10 Most Expensive Oriental Rugs in the World

10 Most Expensive Oriental Rugs in the World - Arrant Luxury

Oriental rugs are revered for their exquisite craftsmanship, intricate designs, and historical significance. Among these treasures lie some of the most valuable rugs in the world, fetching staggering prices at auctions and private sales. These masterpieces, woven with centuries-old techniques and often carrying rich cultural narratives, command immense worth due to their rarity, quality, and the stories they encapsulate.  

Let's delve into the realm of luxury and explore the top 10 most expensive Oriental rugs, each a testament to the artistry and timeless allure of these magnificent textiles. 

Explore the Most Expensive Rugs of the World  

What is the most expensive rug you can think of? Now, imagine it costs a mind-blowing $4,450,000! That's the price tag on the world's priciest rug, a Silk Isfahan rug. It is a number that makes jaws drop, and many find it hard to believe. But yes, it's true! 

Deciding the value of a wool oriental rug is a lot like pricing a piece of art. There are many things to think about, like what materials were used, how tightly it is woven, how intricate the patterns are, how big it is, and even how old the rug is. All these factors come together to decide how much these rugs are worth. 

Now let’s explore the most expensive oriental rugs: 

Silk Isfahan Rug 

The Silk Isfahan rug stands as a masterpiece in the world of Oriental rugs. Crafted in the city of Isfahan, renowned for its rich history of rug-making, this piece exemplifies unparalleled artistry and luxury. Its creation involves the use of delicate, high-quality silk fibers intricately woven together by skilled artisans, resulting in a rug of exceptional beauty and remarkable detail. 

This priciest rug in the world measures 7 ft. 7 in. x 5 ft. 7 in. (231 cm. x 170 cm.), sold by Christie’s in 2008 for an astounding $4,450,000. Several reasons contributed to its record-breaking price like: 

  • Pure silk material  
  • High knot density  
  • Noteworthy lineage  
  • Wide spectrum of colors  
  • Exceptional condition despite its age  

The Ziegler Mahal rug  

Priced at a whopping $182,500, the second most expensive rug is a Ziegler Mahal from central Persia. It's remarkable condition, expansive design, and appealing color palette featuring sought-after hues like light blue and terracotta. These factors played significant roles in its high value. This rug spans roughly 18’ 6” x 10’ 9”, adding to its grandeur and desirability among collectors.  

The Ziegler Mahal rug holds a special place in the realm of Oriental rugs. Originating from the Ziegler and Co. workshop in Persia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these rugs represent a unique fusion of traditional Persian craftsmanship and European design influences. 

Ziegler Mahal Carpet 

Claiming the third spot among the priciest rugs is another Ziegler Mahal carpet, sold for a hefty $170,500. Spanning approximately 416 square feet, this rug stands out for its impressive size and the alluring soft tones, a rare find within Mahal rugs. 

Surprisingly, despite its condition featuring holes, tears, and moth damage, this rug secured a top-three position, highlighting its inherent value. Experts believe that with proper restoration, the rug could regain its former splendor, underlining the enduring potential and significance of this piece. 

Ushak Rug 

Ranking as the fourth most expensive rug is a vividly colored, smaller-sized Ushak rug, measuring 4’10” x 3’11”. Laden with symbolic motifs, this richly designed rug fetched a price of US$158,500. Its standout attributes encompass the vibrant brick-red hue, intricate patterns, and superb craftsmanship. 

The Ushak rug represents a significant part of the Oriental rug heritage. Originating from the Ushak region in Western Turkey, these wool oriental rugs gained prominence during the Ottoman Empire.  

Ishfahan Rug 

Measuring 16’1” x 6’ 11”, this Isfahan rug, previously part of the Doris Duke collection, secured its place as the world's fifth most expensive rug, selling for US $116,500. Its value was heightened by captivating color blends, intricate patterns, and significant decorative appeal. 

One of its standout features is the unique minor border, showcasing an uncommon vinery design with stylized scrolled buds in a repeating pattern. This distinctive detail, rarely seen in Isfahan rugs, draws inspiration from vinery borders found in classical Persian rugs from the 16th century, adding an exceptional historical touch to this piece.  

Ziegler Mahal Rug 

The inclusion of another Ziegler Mahal rug in the top 10 list of priciest rugs speaks volumes about the enduring quality and value associated with these rugs. 

This specific Ziegler Mahal rug, spanning 20’ 6” x 17’ and adorned with rich royal colors and an intricately detailed floral border, was sold for US $98,500 at a Sotheby’s auction. 

