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Indian Rugs & Carpets

While rug-weaving has been a craft in India since 500 B.C., the modern Indian carpet was not introduced until the 1600s when Emperor Akbar, ruler of Northern India, Afghanistan, and Persia, wished to emulate the opulence found in Persia. Akbar founded carpet-weaving centers, where the workmanship adopted both Persian techniques and motifs. Weaving spread across India, and the carpets eventually took on a distinctly Indian tone, although the influence of Persia was still visible.

When Akbar’s son, Jahangir, reigned over India, rug weaving reached its pinnacle in the country. The use of silk and pashmina allowed for a greater number of knots per square inch and give Indian carpets the soft pile for which they are known. Many Indian antique rugs are made entirely of silk. Indian rugs also incorporated jewels or stones in the design, giving the carpets a rich, royal appearance. Botanical figures, floral and geometric designs, and animals flourished in the rug designs. Natural dyes allowed for shading and gradation of similar colors. The tradition continued during Shahjahan’s reign, during which time Chinese and European patterns were introduced.

Indian carpet production fell during the 19th century due to the new demand for synthetic dyes. European companies flooded the market with Mughal motifs. Today, carpets and durries (smaller, cotton-based rugs) are still made and exported from India on a smaller scale than during the reigns of the emperors, although new training centers are bringing back the tradition of rug weaving.


Quick Facts

  • Major rug centers in India include Kashmir, New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra
  • Indian rugs are named for the place they were made
  • The Indian-made “Pearl Carpet of Baroda” was sold at an auction held by Sotheby’s in 2009 for $5,458,500

Recommended Items at Auction

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BIDJAR SQUARE HAND KNOTTED RUG – 3.2 x 3.2
Dec 06, 3:00 PM EST
BIDJAR SQUARE HAND KNOTTED RUG – 3.2 x 3.2
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$1501 Bid
Fine Indo Gabbeh Pictorial runner rug, circa 2010's 2'7" x 10'.
Dec 07, 6:00 PM EST
Fine Indo Gabbeh Pictorial runner rug, circa 2010's 2'7" x 10'.
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$1001 Bid
ETHAN ALLEN HAND KNOTTED RUG – 6.0 x 8.10
Dec 06, 3:00 PM EST
ETHAN ALLEN HAND KNOTTED RUG – 6.0 x 8.10
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$3001 Bid
Bijar fine, India, approx. 40 years, corkwool,approx. 411
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
Bijar fine, India, approx. 40 years, corkwool,approx. 411
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €200- €400
€800 Bids
Heriz fine, India, approx. 50 years, cork wool
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
Heriz fine, India, approx. 50 years, cork wool
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €500- €1,000
€2400 Bids
Kaschmir-Brücke
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Kaschmir-Brücke
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €240- €480
€2400 Bids
Kaschmir-Teppich
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Kaschmir-Teppich
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €900- €1,800
€9000 Bids
HAND-TIED TABRIZ RUG, INDIA, 5'11.5" X 4'1"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
HAND-TIED TABRIZ RUG, INDIA, 5'11.5" X 4'1"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $250- $450
$2000 Bids
Jaipur Wool Hand Woven Carpet, W 9' L 12' 3"
Dec 14, 11:00 AM EST
Jaipur Wool Hand Woven Carpet, W 9' L 12' 3"
by DuMouchelles
Est: $500- $1,000
$3750 Bids
HAND-TIED GABBEH RUG, INDIA, 6'1" X 4'2"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
HAND-TIED GABBEH RUG, INDIA, 6'1" X 4'2"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
HAND-TIED SAROUKH RUG, INDIA, 9'3" X 6'2"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
HAND-TIED SAROUKH RUG, INDIA, 9'3" X 6'2"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $350- $550
$3000 Bids
HAND-TIED KASHMIR RUG, INDIA, 17'8" X 11'5.5"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
HAND-TIED KASHMIR RUG, INDIA, 17'8" X 11'5.5"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $1,500- $4,000
$1,0000 Bids
HAND-TIED DHURRIE RUNNER, INDIA, 10'3" X 2'10"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
HAND-TIED DHURRIE RUNNER, INDIA, 10'3" X 2'10"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
MACHINE MADE RUG FRAGMENT, INDIA, 4'7" X 3'9"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
MACHINE MADE RUG FRAGMENT, INDIA, 4'7" X 3'9"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$500 Bids
Tapis Indo-Sarouk, Inde, Xxe
Dec 05, 12:00 PM CET
Tapis Indo-Sarouk, Inde, Xxe
by Geneve Encheres
Est: CHF300- CHF500
CHF2000 Bids
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SAFAVIEH HERITAGE COLLECTION WOOL RUG
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
SAFAVIEH HERITAGE COLLECTION WOOL RUG
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
A CARPET WITH POLYCHROME FLORAL DECORATION
Dec 16, 11:00 AM CET
A CARPET WITH POLYCHROME FLORAL DECORATION
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €400- €500
€3000 Bids
HAND-TIED DHURRIE RUG, INDIA, 4'10" X 3'1"
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
HAND-TIED DHURRIE RUG, INDIA, 4'10" X 3'1"
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$500 Bids
Modern Beige Runner, 6' x 2'
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
Modern Beige Runner, 6' x 2'
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Kirman, India, approx. 50 years, wool on cotton
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
Kirman, India, approx. 50 years, wool on cotton
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €200- €400
€800 Bids
Ghalamkar, India, around 1960, printed fabric,approx. 265
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
Ghalamkar, India, around 1960, printed fabric,approx. 265
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €250- €500
€1200 Bids
TABRIZ HAND KNOTTED RUG – 9.8 x 14.11
Dec 06, 3:00 PM EST
TABRIZ HAND KNOTTED RUG – 9.8 x 14.11
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$6000 Bids
BIDJAR HAND KNOTTED RUG – 8.9 x 12.4
Dec 06, 3:00 PM EST
BIDJAR HAND KNOTTED RUG – 8.9 x 12.4
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $4,000- $5,000
$6000 Bids
TABRIZ HAND KNOTTED RUG – 8.2 x 11.3
Dec 06, 3:00 PM EST
TABRIZ HAND KNOTTED RUG – 8.2 x 11.3
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $3,000- $4,000
$4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Indian Rugs & Carpets


The Rug Life Auctions

The Rug Life Auctions

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden