makes it special is its motif, which is very visually appealing and is in pristine condition even though it dates back to the 17th Century. Using wool and silk, the colour scheme, motifs, and artistic style are historically and culturally rich, which makes it worth the hefty price tag.
The Early Persian “Comtesse de Behague” Vase Carpet
Sold at an eye-watering $10,000,000 in London by Christie’s in 2010, this Vase carpet is popularly known as ‘Comtesse de Behague’ whose rarity and exclusivity were well-established by its lofty price tag. The dark blue background atop, which a myriad of technicoloured-hued flowers grace in an elaborate vase design, is a testimony to the ingenuity of the Persian carpet artistry. It dates back to the 17th Century during the Safavid dynasty. It is extremely well preserved and has ties with the prominent collector of the same name.
The Vanderbilt Mughal Millefleurs Star-Lattice Carpet
Mughal architecture and artistry are known for their design aesthetics that use nature-inspired motifs and fine detailing, all present in this out-of-the-world rug, which was sold in 2013 for $7,600,000 at Christie’s London. Translating to ‘thousand flowers’ in French, the carpet can be seen having clusters of flowers on a pink background. With the Star-Lattice formation running through the length and breadth of the rug, it is hard not to get mesmerised by its charm and complex design. This rug also highlights the historical significance of the Mughal period in India as it gives a glimpse into the olden days.
The Pearl Carpet of Baroda
Handwoven with finesse and adorned with precious materials, it has three concentric medallions in the middle and is encircled by motifs of birds, flowers, animals and more. Woven with silk, gold, silver and natural pearls, this carpet depicts the opulence of the Baroda dynasty as it was made and used by the Maharaja of Baroda in the later half of the 19th Century. Given its exceptional beauty and a delightful confluence of art and precious materials, this carpet was sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2009 for $5,500,000, which seems apt for such an important part of Indian and world history.
The Doris Duke Silk Isfahan carpet
A type of Persian rug, the Isfahan carpet, is a heritage piece of the city of the same name, Iran. Their silk carpet is woven by skilled craftspersons and takes multiple days, culminating in a labour of love and skill. Silk, which has a lustrous sheen, gives this carpet a glistening look and is adorned with regal motifs of beautiful design known to proceed in the Isfahan region. The sprawling yellow background, which has a multicoloured yet well-synchronised colour, makes its exclusivity speak volumes, which is why it was sold in 2008 by Christie’s for $4,450,500.
The “Magnificent Louis XV Savonnerie Carpet”
Design by Pierre-Josse Perrot in the Savonnerie Manufactory in France during the 17th and 18th Centuries, especially for the French royalty, is not just a carpet but a literal work of art. Escaping from the traditional motifs, this one feels like a painting with French royal arms in the centre, surrounded by military honours, flowers, and ornaments. The luxurious use of gold highlights the Louis XV design element, which makes it even more otherworldly and is a fine depiction of the Rococo aesthetic.