The exquisite handwoven carpet is more than 360 years old and measures 8ft 9ins by 6ft 5ins. It sold for $33,765,000, or about $601,380.34 per square foot.
‘I thought it might sell for 10 or 15 million dollars,’ Mary Jo Otsea, the auctioneer and senior consultant for rugs and carpets at Sotheby’s, told The Washington Post. ‘No one ever expected to see it on the market. Its beauty and rarity — the closest comparables are in museums.’ The intricately woven rug of red, blue and green colors was owned by an American billionaire industrialist who bought it in the early 1900s, and the artifact was donated to a museum after his death in 1925.
The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet is without question one of the most iconic and important carpets ever to appear at auction.
It was made during the Safavid dynasty in Persia in the 1650s and made by several weavers at a very sophisticated workshop in south east Persia.
It would have been for a noble person as it would have been very expensive to make.
William Clark, a billionaire industrialist who also became a senator, purchased it from a dealer in Paris while on a tour of Europe in the early 1900s. He must have hung it because it is in very good condition and is unlikely to have spent much time on the floor.
He bequeathed his collection of carpets to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1925 and it is being sold by them for future acquisitions
The rug has a wool pile and the foundation is made of cotton and silk.