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Persian Rugs & Carpets

Perhaps the most coveted and valuable of carpets made in the luxurious weaving tradition of the ancient world is the Persian rug. Persia (now Iran) was a bridge between the Eastern and Western ancient world and a major crossroads on the Silk Road. Thus, Persia had access to merchandise, materials, and perspectives from many different cultures that were unknown in other parts of the world.

The history of rug-weaving culture in Persia dates back over 2,500 years to when the Babylonian conqueror Cyrus the Great introduced carpet making to the area. Yet, it is likely that the locals were already familiar with the making of knotted rugs, as sheep and goats provided them with fine wool for weaving. In 1038, the Seljak tribe conquered Persia. The Seljak weavers were skilled in rug weaving, and made a great impact on the tradition in Persia. To this day, the Turkish ethnic element of Iran uses a Turkish (Ghiordes) knot in weaving, while the Persian-speaking population uses the asymmetrical Persian (Senneh) knot.

The Persian carpet was immortalized during the Safavid Dynasty in the 16th century. Designs became more detailed and colorful, with cleaner patterns. Made primarily of wool, the carpets sometimes contained cotton, jute, silk, or animal hair. Floral or medallion central motifs created a bold effect. Falconry and hunting were favorite motifs of artists due to the Persian elite’s fondness for these pursuits, and the subject portrayed in rug weaving gave birth to the “hunting carpets” of this period. During the reign of Shah Abbas, the ruler sent silk merchants and weavers to the capital and signed trade treaties with Spain, England, and France. The major export and trade of the Persian antique rug spread worldwide. Today, about 1,500 samples are housed in museums and private collections. Persian carpets are coveted for their quality, longevity, and beauty.


Quick Facts

  • Authentic Persian carpets are hand-woven and made with natural dyes, which adds to their value and durability
  • The Iran Carpet Company claims that a 2007 mosque project measuring 5,600 square meters and containing more than 2 billion knots is the world’s largest hand-woven carpet – it is reportedly valued at $5.8 million
  • A Safavid silk velvet Persian “hunting rug” sold for $3,442,500 in an auction held by Sotheby’s in 2009

Recommended Items at Auction

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Persian Rug
Oct 27, 6:00 PM EDT
Persian Rug
by Kodner Galleries
Est: $500- $1,500
$1,60014 Bids
Serapi Rug, Persia, Circa 1900, 10'7'' x 16'3''
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Serapi Rug, Persia, Circa 1900, 10'7'' x 16'3''
by Material Culture
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$3,25010 Bids
PERSIAN AREA RUG
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
PERSIAN AREA RUG
by Abell Auction
Est: $200- $300
$3507 Bids
Silk Tabriz Prayer Rug, Persia, Late 19th C., 3'7'' x 5'3''
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Silk Tabriz Prayer Rug, Persia, Late 19th C., 3'7'' x 5'3''
by Material Culture
Est: $800- $1,200
$8006 Bids
PERSIAN PICTORIAL RUG
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
PERSIAN PICTORIAL RUG
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $200
$2256 Bids
PERSIAN SILK RUG
Oct 28, 9:00 AM PDT
PERSIAN SILK RUG
by Abell Auction
Est: $200- $300
$3006 Bids
Oriental Persian Floral with Birds Carpet Area Rug
Nov 10, 2:00 PM EST
Oriental Persian Floral with Birds Carpet Area Rug
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1255 Bids
Large-format old Isfahan, Central Persia, around
Nov 06, 2:00 PM CET
Large-format old Isfahan, Central Persia, around
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €1,000- €2,500
€6004 Bids
Bidjar Carpet
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Bidjar Carpet
by Nye & Company
Est: $600- $800
$6003 Bids
Senna Carpet
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Senna Carpet
by Nye & Company
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$1,2003 Bids
Four Estate Rugs
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Four Estate Rugs
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$2753 Bids
Persian Silk Rug
Oct 27, 6:00 PM EDT
Persian Silk Rug
by Kodner Galleries
Est: $100- $300
$753 Bids
Heriz Oriental Rug
Nov 05, 12:00 PM EDT
Heriz Oriental Rug
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$7503 Bids
Malayer Rug, Persia, Circa 1900, 4'1'' x 6'3''
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Malayer Rug, Persia, Circa 1900, 4'1'' x 6'3''
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1252 Bids
Tapis
Nov 03, 6:30 PM CET
Tapis
by Vanderkindere
Est: €300- €400
€3202 Bids
Blue Kerman Rug, Persia, Early 20th C., 8'6'' x 11'8''
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Blue Kerman Rug, Persia, Early 20th C., 8'6'' x 11'8''
by Material Culture
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5002 Bids
SHIRVAN AREA RUG
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
SHIRVAN AREA RUG
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $300
$1252 Bids
Heriz Carpet, Persia, 11.5 x 14.6
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Heriz Carpet, Persia, 11.5 x 14.6
by Alex Cooper
Est: $500- $800
$3752 Bids
Shiraz Hand Woven Rug 6.1 x 9.3 ft
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
Shiraz Hand Woven Rug 6.1 x 9.3 ft
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $600- $900
$1102 Bids
Persian Rug
Oct 27, 6:00 PM EDT
Persian Rug
by Kodner Galleries
Est: $200- $500
$1252 Bids
Tabriz Hand Woven Rug 6.9 x 9.10 ft
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
Tabriz Hand Woven Rug 6.9 x 9.10 ft
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $1,200- $1,600
$2252 Bids
Feiner Kork Kashan, Persia, um 1940, wool on cotton
Nov 06, 2:00 PM CET
Feiner Kork Kashan, Persia, um 1940, wool on cotton
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €1,200- €2,500
€4502 Bids
Antique 19th C Hand Knotted Persian Carpet
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique 19th C Hand Knotted Persian Carpet
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $300- $500
$502 Bids
Fine Kashan , Persia, around 1920/1930 wool knotted on
Nov 06, 2:00 PM CET
Fine Kashan , Persia, around 1920/1930 wool knotted on
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€2002 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Persian Rugs & Carpets


Material Culture

Material Culture

Henry's Auktionshaus AG

Henry's Auktionshaus AG

Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

The Rug Life Auctions

The Rug Life Auctions