Persian Rugs

Persian Rugs: Sarouk Rugs and Carpets

10.26.07 | 66 Comments

What is a Sarouk Rug?

A Sarouk rug is a type of Persian rug originally woven in the Arak weaving district of Iran in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some are expensive: $45,000 to $60,000 for a great 9′ by 12′, for example. But what is the difference between a Ferahan and a Ferahan Sarouk Or between a Malayer and a Josan Sarouk? And why does America get to have its own kind of Sarouk? For collectors and home-decorators alike, big money may ride on being well-informed about Sarouks. Let’s see if we can sort them out.

Setting the stage with some Persian rug history

Persia enjoyed a golden age of rug making during the 16th and 17th centuries, but it was ended by the Afghan invasion in 1722 and an ensuing period of nearly continuous warfare. Carpet-making as an industry seems to have nearly died in Persia during the 18th and much of the 19th centuries. But toward the end of the 19th century, carpet merchants in Tabriz in Northern Persia began to enjoy strong demand for carpets from the West. To meet demand, by 1875 they had organized rug weaving in and around the town of Arak (formerly known as Sultanabad) in north-western Iran. By 1883, Western companies had established their own presence in Arak (Ziegler and Company was the first and most important) and were producing rugs with Western tastes in mind.

Persian Ferahan rug
Persian Ferahan rug

Ferahan type Persian rugs

One of the earliest of the new breed of Arak District Persian rugs were known as Ferahans—not Ferahan Sarouks, but simply Ferahans. We mention them here only to distinguish them from the rugs that became known as Ferahan Sarouks.

Ferahans seem to have been made from about 1875 until perhaps 1913. Nearly all were in Herati designs unbroken by medallions, on madder red fields. Ordinarily they were in long and narrow sizes, like 7 ft by 15 ft—though I have seen a few roughly 4 by 6 ft pieces too. They were asymmetrically knotted and single wefted. Many were prized for the color of their borders, invariably described in books as pistachio green. I’m sorry to say they are all worn out. Perhaps three good-conditioned Ferahans have passed through my hands in the past 30 years and none in the past ten. Younger members of my staff have never seen even a worn Ferahan.

Persian Ferahan Sarouk rug
Persian Ferahan Sarouk rug

Persian Ferahan Sarouk rugs

Another weave was developed in the Arak District at nearly the same time, commissioned by Tabriz merchants and woven from about 1890 to World War One. Simply called Sarouks at the time, these are the rugs that have become known as Ferahan Sarouks. In appearance they are quite different from Ferahans. They’re finer (an average of 270 knots per square inch in a recent sampling) and heavier (they are double-wefted with depressed warps) and unlike Ferahans are most often made in medallion designs on blue or ivory fields. Fairly often they were made in pictorial designs featuring trees and birds.

In the first years of their manufacture, local weaving skills simply were not up to the detailed designs supplied by the Tabriz merchants. Weavers managed to produce finely knotted carpets, but everything in them is just a little out of whack. There is something charmingly clumsy about these Ferahan Sarouks. Indeed, their lack of perfection is a characteristic by which they may be identified. Weavers in Kashan who were making rugs at the same time with similar designs and of similar fineness usually produced more skillfully woven rugs, though perhaps not as charming.

As they have become scarce, Ferahan Sarouks have become extremely desirable and hideously expensive. I personally share the market’s enthusiasm for Ferahan Sarouks. Though they were merely commercial products of their day, created to fill a market demand, the best of these naturally-dyed carpets are wonderful, and they all have a true Persian character. By World War One, the same market forces that had created them judged them to be old fashioned, and their production gave way to the American Sarouk.

Persian Malayer Sarouk rug
Persian Malayer Sarouk rug

Malayer Sarouks and Josan Sarouks

An old dirt road connects Arak and Hamadan, which lie about 125 miles apart. On this road, roughly half way between, lie two villages, Malayer and Josan, whose rugs are often mistaken for Ferahan Sarouks. Rugs from both villages share many characteristics with Ferahan Sarouks: a fine weave and designs featuring medallions, for instance. But they are symmetrically knotted and usually not quite as nice as old Ferahan Sarouks.

Why? For one, they are more likely to have been made with synthetic dyes and often they have pronounced, even jarring abrash. Still, the best old Malayers and Josans are marvelous rugs.

