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.
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
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.
very unusual for such a very large silk rug with a very high knot count
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
Duke isfahan/Safavid rug is a much more manageable rug; almost
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,
"milestone" significance to investors and collectors alike.
These are the rugs that set the precedent for auction estimates going forward. Current market conditions
created a lot of unease among investors. Also, much uncertainty looms
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
70%. Sure, uncertainty overall, but optimism is leading foot
It will be nothing short of fascinating to see how
particular lot pans out. For this reason, and this reason alone, we
giving this rug a nickname: "The Obama Carpet" The first
high estimate Rug to be offered to the hammer post news of President
Will it have a bidder? Will it far exceed the
estimate? Post your comments below.