Ever wondered what the most expensive rugs were that were ever sold? We have no way of knowing the answer to this question for certain. However, most scholars agree that two area rugs in particular stand out as being likely candidates for the "most expensive ever" title: The Pearl Carpet of Baroda and the Comtesse de Behague "Vase" Carpet.
The Pearl Carpet of Baroda was commissioned by Gaekwar Khande Rao, a Hindu ruler. Even though Gaekwar Rao was a Hindu, he was greatly intrigued by the teachings of Islam and respected the idea of the prophet Muhammad immensely. As a result, he wanted to show his respect by covering the tomb of Muhammad with a beautiful, jewel encrusted rug. The rug is made from silk and deer hide and is covered with diamonds and pearls. Unfortunately, this great ruler was never able to see his idea come to fruition. He died before the rug was finished. When this rug was last sold in March of 2009, it was reported by Bloomberg news to have fetched a price of over $5 million.
The famous Comtesse de Behague "Vase" Carpet is one of many high-value area rugs originally created in the city of Kerman, Iran. These "Kerman" carpets have a complicated pattern of interwoven leaves that is unique to them. They also usually have a picture of a vase on them somewhere. This particular carpet, however, did not have a picture of a vase, which is why the word "vase" is usually used in quotes when referring to it. This area rug was believed to have been held in the collection of the Château de Fleury-en-Bière, a person known for her fantastic collection. After her death, it was inherited by her nephew, Marquis de Ganay, and kept in the family until it was sold off in 1987. What makes this particular rug so special and the reason for its high price is that it is an early version of what is considered to be the greatest Kerman pattern of all: the herati. When this rug was sold in May of 2010, it made its owner nearly $10 million richer.
Although it is difficult to know for sure, these two are the most likely candidates for the title, "Most expensive rugs ever sold."