Interestingly, this rug marks the third one within the top 10 list to have originated from the collection of Doris Duke, the tobacco heiress, further highlighting the prestige and significance of these remarkable pieces. 

Mohtashem Kashan Carpet 

The Mohtashem Kashan carpet stands as a pinnacle of Persian rug artistry, originating from the esteemed Kashan region in Iran. Renowned for its exceptional quality and timeless elegance, it holds the seventh spot among the world's most expensive rugs. 

Mohatashem Kashan carpet was purchased at a Sotheby’s auction for a staggering US $92,500. Its exceptional craftsmanship, intricate design, and harmonious color combinations contribute significantly to its remarkable decorative value. 

Mohatashem Kashan rugs are esteemed as some of the finest within the Kashan rug category, and this specific piece serves as an exemplary representation. Its superb execution and detailed artistry highlight its standing as a standout example among these highly graded rugs. 

Portuguese Armorial Rug 

The Portuguese Armorial, also known as "Armaria Portuguesa" in Portuguese, is a significant heraldic tradition that emerged in Portugal during the medieval period. It encompasses the use and regulation of coats of arms, shields, and symbols to denote lineages, families, or institutions throughout Portuguese history. 

Securing the 8th spot among the priciest rugs, this Portuguese Armorial rug fetched a price of US$80,500. Measuring 19’5” x 14’10”. It boasts a singular central square medallion surrounded by a detailed border adorned with repeated oscillating patterns. Christie’s New York facilitated its sale in 2008 at the aforementioned price. 

Fereghan Sarouk 

Fereghan Sarouk rugs hold a prestigious position in the world of oriental rugs, originating from the Fereghan region in Iran. Renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship and artistic allure, these rugs represent a distinct style within the Sarouk rug tradition. 

Ranked at 9th place, this Fereghan rug commands a price of US $74,500. Spanning 18’9” x 13’8”, it embodies the quintessential design often sought after in Fereghan Sarouk Rugs, highly coveted by collectors. 

This rug boasts three elongated medallions running its length, forming a pattern reminiscent of a symmetrical hourglass. Its overall color palette is striking, and the border draws inspiration from the distinctive Safavid style borders. 

The Tabriz Carpet 

The Tabriz carpet represents a pinnacle of Persian rug craftsmanship and is revered for its exceptional artistry and historical significance. Originating from the city of Tabriz, located in northwest Iran, these carpets are among the finest and most sought-after in the world of Oriental rugs.  

Completing the top ten, a Tabriz rug fetched US $68,500 at Sotheby’s. This rug beautifully embodies the classic Mahi field patterns and color schemes. 

Measuring 26’6” x 18ft3”, it boasts an intricate, all-over repetitive pattern. Notably, its border stands out with captivating turtle shell design elements, highly esteemed and contributing additional value to this remarkable rug. 

So, these are the top ten most expensive rugs in the world. While exploring the list, we see a reverence for these timeless treasures. Each rug holds a distinct story of craftsmanship, heritage, and charm, commanding huge prices due to their scarcity and exceptional quality. 

These rugs aren't just valuable for money, they are cultural gems representing centuries of tradition and artistry. They captivate both collectors and enthusiasts, going beyond trends and time, due to their enduring appeal. 


What defines an Oriental rug? 

Oriental rugs are hand-woven or hand-knotted rugs crafted in various countries across Asia, including Iran, Turkey, China, India, and more. They typically feature intricate designs, vibrant colors, and are made using traditional techniques passed down through generations. 

What influences the value of an Oriental rug? 

Several factors affect an Oriental rug's value, such as knot density (measured in knots per square inch), quality of materials, age, condition, size, design complexity, and historical significance. 

Are Oriental rugs a good investment? 

Yes, high-quality Oriental rugs can appreciate in value over time, especially rare or antique pieces. However, it's essential to consider factors like authenticity, condition, and provenance when considering them as investments. 

What is the difference between Oriental and Persian rugs? 

Persian rugs are a subset of Oriental rugs specifically made in Iran (formerly Persia). While all Persian rugs are Oriental, not all Oriental rugs are Persian. Persian rugs are highly esteemed for their quality and intricate designs. 

Can damaged Oriental rugs be restored? 

Yes, skilled rug restorers can repair damage like holes, tears, or worn areas in Oriental rugs. Proper restoration can significantly enhance the rug's appearance and value while preserving its authenticity.