Souf Kashan Meditation Rug, ca. 1910
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:24)
Rugs & Textiles, Silver
Grogan & Co.
GUEST: My father gave it to me when I was 21 years old.
APPRAISER: Did he tell you anything about where it came from?
GUEST: It came-- it was a Persian rug. Where exactly, he didn't know.
APPRAISER: What intrigues you about it?
GUEST: It has different columns. There are two on either side. I see two faces. And I also see some hummingbirds and Aladdin lamps.
APPRAISER: Well, I think the weaver would be flattered by your imagination. A lot of the design elements that the weaver put into this are really floral and architectural. This type of design is known as a "meditation rug." So it's not a prayer rug. It's really to be hung on the wall, used as a work of art, and one would meditate in front of it. It's a Kashan rug. It's woven in the city of Kashan, which is in Persia. Probably woven about between 1900 and 1910.
APPRAISER: A very formal design, lots of curvilinear floral motifs. And what's particularly unusual about this rug is the fact that there's two different techniques in one. The background here is a flat woven technique, and this is silk, all of this ivory. And then the pile itself is made out of wool. And these are knotted, so it gives it that three-dimensionality, and that's called a "Souf," S-O-U-F. So this is called a "Souf Kashan." So this three-dimensionality you very rarely see in an Oriental rug. And that was done specifically for rugs that wanted to be considered art, and not used on the floor. Have you ever used this rug on the floor?
GUEST: For a very, very short while.
APPRAISER: And you then hang it now or what do you do?
GUEST: Yes, I hang it.
APPRAISER: You do hang it. What you have in the center is a cypress tree coming right up, and you can see the architectural motifs here. These are the columns that you talked about
APPRAISER: earlier coming up. And here's the capital of the column. And these columns would then come up and support this motif here, which we call a "spandrel," or the archway, which is all along the whole top of it. Do you know what your father paid for it?
GUEST: He paid $100 for it.
APPRAISER: A hundred dollars for it?
APPRAISER: Well, that's a pretty sound investment. Today, I think the retail price for a rug like this would be somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000.
GUEST: My gosh, wonderful.
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