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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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Indo Persian Oriental Handmade Large Area Carpet
Nov 30, 11:00 AM EST
Indo Persian Oriental Handmade Large Area Carpet
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$3,00012 Bids
Rare Antique Persian Heriz 9 X 12 Handmade Rug
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Rare Antique Persian Heriz 9 X 12 Handmade Rug
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$6257 Bids
Fine Senna Kilim
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Fine Senna Kilim
by Ancient Objects
Est: $400- $1,200
$3757 Bids
Kashan Circular Rug, 8'8" Diameter
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Kashan Circular Rug, 8'8" Diameter
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$2755 Bids
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL CARPET
Nov 28, 6:00 PM PST
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL CARPET
by O'Gallerie
Est: $250- $375
$4255 Bids
HAND WOVEN KILIM FLATWEAVE RUNNER
Nov 28, 6:00 PM PST
HAND WOVEN KILIM FLATWEAVE RUNNER
by O'Gallerie
Est: $250- $350
$2754 Bids
A Persian Hand Knotted Isfahan Rug, 125 X 85
Dec 04, 10:00 AM SAST
A Persian Hand Knotted Isfahan Rug, 125 X 85
by 5th Avenue Auctioneers
Est: R3,000- R5,000
R3,6003 Bids
Yomud ca. 297 x 210 cm.
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Yomud ca. 297 x 210 cm.
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€3303 Bids
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL RUNNER
Nov 29, 6:00 PM PST
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL RUNNER
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$1703 Bids
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL RUNNER
Nov 28, 6:00 PM PST
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL RUNNER
by O'Gallerie
Est: $300- $400
$1703 Bids
Fine Silk/Wool Isfahan Rug, Persia, Signed Bahram Enteshari
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Fine Silk/Wool Isfahan Rug, Persia, Signed Bahram Enteshari
by Material Culture
Est: $2,000- $2,500
$1,2002 Bids
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL RUNNER
Nov 29, 6:00 PM PST
HAND KNOTTED ORIENTAL RUNNER
by O'Gallerie
Est: $350- $450
$1902 Bids
Kirman ca. 210 x 143 cm.
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Kirman ca. 210 x 143 cm.
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€3002 Bids
Täbris-Bildteppich
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Täbris-Bildteppich
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€1,0002 Bids
Feraghan ca. 210 x 137 cm.
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Feraghan ca. 210 x 137 cm.
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€3002 Bids
A Persian Hand Knotted Nain Rug, 199 X 196
Dec 04, 10:00 AM SAST
A Persian Hand Knotted Nain Rug, 199 X 196
by 5th Avenue Auctioneers
Est: R4,000- R6,000
R4,2002 Bids
A Persian hand knotted pure wool floor rug on red ground having floral decoration. L 400cm, W 300cm.
Dec 04, 12:00 PM AEDT
A Persian hand knotted pure wool floor rug on red ground having floral decoration. L 400cm, W 300cm.
by Christian McCann Auctions
Est: AUD1,200- AUD1,800
AUD1,1002 Bids
Täbris-Bildteppich
Dec 03, 10:00 AM CET
Täbris-Bildteppich
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €1,500- €3,000
€1,5002 Bids
A Persian Hand Knotted Kashan Rug, 200 X 123
Dec 04, 10:00 AM SAST
A Persian Hand Knotted Kashan Rug, 200 X 123
by 5th Avenue Auctioneers
Est: R1,500- R2,500
R1,5002 Bids
A Persian Hand Knotted Kashan Runner, 385 X 102
Dec 04, 10:00 AM SAST
A Persian Hand Knotted Kashan Runner, 385 X 102
by 5th Avenue Auctioneers
Est: R3,000- R5,000
R3,2002 Bids
Seravan Rug, 6 ft. 2 in. x 4 ft. 8 in.
Nov 29, 10:00 AM EST
Seravan Rug, 6 ft. 2 in. x 4 ft. 8 in.
by Weschler's
Est: $100- $200
$552 Bids
SEMI-ANTIQUE PERSIAN AREA RUG
Nov 28, 6:00 PM PST
SEMI-ANTIQUE PERSIAN AREA RUG
by O'Gallerie
Est: $190- $275
$1102 Bids
A Persian Hand Knotted Klardasht Runner, 380 X 105
Dec 04, 10:00 AM SAST
A Persian Hand Knotted Klardasht Runner, 380 X 105
by 5th Avenue Auctioneers
Est: R3,500- R4,500
R3,4001 Bid
Keschan ca. 270 x 255 cm.
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Keschan ca. 270 x 255 cm.
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Persian Rugs & Carpets


Henry's Auktionshaus

Henry's Auktionshaus

5th Avenue Auctioneers

5th Avenue Auctioneers

Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions