Unique and Powerful Scandinavian Rugs

Swedish 1

White walls, whitewashed floors, and bright and colorful textiles have long-been described as the staples of Scandinavian design.  Interiors in Sweden, Denmark and Norway have boasted this modern style for decades, designing homes where light can easily bounce off the walls in countries known for cold temperatures; and where interiors are warmed by textiles and accessories that are used to add color, pattern, and life to otherwise stark spaces.  Scandinavian design is full of intriguing juxtapositions – neutral versus bright hues; pattern versus serenely designed spaces; streamlined furnishings versus daring accessories.  These dichotomies can be seen even more clearly in vintage Scandinavian rugs that are gaining in popularity.

Swedish 2

Rugs like this one from Swedish designer Brita Sweden beautifully embrace both color and strong geometric patterns.  This Swedish rug is a great piece to create a strong statement in an otherwise neutral interior.

Swedish 3

In many ways the power of Scandinavian rugs is their ability to break through the crisp whites, and soft beiges that are so often present in the furnishings in contemporary interiors. Their color and their design inject instant drama to a space.

Swedish 4

This home from the 1950s shows that even sixty years ago Scandinavian design was ahead of the curve, offering flat woven carpets in the bright hues that are so coveted in today’s interiors.

Swedish 5

An exploration of the new Scandinavian rug showcase at the DLB shop at ABC Carpet & Home will turn up many of these beautiful vintage pieces from the 40’s, 50s and 60s.  This stunning green carpet is a perfect example of the dramatic effect that Scandinavian rugs are able to deliver.  Despite a subdued color palette, the fan design in this rug provides a sense of movement.  Looking at it, it is hard to believe it’s from 1943 and not 2013. This rug was designed by Barbro Nilsson for Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom; one of the leading Swedish mills at the time.  The title she gave this rug was “The Park.” If you notice on the bottom left hand corner it is signed ABMMF, meaning Marta Mas-Fjetterstrom ltd. and on the bottom right hand corner Barbro Nilsson wove in her initials. Initials in the carpet increases it’s value.

Swedish 6

Geometric figures also have a strong presence in Scandinavian rug design.  This vibrant orange and green flat woven rug from Sweden features diamonds and circles that fit directly in line with today’s design obsession with such patterns. This rug was designed by Sverige Rolakan.

Swedish 7

The perfect partner to their sophisticated patterns, color also has great importance in Swedish flat woven rugs.  This navy blue and black rug design features contemporary shades that are in line with today’s top Pantone colors.  In a room with a generally neutral color palette, the striking black and blue color combination is sure to stand out. This carpet is signed GLH (Gavleborg County Arts & Crafts) on the  lower left corner and signed by the designer AMH Anna-Maria Hoke on the lower right corner.

Swedish 8

This vintage orange rug from 1963 is filled with juicy hues.  It’s the perfect piece to brighten a living area, or to place in a child’s room for a splash of color.  Like many Scandinavian rugs, it is designed with the intention of bringing a room to life, making it the perfect statement piece in a room that doesn’t boast much in the way of colorful accessories. This rug was designed by Marianne Richter for Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom and titled “Orange Facade.” Her initials are woven in on the lower right corner and ABMMF is woven in on the lower left corner.

Vintage Scandinavian rugs and Swedish reproduction rugs are now available at the DLB shop at ABC Carpet & Home at 888 Broadway (East 19th Street) as well as their 61st street location and online. Not only are these striking pieces tailor-made for today’s interiors, but you can find them at fair prices that rival those of similar pieces found at auction.

World Record Price For A Rug: $33 M

The World is waking up to a new record price in the world of Rugs today. A Sickle-Leaf Vine Scroll and palmette “Vase” Technique rug probably Kirman South East Persia $33,765,000 at Sotheby’s NY.

New record price for a rug“This is one of the most beautifully drawn and elegant of the many “Vase” – technique carpets. Like the formal Garden carpet designs it can be regarded as a bird’s eye view of a woody landscape, here seen through festoons of spiraling creepers terminating in slender sickle leaves, and bearing the large floral motifs familiar in so many of the lattice designs.”
– May H. Beattie

A Sickle-Leaf Vine Scroll and palmette Vase Technique rug

“If a prize could be given to one single item from the extensive Clark Bequest of Oriental carpets, it would readily be presented to a rug belonging technically and thematically to the well-known group of Persian “Vase Carpets.” Although there are a few rugs which generally relate to it, the Clark carpet remains unique… Almost all Persian carpets… emit an air of tranquility. … In contrast to this classical repose, the Clark carpet has all the aspects of Baroque impetuosity. … The awareness of contrasting movements and ornamental abundance is further sharpened by the unusually compact format of the carpet; its many elements seem to be barely contained in the available space. … Here then, as sometimes happens in carpet compositions when the designer deviates from the standard pattern, a new concept is born from well-known themes re-arranged to appear novel and exciting.
– Richard Ettinghausen

World Record Price For A Rug

Below is the last world  record price for a rug set in 2010 at Christie’s London for $9.5 Million ironically also a 17th Century Persian Kirman rug.

As rugs continue to claim new heights as an art form and not just decoration for the floor it would be interesting to see rippling effects on vintage and antique carpets from the 19th and 20th Century which we show case in our galleries.

Persian Kirman Rug sold in 2010 for 10M