A Magnificently Rustic and Beautiful Large Size Antique Persian Serapi Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Antique Persian Rugs, Circa Date: Late 19th Century – This magnificent, rustic antique Persian Serapi carpet is a precious antique that was produced in the late 19th century. It is a large, room-sized rug that will fill the area with a rustic charm that only a village carpet can bring. The distinctive style of Serapi and antique Persian Heriz rugs is characterized by intense colors and bold, geometric designs.
Antique Persian Serapi rugs are a sub-regional style of Heriz, which means that you often seen designs based on medallions. They are typically a finer weave with a higher knot count. This gives them a supple feel and softness underfoot. The carpets are from tribal cultures living in the rugged environment of the northwestern mountains of Persia. Yet, the work in the carpets produced by them reflects a quality typically only found in the finer carpets produced in the carpet weaving centers of cities.
Antique Serapi rugs were popular around the turn of the century and were a preferred style for early American government buildings. The White House has a few excellent examples of this carpet style. They have found their way into many design schemes including Early American, Traditional, Arts and Crafts, Bohemian, Tribal, Eclectic and Contemporary. They tend to blend in well with more traditional styles, but their angular, large-scale motifs make them perfectly suitable for modern and postmodern designs.
These antique Persian carpets are rare, and few were seen after 1910. One of the reasons is the rough terrain and remoteness of the weavers. They had to be taken to Serab, a town nearly 30 miles away, to be marketed. Considering the remoteness of the area and lack of transportation, this was a long, arduous trip. This was made even more difficult by the transport of such a large piece. Serapi is not a town or a specific tribe, but it is a term that reflects the style of the carpet.
One of the more fascinating aspects of antique Persian Heriz Serapi carpets is that they are the intersection of several different design traditions. They borrowed from several surrounding areas in their choice of color and design. They often show the formal layout of carpets from Tabriz. The designs are arranged with medallions, formal corners, and a complex series of main and guard borders. The designs resolve, rather than trailing off as if unfinished on one end. They also borrow the bold, geometric designs from the tribes of the Caucasus Mountains.
The result of these borrowed traditions is a breathtaking design that reflects the refinement and formality of the Court carpets of the Persian Empire and one that also has a rustic, tribal quality too. The colors are bold and striking. The natural, earthy tan of the border of this rustic rug creates a contrast with the fiery red of the background of the field. The beautiful blues and greens contrast and stand out against the background, creating a striking effect.
Although many of the motifs are large and without detail, the fineness of the carpet can be seen in the intricate designs of several of the guard borders. The colors have acquired a sheen over the years, making the carpet stand out even more brilliantly. The pile is trimmed close, allowing the details of the antique Oriental rug to remain sharp.
This is an awe inspiring rustic antique Persian Serapi rug with a majestic and refined quality. The use of formal elements combined with tribal designs makes this carpet versatile. It could easily work well in a more formal space or an informal one. That is the beauty of Persian Serapi antique rugs, and this one is a beautiful example and a rare find.