The world’s most valuable carpets
Now, we all know that laying a new carpet can be expensive, especially if you want a quality weave and a luxurious finish. But if you thought your new flooring was pricey, spare a thought for the owners of these five costly carpets, any one of which would bust the budget for your home renovation.
- Clark Sickle-Leaf Kerman Carpet - $33.8m
If you know anything at all about carpets, it will come as no surprise at all that the most expensive rug ever sold originated in Persia. Auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York in 2013, the Clark Sickle-Leaf Kerman Carpet is thought to have been made in Kerman, southeast Iran, in the first half of the 17th century. Previously owned by wealthy industrialist and US Senator William Clark, the carpet was bequeathed to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1926.
When it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s, the exquisite carpet attracted a huge amount of attention from collectors around the world. Following a bidding war, it finally sold for $33.8m, three times the previous auction record for a carpet.
The Clark Sickle-Leaf Kerman Carpet
Picture credit: Sotheby’s
- Kirman “vase” carpet - $9.6m
Prior to the record-breaking sale of the Clark Sickle-Leaf Kerman Carpet, the top spot was held by the Kirman “vase” carpet. Sold at Christie’s in London in 2010, the mid-17th century rug is the earliest known example of the iconic ‘herati’ pattern, a design that went on to become incredibly popular among Persian carpet makers. Before the auction, the carpet was estimated at $307,600 to $461,400, however the rug’s quality and history caught the imagination of buyers and it ended up selling for a staggering $9.6m.
- Mughal Millefleurs “Star Lattice” carpet - $7.7m
Made in northern India in the late 17th or early 18th century, the Mughal Millefleurs “Star Lattice” carpet was once owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II and displayed at the family’s West 57th Street residence in New York. Estimated at $2.4m to $3.2m before the auction, bidding had reached a whopping $7.7m when the hammer finally came down at Christie’s in 2013.
The Mughal Millefleurs “Star Lattice” carpet
Picture credit: Christie’s/Wikimedia Commons
- Louis XV Savonnerie carpet - $5.7m
At number four we find our first European entry on the list. Sold by Christie’s Monaco on behalf of Karl Largerfeld, the carpet was made in mid-18th century France and designed by Pierre-Josse Perrot. Its fascinating history, intricate design and excellent condition helped the carpet to achieve an impressive $5.7m when it went under the hammer in 2000.
- Pearl Carpet of Baroda - $5.548m
Last but by definitely no means least, the Pearl Carpet of Baroda carpet was just beaten into fifth place with a value of $5.548m. Made from silk and fine deer hide, the rug is intricately embroidered with strings of natural pearls and coloured glass beads. If that weren’t enough, the eye-catching design also features approximately 2,500 table-cut and occasional rose-cut diamonds set in silver, as well as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, all set in gold.
Even if your carpet doesn’t have a million dollar price tag, it’s still well worth looking after. With regular cleaning and careful care, your carpet may just become an antique as well one day.