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Antique Persian Senneh Rug with a Silk Warp


Antique Persian Senneh Rug with a Silk Warp


202 x 130 cm


Late 19th-century Persian Senneh rug from the Kurdish part of Iran.

This is an unusual, very sophisticated weaving with its multi-coloured silk warps and the very fine wool weft. The construction has a number of effects: the multi-coloured silk warps, which are arranged in bands of approximately 2.5 cm width, slightly show on the back of the rug. They are in purple, yellow, green, ivory, orange and brown. This is a distinctive feature in the fine workshop carpets of this group. The other effect is the texture: very fine on the front, with a knot count of just over 300 per square inch, while the back feels almost “scratchy”, a phenomenon also described by James D. Burns in his Antique Rugs of Kurdistan (see details below, page 117)

In terms of design, it follows very much the tradition of a centre medallion on a Herati field, but with two notable differences, the most striking being the inclusion of four white-ground cartouches in the spandrels containing sprays of flowers reminiscent of the gul farang motif; the other being the plain camel-ground diamond as the central anchor medallion inside the concentric hexagons forming the main body of the field.

James D Burns, in his Antique Rugs of Kurdistan. A Historical Legacy of Woven Art (Burns 2002), calls this type of workshop weaving, which occurred after 1850 and targeted wealthy Persians and the export market, “the antithesis of tribal weavings produced elsewhere in Kurdistan” (op.cit., page 123).

The rug is in excellent condition: it is in full pile, with traces of the original purple silk overcasting on the sides and only very minor losses to the ends

For the description of another Senneh rug on this website, see