Ege Ryas are an important part of Scandinavian design. Like the Rya rugs of the 15th century, Ege ryas carry a high pile. This was mainly to keep people warm during the hostile cold weather. These rugs were usually small in size and machine made. While the vintage ege ryas were quite similar to other Nordic rugs in their shag/high pile texture, it’s interesting to note that their patterns were funky – unlike the clean, soothing, refreshing vibe that most Scandinavian rugs feature. This union of traditional texture and bold patterns redefined Swedish aesthetics in the mid 20th century and became a driving force behind most modern sense of abstract that we know today.
From Rug & Kilim’s repertoire of rare selections, this (SKU – 30646) is an auction piece we acquired — a vintage Danish Ege Rya rug originating circa 1960-1970. Crafted with premium quality wool, this rare rug witnesses a scintillating play of mid-century modern pop art sensibilities and abstract style lending a pattern that is very less seen. The lively blend of orange and gold marries the comfortable high pile for a very retro and shabby chic appeal.
This rug is one of our few exceptions to collecting handmade pieces since it is so beautiful and an important piece in Scandinavian design history. For our Principal Jahanshah Josh Nazmiyal, “rarity speaks volumes” and this a one of a kind work of history in our eyes and the eyes of colleagues who respect us as an authority on Scandinavian rugs — which makes it all the more collectible. To wit, this Ege rya is indeed an exemplary find from the works of Denmark’s most influential 20th century designer, Verner Panton. He designed this special piece for Unika Vaev. The designer is known for his unconventional and forward looking philosophy. His innovation in colors, materials carry a psychedelic quality. His approach clearly reflects in this rug – boldly fearless while introducing a pop art look of mid-century modernism.
Verner Panton collaborated with Vitra during the early 1960s which birthed the iconic “Panton Chair” in 1967. This is an S-shaped chair that went ahead to become the first molded plastic chair in the world. This chair became a sensation and reproduced in a variety of colors for different projects.
Keen eyes may note Panton’s abstract modernist thought process that plays with structures in ways that are a departure from the traditional, the defined, the accepted! Innovative but never boring, Verner Panton’s designs complete the picture with their awe inspiring character and compelling visual appeal – both in furniture and rugs alike. Just like this Ege rya from Verner Panton, we take pride in collecting rare rugs that celebrate history and fabulous works of venerated designers.
Explore some of our favorite rugs in this style below — both vintage Ege Rya rugs and modern rugs inspired by them — and reach out with your thoughts on these and others you’ve seen.