JFK rug

 04 I 001 11 68 4Deb 1 This JFK rug from the 1960s is up for auction on eBay. It's 52cm x 40cm. Starting bid is $2000.
US President Kennedy - Portrait -- Persian Rug (Thanks, Sly Thompson!)


  1. This is before PCs, people. It proves that you can do things by hand that are done more easily today by computer. A real accomplishment for the day.

  2. http://www.warrug.com/blog/?p=161
    Above is a post I put together on June 15, 2007 about two John F Kennedy rugs. One is like the ebay rug. The ebay rug and the black field rug in my post both come, most likely, from Mashad in eastern Iran. The Kennedy at his desk rug is from Tabriz, in north west Iran.

    The black fields behind Kennedy on the ebay rug (and the bottom rug on my post) indicate that these two rugs were woven after Kennedy’s death. Black fields in Persian rugs exclusively connote death or memorial. The top rug, with the brown office background, is signed by the workshop where it was woven. The Kennedy at his desk is more finally woven, and it was probably woven while JFK was president.

    Above is an online exhibition catalog for portrait rugs that I loaned to a gallery in 2005.

    Political portrait rugs including Zia Ul Haq (President of PK during Afghan/Soviet war. Text and black shirt show rug was woven after his death), Kennan Everan, Hamid Karzai, and Ahmad Shah Massoud (killed by Al Qaeda Sept 9, 2001).

    Momar Qadafi. The green in this rug is religiously honorific as is Karzai’s green head dress in this rug:
    And the background of this King Amman Ullah Khan rug (King of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929)

    And, finally, a George W. Bush rug.

  3. This reminds of a small bar in Olympia, Washington, called The Brotherhood. They have a full wall adorned with Kennedy rugs. (The opposite wall is full of matador paintings.)

  4. Kevin Sudeith: You’re the blogger at WarRug.com? I love your site! I’ve been reading it irregularly since it went up.

  5. Theresa, Yes I am the warrug.com blogger, and thank you for the compliment.

    While its ostensibly commercial, warrug.com’s mission is primarily educational. Given the dearth of first hand information from weavers (because of the war, Afghan culture, and the purdah) I created the rug database to analyze rugs by their intrinsic material, structural and design qualities to identify groups, origins, and intentions.

    A couple notes about the political portrait rugs. These figurative rugs are woven to be hung on the wall and not used on the floor. Weaving someone’s image is an honor, and therefor incompatible with being walked upon. Secondly, portrait rugs are primarily woven by Shia (who are less strict regarding the Islamic prohibition against rendering animate subjects) or secular (mostly communist or Soviet) weavers.

    Here are some shockingly realistic carpet portraits at the UN:

  6. I am interested in knowing if that e-bay rug sold for $2,000 or what it went for? Where can I read more about it? E-bay no longer has pictures of it.
    Thanks to all.

  7. I’ve got one very similar to this that my father brought back from Iran in the 60’s or 70’s. It is about the size of a welcome mat. I think they are pretty sweet.

    I would part with it, but only for a LOT of money. But still I wonder, as Lisa does, how much it might be worth.

  8. I have a very nice rug of the two brothers, John and Robert F. Kennedy. From Leiben, Tapis S.A.L. Beirut, lebanon. Does anyone know how much it is worth?

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