'Sickle leaf' Persian rug brings new world record price

A "sickle leaf" Persian rug sold for $33.7m at Sotheby's yesterday (June 5), setting a new world record price for a Persian rug at auction.

The value of the present rug represents a 238.7% increase on the previous $9.6m world record price, which was achieved by a 17th century Kirman "vase rug" in 2010.

world record rug auction
The Persian “sickle leaf” carpet sold with a 381.4% increase on its $7m estimate

Hailing from the golden age of rug weaving in the Persian city of Kirman, the present, early 17th century rug is in remarkably good condition.

International rug expert Jan David Winitz insists "best of the best" carpets are now considered among art objects. He comments: "The auction comes at a time when art collectors are increasingly interested in the best of the best historical Oriental rugs, which are almost entirely in museums and rarely come to market.

"Frankly, there are virtually no rugs from the first golden age [1500-1700] except in the auction setting. And the number of highly collectible Persian carpets and Caucasian rugs from the second golden age is rapidly being purchased and placed into private collections."

Estimated at $7m (the highest ever estimate for an Oriental rug), the Persian "sickle leaf" carpet sold with a 381.4% increase.

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