Published: February 18, 2020
NEW YORK CITY—Noted antique rug and carpet dealer Doris Leslie Blau passed away January 24 at her home in Manhattan.
Blau’s interest in Oriental carpets began with her short marriage to tapestry dealer Vojtech Blau. Doris received 12 rugs per their settlement and set off to establish her own business. By 1972, the Doris Leslie Blau Gallery had a storefront on East 57th Street.
Her gallery would go on to reach acclaim as her fine taste in rare antique Oriental carpets attracted the attention of architects, decorators and high society clients. “Mrs Doris Blau, the founder of the gallery, is a legendary name in the world of rug collecting,” the Doris Leslie Blau website reads. “From the beginning, she was determined to create something different, something a bit offbeat, which is evident from the outstanding collection of avant-garde pieces she managed to build over the years.”
Of her accomplishments, architect Stephen Miller Siegel said, “Doris has achieved in her career what I believe all design professionals aspire to: success without compromise.”
Blau sold her gallery to Nader Bolour in 1998 and had a single-owner sale at Sotheby’s in 2002. The 215-lot sale would generate $2.4 million, led by a $125,000 result for a Tabriz carpet from Northwest Persia. Following behind at $89,625 was a circa 1890 Agra carpet from North India. Of the top ten lots in her sale, all of them sold to American private buyers.
Shortly after the sale of her gallery, she worked with Bolour to establish a contemporary carpet division, which offered artist-designed works as well as those that fit contemporary decorating. Her brand continues to be a leading source for vintage, antique and contemporary carpets and rugs.
She had no descendants.
Doris Leslie Blau Gallery is located in New York City at 306 East 61st Street.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm