Sotheby’s in New York sold one of the most expensive Persian carpets in the world on June 5th 2013. The original price for this “sickle leaf” designed carpet made in the early seventeenth century, was estimated at between five and seven million, which might seem like a hell of a lot of money for a rug. You might be even more shocked to know the final price was a lot more, the bidding finally ending at a whopping 33.7 million. However, when it comes to Persian rugs there is a lot more to its value than the sheer cost of materials and time taken to make one. Few rugs in this world are as prized and sought over as Persian rugs. Here are a few of the reasons why authentic versions are becoming worth their weight in gold.
This is History
Persian rugs are made by craftsmen who understand the long and colourful history these rugs reflect. The vast mountainous regions of ancient Persian were the birthplace of these rugs, made by nomads to protect against the harsh climates in this region. From humble beginnings these rugs caught the attention of the nobility and those with wealth. Slowly but surely they acquired a reputation for being a sign of wealth and sophistication. Today, ancient rugs are not only beautiful; they are of historic interest which makes them so much more valuable. The most expensive rug every sold for example comes from Safavid which is now modern Iran. With the history, the quality and rareness of this piece it was expected to sell for a high price.
New Persian Rugs
If you are considering buying a new Persian rug in many ways you are buying a legacy, an heirloom that can be passed on to generation after generation. The actual process of creating an authentic hand-woven Persian rug has not changed for almost two and a half thousand years. When you buy a proper handmade rug you are ensuring this skill continues to develop and the legacy passed for generations to come.
The wood, silk and cotton used to create an authentic Persian rug is grown and harvested as it always was. The distinctive colours are made using long-lasting plant extracts and all the materials are harvested naturally which takes time. Not only are they eco-friendly they do not need pesticides etc to keep them looking good. For example, the natural fats from the wool stop bacteria and mould growth, which means less cleaning, is necessary. Hence, some of these rugs will last for centuries and beyond if they are well-cared for.
While the price of an authentic, hand-made Persian rug might seem a bit hefty when you look at how they are made, the history behind then and of course their sheer beauty that price tag is justified. No two are ever the same which means in all, you are actually buying a traditional, handmade work of art – And that’s never cheap.