Whether you are someone who watches the public television program Antiques Roadshow or you are a reader of auction information from major houses, you have probably seen several Oriental rugs of substantial value. For instance, Sotheby’s of New York holds the record for the most expensive carpet ever sold at auction, which went for a heart-stopping $33 million in 2013. It was a 1600s era Persian rug in the rarest of rare vase-technique patterns depicting sickle-leaf motifs on a field of dark red. The only known example of its kind, it took an astronomical sum.
The popular magazine known as Architectural Digest also reported on several other six and seven figure sales in Oriental and Persian rugs. And, while it is fun to imagine owning one of these precious works of art, it is more realistic for investors and decorators to consider “expensive Oriental rugs” in terms of those they can add to their homes or design projects.
If you are curious about the most valuable and expensive Oriental rugs that can fit in with many different budgets, we have 5 to consider below.
The Most Expensive Rug
If you are eager to know the most valuable and expensive style of rug available, it has to be the Isfahan rug. This is a silk rug that features high knot density, uses only pure silk on silk materials and features an array of beautiful colors. They are still made today and are within reach of many modern buyers.
Another expensive style is the Peshawar rug. This can be made of wool and cotton and is usually a medium pile, hand knotted rug from the Peshawar area of Pakistan.
The Next Most Valuable
After those two styles, the Kashan rugs are often ranked as the next most expensive. They get their names from a Mogul rule form the 1500s and tend to have a medallion and corner pattern inspired by elegant book covers. They are often deep red and blue but can be found in shades of ivory, yellow and orange.
Next is the Ferahan and Ferahan Sarouk designs that are some of the most popular and recognizable. This style dates back to the 1800s and uses geometrics with other motifs. Credited with piquing interest in Oriental carpets in the west, the “investment quality” examples date after the early 1900s.
After that, the Tabriz carpets seem to rate as the most coveted and expensive. Taking their name from the city of Tabriz on the Turkish border lands, they have inspired many other styles of Oriental and Persian carpets. Dating to the late 1800s, they tend to have extremely elaborate floral motifs and are considered some of the most technically advanced carpets in the market.
If you are investing in an Oriental rug and want one of the most valuable and expensive, the five styles described here rate at the top. Be sure your supplier or seller can prove the origins of the rug, its age and quality and you will have a beautiful artwork for decades to come.