Press Release


Christie's: Strong results achieved for Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, including Oriental Rugs and Carpets.

Claremont Rugs

London April 29, 2019

The top lot was an important Safavid silk and metal-thread 'Polonaise' carpet from Isfahan, central Persia, first quarter 17th century, which fetched £3,895,000, setting a new world record price for a ‘Polonaise’ carpet at auction. Another highlight of the sale, the Monumental Mamluk Qur’an sold for £3,724,750, achieving a world record for a Qur’an at auction.

Reviewing the results, Jan David Winitz, internationally recognized Oriental rug expert and founder of Claremont Rug Company, commented: 

“The results of the Christie’s 'Islamic Treasures' London auction once again demonstrate the strength of the antique Oriental market at the high-collectible and museum-level niche. 

“These two important rugs both sold for more than five times their highest estimates and both realized prices that place them within the Top 10 prices ever paid for antique Oriental rugs. 

“Carpets in this category, the rarest of the rare, are seldom available and, when they arise, the interest among collectors is immediate and tremendously enthusiastic. 

“The prices are an acknowledgement of strength and tremendously increased interest among art collectors for the high-collectible pieces. 

"Frankly, there are virtually no important rugs from the First Golden Age (prior to the 17th century) available except in the auction setting. And the number of highly collectible Persian rugs from the Second Golden Age (ca. 1800 to ca. 1910) is rapidly being purchased and placed into private collections. In the last decade, we have been privileged to acquire and make available to our clients most of the major collections of art-level pieces from the Second Golden Age.” 

Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam, Acting Head of Sale for Islamic Art and Louise Broadhurst, International Head of Oriental Rugs and Carpets, comment: At £16,031,375, this was the strongest result achieved in the last decade, with high prices throughout all categories. The full saleroom welcomed new buyers and witnessed competitive bidding with numerous telephone lines and online buyers from across the globe. We are particularly pleased with the record breaking Mamluk Qur’an, which realised £3,724,750. The carpet section of the sale was sold 77% by lot and far exceeded its pre-sale estimate, achieving a total sale price of nearly £9 million, the second highest sale result for this field at Christie’s. The Pommersfelden silk and metal-thread ‘Polonaise’ carpets achieved a combined total of £7,619,750, also setting an auction record price for a Polonaise carpet, and are amongst the top ten Persian carpets ever sold at auction.

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