Carpets & Rugs

Carpets and rugs are generally categorised as to where and how they were woven.

Their decorative value is sometimes determined by their knot density (the number of knots in the pile) – the more loops, the more intricate the pattern will be – although antique examples may have additional historical interest.

Hand-worked Persian rugs tend to lead the prices in this sector: the most expensive rug on record is a 17th century Persian rug that sold for $34m at a Sotheby’s New York auction.


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Buyers dip into the modern movement for design festival at south London lido

23 April 2018

The lone swimmer at the Brockwell Lido pictured here appears oblivious to what’s going on alongside the walkways.

Ian Butchoff

Butchoff Antiques teams up with fellow dealers to host evening exhibition of Indian artworks

19 May 2017

Kensington Church Street dealer Butchoff Antiques hosted an exhibition of Indian artworks to celebrate the UK India Year of Culture, which was launched by The British Council and the Indian High Commission earlier this year.

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Antique rug dealer updates traditional pieces for a contemporary look

11 February 2017

Antique rug dealer Joshua Lumley has designed a range of star-patterned rugs based on Persian zilu flatweaves.

The curious case of the paint spattered carpet artwork

21 September 2015

A bizarre story of an artist who claimed her old studio sold pieces of paint spattered carpet as her original work has appeared in the press recently, drawing attention to the thorny issue of copyright and false attribution.

The £20m Persian carpet

10 June 2013

A sickle-leaf carpet from the William A. Clark collection has set a new auction record for a Persian carpet after selling for $30m (£20.5m) at Sotheby’s New York.

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Prayer rug appears at Oxford sale

11 January 2013

This Shirvan Marasali prayer rug is part of a private collection of Caucasian rugs consigned to Mallams’ sale in Oxford on January 23.

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Bacon rugs: The Third Man emerges

08 October 2012

The appearance of a Modernist carpet at a sale in Germany next month writes a further chapter in the tale of two rugs, signed ‘Francis Bacon’, that have been withdrawn from sale in the UK twice in three years.

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Francis Bacon rugs remain an enigma after second withdrawal

24 September 2012

A pair of rugs signed Francis Bacon, and thought to relate to the artist’s early career as an interior decorator, have been withdrawn from sale for the second time in three years.

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The Whytock and Reid era comes to an end

22 September 2004

JUST shy of their bicentenary, Whytock and Reid, the Edinburgh furniture makers, were forced into liquidation earlier this year. Foreign competition put paid to a company established in 1807 by Richard Whytock and John Reid that, in its 19th and early 20th century glory days, furnished the great houses and castles of Scotland, often working in partnership with the architect Robert Lorimer.

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Country house sale yields another example of cream of Zeigler at £8200

29 June 2004

TWO very strong prices, one in Edinburgh and one in London have underlined the status of the Zeigler as the most fashionable of late 19th century carpets. And the £110,000 and £130,000 bid for Zeigler & Co. carpets at Lyon & Turnbull on March 31 (Antiques Trade Gazette 1636, April 24) and Sotheby’s on April 28 (Antiques Trade Gazette 1641, May 29) had one thing in common – both were made with cream grounds.

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Why small is beautiful for brown

22 June 2004

THE point is often made that so-called apprentice pieces or miniatures will command more than their lifesize equivalents. This was certainly the case with the diminutive oak bureau pictured right, a meticulously made and finely-preserved 16 1/2in (42cm) wide 18th century replica of an otherwise standard Georgian form. Estimated at £3000-4000, it proved the winner on an otherwise difficult day at the Netherhampton Salerooms (15% buyer’s premium) on April 28 when it sold at £6000.

Olympic links make common sense at the exotic Hali

28 May 2004

AT its seventh staging, the popular Hali fair at Olympia is undergoing some major changes, not the least of which is a name change. The event is now titled The Hali Fair: Carpets, Textiles and Tribal Art. The duration of the fair has been extended from four to 10 days and it will take place in the National Hall Gallery at Olympia from June 3 to 13, at the same time as the summer Fine Art & Antiques Fair. The fairs will be linked allowing easy access between the two.

Lotto proves lucky for King Street

26 May 2004

SALES of antique and decorative carpets traditionally accompany London’s Islamic series and all three participating salerooms offered selections last month. Christie’s King Street had the biggest and most expensive sale: a 269-lot gathering on April 29 that netted £1.78m. It also recorded the highest selling rates, although at 68 per cent by volume and 81 by value, they were not quite as strong as for the works of art offering two days earlier.

Successes rolling on

13 May 2003

The regular specialist carpets and textiles sales at Salisbury auctioneers Woolley & Wallis (15% buyer’s premium) have shown what can be achieved in the provinces even in the most esoteric subjects, and the latest 560-lot event put together by June Barrett and Ian Bennett on April 10 underlined this. War in the Middle East seemed more likely than most to hit this market, but after a creditable 60 per cent turnover and a total just shy of £100,000, June Barrett was more than happy.

Laying down a strategy

23 September 2002

LONG a convert to selling shows, Kent rug dealer Desmond North holds another of his regular marquee sales in the grounds of his home, The Orchard, Hale Street, East Peckham, near Tonbridge, on the weekend of October 5 and 6. But even in specialised worlds the market has to be pursued and Mr North, who says he is baffled by what new homeowners use for decoration and furnishings in their ever-more valuable properties, is aiming at this area.

Rug rings up £11,200 bonus

06 June 2002

A BONUS of the bona fide house clearance is the family rug – usually in a dishevelled condition but market-fresh, which surprises auctioneer and local trade alike by taking the top price of a sale from a mysterious overseas buyer.

Successful pattern

25 April 2002

KENT rug dealer Desmond North has been successfully holding “rug-ins” for the past 30 years and on that wisest of maxims, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, he continues this dealing tradition twice a year and over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 4 to 6 holds his Spring Rug-In.

Rooms on a roll as a new centre for the rug trade

22 March 2002

THE move towards holding specialist sales among provincial auctioneers has been one of the success stories recent years and one that is paying dividends for Salisbury’s Woolley & Wallis in one of the most arcane worlds – that of carpets and textiles.

Pukka provenance helps Cowdray Park pieces sell

14 March 2002

BETTER known for its polo club than its fine art, Cowdray Park in Midhurst, Sussex nevertheless provided Hampshire auctioneers Jacobs & Hunt with some talking points among a quantity of the “surplus to requirements” chattels the owners of the country pile had decided to get rid of.

Decorator trade weaves it magic on prices for carpets

14 February 2002

The Wiltshire rooms Woolley & Wallis usually hold four specialist carpet sales a year but a fifth was squeezed in before the scheduled Valentine’s Day event, and with a 77 per cent rate and £77,000 total on the 284 lots on offer, the decision by specialists June Barrett and Ian Bennett was more than justified.

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