London – The enduring appeal of the finest quality Persian carpets continues to command audiences today and in a moment that also demonstrated the ongoing strength of the art market, a stunning and rare mid-17th century Kirman ‘vase’ carpet sold for a world record price of £6,201,250 ($9,599,535/€7,038,419) to an anonymous telephone bidder at Christie's today. This price established the carpet as the most expensive Islamic work of art ever sold as well as a record in the category of rugs and carpets.

“This carpet has huge charm, subtlety and balance, which combine in a design of deceptive simplicity”, commented William Robinson, Senior Director, Rugs and Carpets.  “This particular rug reflects how during the Safavid Period the weavers of Kirman were arguably the most inventive and influential of all carpet designers.”

Further highlights of the sale included a Star Ushak carpet from West Anatolia, last quarter 15th or first quarter 16th century, which sold for £265,250 ($410,607/€401,059) (estimate: £50,000-80,000) and a stunning example which displays a wonderful finesse of weave and a potentially unique method of plaiting silver wire into the structure, bearing the very rare signature of Rajab (estimate: £40,000-60,000), that sold for £133,250 ($206,271/€151,239). 

Christie’s sale today totaled £8,235,250 ($12,746,619/€9,345,874), the highest total for a sale of Oriental Rugs and Carpets ever staged. Islamic Art week continues at Christie’s South Kensington tomorrow.

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Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

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