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The "Barack Obama" Carpet: Sotheby's Sale N08503 Features Large & Rare Tabriz Silk

Not too long ago, the Doris Duke Lot 37 of Christie's (New York) sale 2006 held in June 2008 sold for a record $4.45 million including buyer's premium.  This final value surpassed the estimate by some 3 fold.  The doris duke rug had approximately 875 kpsi, and square footage measuring approximately 42.34  ft.  Price per foot was $105,113. 

Sotheby's Silk Tabriz Lot 300, N08503

Going forward (seen right), Lot 300 will be auctioned by Sotheby's New York, Sale N08503 on November 25, 2008:  A silk tabriz Persian rug from 1880, measuring approximately 20 ft. 1 in. x 13 ft.  This is an outstanding example of a silk on silk Tabriz.  The auction estimate is $500,000 to 700,000: Nearly half the estimate of the Doris Duke Rug.  Square footage is approximately 261.08.  Taking the average estimate of $600,000.00, the estimate per square foot is approximately $2,298.14 and approximately 600 KPSI.

Why are we comparing these two pieces?  Certainly they're from much different vintages and significantly different attention to conservation is necessary.  Further, as we all know, size does matter with Persian Rugs.  Perhaps the sheer  size of this Tabriz (Lot 300 of Sotheby's sale N08503) is primarily why it is so unique.  It's very unusual for such a very large silk rug with a very high knot count and masterful design execution to have been woven in this vintage.  However, what is the functional purpose of this rug?  Perhaps not that great.  On the other hand, the Doris Duke isfahan/Safavid rug is a much more manageable rug; almost comparable to the average medium-sized painting.  All these elements plus the rug’s attribution to the late Tobacco heiress create an extraordinary piece.

However, although these are two very different rugs, they are similar in two ways.  Similar in the respect of rarity, uniqueness and "milestone" significance to investors and collectors alike.  These are the rugs that set the precedent for auction estimates going forward.  Current market conditions have created a lot of unease among investors. Also, much uncertainty looms during this "lame duck" time between Presidencies.  However, conditions were not TOO far different when the Doris Duke rug sold.  The fact is, recent polls are saying confidence in the new President elect is at around 70%.  Sure, uncertainty overall, but optimism is leading foot forward.

It will be nothing short of fascinating to see how this particular lot pans out.  For this reason, and this reason alone, we are giving this rug a nickname:  "The Obama Carpet"  The first high estimate Rug to be offered to the hammer post news of President elect, Barack Obama.

Will it have a bidder?  Will it far exceed the estimate?  Post your comments below.

 

 

PERSIAN RUGS OF THE WHITE HOUSE 

 

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Want to purchase rugs like the ones mention in this post? Here are some options...

Isfahan


Moderately priced: Take a look at Isfahan Design Rugs up for bid on eBay!
Inexpensive: Take a look at Isfahan Design Rugs up for bid on eBay!

Tabriz


Inexpensive: Take a look at Tabriz Rugs up for bid on eBay!
Moderately priced: Take a look at RugRag's Pick for Tabriz Rugs on RugMan.com!
Moderately priced: Take a look at Tabriz Rugs on RugMan.com!
 
     

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