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American Rugs & Carpets

American rugs are diverse in origin, material, technique, and design. Some of the most well-known examples are hooked rugs and the whimsical designs of 1960s rugs.

American hooked rugs are indigenous to the Northeast. Prior to the mid-1800s, imported carpets were a luxury of the wealthy class. With the opening of trade with other countries, new materials became available, including the burlap sacking used to ship trade goods from the West Indies. The wide weave of the burlap allowed for easy manipulation of textiles using strips of fabric and a framework of boards. Rug hooking allowed the lower economic classes to create artistic floor coverings at little cost, and rug hookers incorporated their own flair into the pieces, ensuring that each rug was an original. Hooked rugs began to be hung as wall art in the 1930s, when there was a resurgence of interest in the artform.

Beginning in the mid-1900s, American rug designs embraced a fun and modern style that followed the art movements of the time. Pop artist Robert Indiana scavenged abandoned warehouses in New York for material for his sculptures. After his discovery of brass stencils, Indiana’s works came to life with bright colors and short, powerful words. Known by the title “Classic Love”, Indiana’s famous Love Rug was created for a Christmas card for the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1964.


Quick Facts

  • Grenfell Industries was started in Canada in 1893 as a way for poor fishing families to make extra money by selling hooked rugs to tourists, but today these designs are coveted by collectors
  • The earliest American rugs were made for tables and beds, rather than the floor
  • A Robert Indiana original “Classic Love” rug sold for $1,794 at Bonhams auction house in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

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Chimayo Runner c. 1910s, 98" x 33.75"
May 24, 12:00 PM MST
Chimayo Runner c. 1910s, 98" x 33.75"
by Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery & Auction
Est: $250- $350
$1805 Bids
Kedar Southern Vine Area Rug
May 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Kedar Southern Vine Area Rug
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
Kedar Southern Vine Area Rug
May 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Kedar Southern Vine Area Rug
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $10- $1,000
$100 Bids
American Home Sweet Home Rug
May 31, 12:00 PM EDT
American Home Sweet Home Rug
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $75- $125
$300 Bids
KARASTAN FLOWERED RUG – 8.9 x 12.0
May 21, 3:00 PM EDT
KARASTAN FLOWERED RUG – 8.9 x 12.0
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$3000 Bids
KARASTAN KAZVIN RUG, 5.8 x 9.1 (173cm x 277cm)
May 21, 3:00 PM EDT
KARASTAN KAZVIN RUG, 5.8 x 9.1 (173cm x 277cm)
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $1,250- $1,500
$2500 Bids
American Penny Rug
May 31, 12:00 PM EDT
American Penny Rug
by Cottone Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Robert Indiana (New Castle, 1928 - Vinalhaven, 2018)
May 30, 6:00 PM CEST
Robert Indiana (New Castle, 1928 - Vinalhaven, 2018)
by Bozner Kunstauktionen
Est: €350- €1,000
€3400 Bids
Round Hooked Rug with a Horse
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Round Hooked Rug with a Horse
by New England Auctions
Est: $250- $500
$500 Bids
Hooked Rug with Cats
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Hooked Rug with Cats
by New England Auctions
Est: $150- $300
$500 Bids
Two American Hand Hooked Rugs
May 26, 3:00 PM PDT
Two American Hand Hooked Rugs
by Clark's Auction Company
Est: $120- $250
$600 Bids
Braided Star Rug
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Braided Star Rug
by New England Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Braided Rug with Star
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Braided Rug with Star
by New England Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$1000 Bids
Hooked Rug with Cabin Cruiser Polaris
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Hooked Rug with Cabin Cruiser Polaris
by New England Auctions
Est: $250- $500
$500 Bids
Hearth Hooked Rug
Jun 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Hearth Hooked Rug
by New England Auctions
Est: $500- $1,000
$500 Bids
INDIANA, ROBERT (1928 - 2018)
May 28, 5:00 PM CEST
INDIANA, ROBERT (1928 - 2018)
by Duran Arte y Subastas
Est: €0- €0
€2000 Bids
American Blue Pile Carpet, 15' 6" x 11' 10"
Jul 09, 11:00 AM EDT
American Blue Pile Carpet, 15' 6" x 11' 10"
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Antique Room Size American Hooked Rug 11 ft 4 in x 8 ft 2 in (3.45 m x 2.49 m)
Jun 02, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Room Size American Hooked Rug 11 ft 4 in x 8 ft 2 in (3.45 m x 2.49 m)
by Nazmiyal Auctions
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$2,0000 Bids
Robert Indiana (after)
Jun 02, 7:00 PM CEST
Robert Indiana (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF250- CHF350
CHF1500 Bids
Robert Indiana (after)
Jun 02, 7:00 PM CEST
Robert Indiana (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF250- CHF350
CHF1500 Bids
Robert Indiana (after)
Jun 02, 7:00 PM CEST
Robert Indiana (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF250- CHF350
CHF1500 Bids
Robert Indiana (after)
Jun 02, 7:00 PM CEST
Robert Indiana (after)
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF250- CHF350
CHF1500 Bids
A Hooked Rug of Serapi Design, Probably America, circa 1950
Jun 02, 2:00 PM AEST
A Hooked Rug of Serapi Design, Probably America, circa 1950
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD1,100- AUD1,500
AUD1,0000 Bids
Edward Fields Sculpted Wool Pile Carpet Runner 1970s
Jun 08, 10:00 AM EDT
Edward Fields Sculpted Wool Pile Carpet Runner 1970s
by Concept Art Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Rugs & Carpets


New England Auctions

New England Auctions

TGP Auction

TGP Auction

Cottone Auctions

Cottone Auctions

Atlee Raber Auctioneer

Atlee Raber Auctioneer