19 C Anatolian Antique Serapi Wool Medallion Burgundy Red Sage Royal Blue 11×13
11′-0″ x 13′-0″ (335cm x 396cm), Circa 1900’s, Hand knotted in Turkey, Excellent Condition, DSC02866
Northwest Persian weavers in the late nineteenth century made a type of carpet called “Serapi.” This is all the more astounding given the fact that today Serapi carpets are among the most appreciated and sought after room-size antique Persian and Asia Minor rugs. In the Persian language Serapi is an adjectival form of Serap, but simply put, there is no such place. There is a village in North Persia called Serab, which is well-known for runners with highly geometric medallions on a natural camel ground, but these are quite different than the carpets commonly referred to as ‘Serapi.’ Serapis are to all intents and purposes a particular type or grade of Heriz carpet – more specifically the highest grade in terms of weave, and very probably the oldest type in terms of age. Heriz carpets are generally coarsely woven with as few as 30 knots per square inch. They also have a deeply depressed warp structure with a markedly ribbed back surface. Since the early twentieth century they have come to make use of light blue cotton wefting. Serapis, in contrast, have a higher knot count, sometimes attaining 80 knots per square inch. Their backs are relatively flat, and they have ivory cotton wefting. Generally they have a softer fluffier handle than Herizes, and they are thinner.
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