In what was reputedly the biggest sale in Oriental and Persian rug history, Christie’s Auction house in New York sold a four-hundred-year-old silk Persian Isfahan carpet for a cool $4,450,500 earlier this month. The rug is 5’7″ by 7’7″ and is believed to have been made circa 1600.
The Persian art historian Arthur Pope has written about this particular piece. “Nothing further in the way of refinement, imagination, perfection of technique, or infinite charm of color was produced in this period,” he says, referring to the reign of Shah Abbas (1587-1629) of the Safavid dynasty.
The fact that the rug’s previous owner was Doris Duke might also have added to the stratospheric selling price. The price comes out to about $105,000 per square foot.