Archive for June, 2013

Persian Rugs, Oriental Rugs: A Rare Persian Kerman Is Sold By Sotheby’s

Out of the well-known auction houses around the world, “Christie’s” and “Sotheby’s” are definitely the most famous. Some rare and antique masterpieces of Persian rugs have been sold by these firms over the course of several years. During the first week of June 2013, Sotheby’s auction house in New York sold a Persian rug for $33.7 million, more than three times the previous auction record of $9.6 million received by Christie’s in London for a wonderful Persian rug back in April of 2010.

Christie’s was founded in 1766 and is a popular auction house for unique and gorgeous works of art, with more than 450 annual sales in over 80 categories. With 53 offices in 32 countries and ten salerooms in cities such as Amsterdam, Milan, London, New York, and Hong Kong, Christie’s remains a prestigious destination for those seeking artworks of the highest status. Sotheby’s was founded in 1744 and started by the auction of a huge inventory of rare and antique books and later expanded into other valuable items. Auctions are conducted in salerooms of London and Paris, as well as fine galleries of the company’s headquarters in New York and Hong Kong. Sotheby’s maintains 90 locations in 40 countries and manages 250 auctions each year in over 70 categories.

Antique Persian Kerman

Antique Persian Kerman

The rug recently sold is a very rare Persian Kerman carpet from the early 17th century measuring 8 feet 9 inches by 6 feet 5 inches in an exceptionally good condition. Back in 1926, the Corcoran Gallery of Art from Washington, D.C., received the rug by means of a will, as part of a collection by William Clark, a U.S. senator from Montana. It would be interesting to know that the anonymous buyer acquired the rug through telephone bidding. The auction house is not providing any information as to the identity of this buyer, and the Corcoran gallery does not know who the buyer is. It seems like they are not even slightly interested in knowing the identity of the buyer either. The fact that an antique Persian rug can fetch such an amazingly high price may be due to the fact that some collectors in the Middle East and Asia are increasingly investing in Persian rugs with the same excited interest they have been showing for rare and expensive contemporary works. Also the fact that Middle Eastern museums around the world are now investing in Islamic art collections could be producing favorable impressions, thereby sharply increasing the demand for such pieces of art.

The Sotheby’s sale makes this carpet the most expensive Persian rug ever sold by an auction house, as well as the most expensive Persian rug in existence on the face of the planet. It will be interesting to see where such a costly piece of art is going to end up, and how it will be displayed. It will be equally interesting to see how soon this record is going to be broken again, and by whom.

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