Sarouk Carpet, ca. 1925

Value (2006) | $11,000 Retail

GUEST:
This rug was my great aunt's. And she lived in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. And she died about 1965. And she had a very elaborate will, and she listed everything she owned, and gave it... you know, spread it out, but she didn't have the rug in the will. And nobody in our family or the other family wanted the rug. And we were going to leave it in the house. But the day that we were driving back to Milwaukee it was raining, and we had a trailer full of furniture. So at the last minute we threw the rug over the furniture just to keep the furniture dry.

APPRAISER:
You're kidding?

GUEST:
No. Otherwise the rug would have stayed with the house.

APPRAISER:
And did it keep the furniture dry?

GUEST:
It did okay, yep.

APPRAISER:
Has anybody ever told you about the rug?

GUEST:
We know very little about it. We had a rug dealer look at it in about 1975.

APPRAISER:
Yeah?

GUEST:
And he offered us $2,000 for it.

APPRAISER:
What we have is a very pretty Sarouk carpet. It's a rug that woven in northwest Persia in the 1920s. And by the 1920s, Persian rugs were so popular both in Europe and the United States that production had become very large. And this is a very nice example of how, even though production had become large and they were making thousands of them, they were remaining true to their art form. And the colors in this rug are primarily natural dyes. It has the beautiful indigo blue, it's got this wonderfully rich red which is a natural dye. The salmon or pink color in the border is another natural dye which is actually a product of the second dye bath. After they've exhausted the first dye bath with the red they come up with the nice salmon color. It has a nice naturalistic drawing of the flowers. It's not a fussy rug. So many of the rugs that were being made at that time were very intricate and very kind of swirly in their design.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
The size is about a 7x10. Which is an unusual size. Usually they come 9x12. It's hard to find 7x10s. And one of the things that's really important to point out is that this rug was never re-colored. Many of the rugs that were made in this workshop were too bright for the taste of the 1920s or the 1930s.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
They wanted very deep, dark, somber colors. And when these beautiful vivid colors came through they didn't like them. And the dealers would actually retouch the red to turn it into a burgundy color.

GUEST:
Oh. Wow.

APPRAISER:
And women would sit on the floor with intravenous bottles and they would retouch all of the reds to be a maroon color.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
And so to have one come through that hadn't been given this treatment is really nice, because it shows the original jewel tones that were in that rug.

GUEST:
Oh, good.

APPRAISER:
Now back in the 1970s, a $2,000 offer probably was about right, because the dealer who was offering it to you was going to wholesale it to the European market.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
In today's market this rug holds up so well decoratively with it's beautiful coloration and nice drawing, that if I had it in my gallery I'd be offering it for about $11,000.

GUEST:
(laughing) Oh, that's wonderful. My aunt... my great aunt would be thrilled.

APPRAISER:
Isn't that an expensive rain cover, don't you think?

GUEST:
It sure is. Thank goodness it was raining that day.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Peter Pap Oriental Rugs of San Francisco, Inc.
San Francisco, California
Appraised value (2006)
$11,000 Retail
Event
Milwaukee, WI (July 29, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Rug

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