Antique Serab, Persia, late nineteenth century – This distinctively long and impeccably made antique Oriental rug — a Serab from Persia made some time toward the end of the nineteenth century — is a unique piece of art, the design of which is as breath-taking as it is thought-provoking. A series of diamond medallions and V-shaped palmettes repeat along the soft camel ground of this crisply abstract Serab runner. And while the level of artistic abstraction may initially seem to differentiate this piece from other Serabs, it is, at the end of the day, a very representative piece — after the classic Serab manner, the design of this rug is an astute blend of complexity and open simplicity. An ivory ground vine scroll border encloses the field, surrounded yet again by a reciprocal trefoil border in red and blue. An outer band with stylized plants and animals on camel adroitly reaffirms the palette and openness of the field.