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Sigmund Freud – unusual rug collector

Sigmund Freud is commonly known as the father of psychoanalysis. His unique approach to his patients and innovative techniques revolutionized the world of psychology.

However, Freud was interested not only in his extensive research on human psyche and brain. He was also an avid rug collector with a great love for exquisite Oriental and Persian rugs.

Freud was born in 1895 in a family of Austro-Hungarian Jews in the town of Freiberg. An outstanding student, he entered the University of Vienna at the age of 17 where he learned about psychology for the first time. After finishing his studies in 1885, a year later Freud opened his private practice where he treated “nervous disorders”. This lead to development of psychoanalysis, a set of theories and therapeutic techniques which study the unconscious mind of the patient. When people saw that his unconventional therapy is effective, they started to seek Freud out. Among his patients was Princess Marie Bonaparte a great-grandniece of Napoleon I of France. In 1938, a year before his death, Freud was forced to flee his homeland in order to escape certain demise at the hands of Nazis. When he arrived in London, Freud surprised the public with his enormous collection of carpets. However, they were only a part of his grand collection which included Hindu and Buddhist statuettes and ancient artifacts among many others. Although having a Persian or Oriental carpet was considered very fashionable at that time, Freud, a profoundly educated individual, was more interested in cultures that were behind those creations and often displayed the most beloved pieces in his office.

After professor’s death, his collection was moved to the Freud Museum in London. There we can find over 20 rugs that were in his possession. The most famous ones are a Turkman tribal rug, Bakshayesh carpet and Qashqa’i rug.


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