American Sarouk rug
American Sarouk rug (Persian)

The American Sarouk

Writing in the late 1940s, English oriental carpet professional A. Cecil Edwards identified the gentleman who dreamed up the first rugs destined to become known as American Sarouks or painted Sarouks. Mr. S. Tyriakian, of the New York firm of K.S Taushandjian, thought Americans might buy rose-field carpets with blue borders and detached floral motives. He submitted his own design to Arak weavers, a design that was not very Persian in character but was nonetheless attractive. Writes Edwards, "The design was successful beyond its creator’s fondest imaginings. The orders poured in to Sultanabad…Before long, Sultanabad was weaving little else…Unhappily, the story does not end there. The new style radiated outwards from Sultanabad and spread its baleful influence over the designers of Kashan, Meshed, Kerman and Hamadan. Tabriz alone escaped." Why does Edwards call the new style baleful? Largely because of its monotony and pervasiveness over many years, but also because of an additional twist. You see, the beautiful, naturally-dyed rose color used in Sarouks of the 20s and 30s could not stand up to the alkaline bath to which new rugs in Arak were subjected in the finishing process. The rose-color faded radically.

But instead of changing the finishing process or changing the composition of the dyes to stand up to alkali, New York merchants "solved" the problem by arming their staffs with synthetic dyes and little paint brushes with which they painted back in the rose-color in the entire fields of thousands and thousands of rugs and carpets over a period of 20 years.

Seventy five years later, many of these Sarouks are still in use on American floors. Some look terrible. Their painted-on red has become mottled and uneven. Others, defying reasonable expectations, look wonderful! After being lightly regarded for perhaps forty years, they are now back in favor. The grace of age has given them added value in our eyes. A pretty 9 by 12 ft carpet, in by no means perfect condition, can easily fetch $8,500. During the past 15 years techniques have been developed for stripping the paint from old Sarouks. Sometimes the process results in the restoration of a rug’s original, glorious color. But not always. The results are inconsistent, and it is possible to ruin a Sarouk by stripping it. In any case, because the process is hard on rugs, only Sarouks in very good condition can be successfully stripped.

How do you identify an American Sarouk? They are woven with the asymmetrical knot, usually about 120 of them per square inch. They are double wefted and have a fairly stiff handle. At least 95% are in rose fields; a few are blue. They have designs of scattered floral sprays. If, in addition to these features, you find that the field-color of a carpet is light rose on the back and dark rose- or even burgundy- on the top, it’s an American Sarouk.

Mojarajan Sarouk rug
Moharajan Sarouk rug

Mohajaran Sarouks

Every rug dealer knows exactly what a Mohajaran Sarouk is. The trouble is that they don’t agree. A survey of a few of my colleagues reveals that some believe Mohajarans began to be woven in about 1900 while others think they were not produced until about 1920. One dealer says there was a village named Mohajaran near Arak and that Mohajarans were made there—though I’ve not been able to find Mohajaran on any map. Others believe that Mohajaran is nothing but the name of a grade of Sarouk. Most believe that Mohajarans are finer than American painted Sarouks, though my survey suggests they are just the same—about 120 knots per square inch. Unfortunately, no one has written authoritatively about Mohajaran Sarouks. A. Cecil Edwards, who was in the rug business from about 1900 to 1947 and who for many years was stationed in Persia, says not a word about them though he writes at length about other kinds of Sarouks. It seems likely that, whatever Mohajaran Sarouks are, they were not thought of as separate from other American Sarouks until after Edward’s time.

Here’s what most dealers do seem to agree on. Mohajarans were contemporaries of the American painted Sarouk, made from about 1924 or earlier (I personally doubt they were made earlier) until the late 1930s. Though their designs of scattered floral sprays are essentially the same as those in American Sarouks, they are sparer and less highly ornamented than American Sarouks. They are more likely to have blue fields than American Sarouks, though rose fields probably constitute the majority. Some dealers have noted in them a softer, more blankety handle than in other American Sarouks. They may be a little less likely to have been painted. Small Mohajarans are rare; most are room-sized. Dealers also agree that they are more valuable than American Sarouks as, indeed, they are rarer and often prettier.

Did Mohajarans have a common maker: a particular workshop or a village behind them? Possibly so. But it is also possible that Mohajaran is nothing but the name we give to extra nice American Sarouks. Some are very nice indeed and are worth the extra cost.

Indo-Sarouks

Indo-Sarouks are Indian copies of Sarouks. For decades Indian rug makers tried to capture the look of old Sarouks without succeeding. Just lately, though, we have begun to see impressively attractive and well-made Indo-Sarouks. (I have counted 169 knots per inch in a Mohajaran look-alike and nearly 300 knots in a Ferahan knock-off.) As with many other new rugs in the market now, rug-designers have gone back to the best old pieces for their models. When rug-makers reproduce American Sarouks, for instance, they often copy exceptional old Mohajaran-types with spare designs. The best producers have captured the exquisite rose-color of old Sarouks. A few manufacturers have undertaken to reproduce old Ferahan Sarouks and one or two have succeeded admirably. Most, though, are still short of the mark when it comes to capturing the beauty of an old Ferahan Sarouk.

66 Comments

  • On 10.31.07 Thank you wrote:

    We just discovered today that we have an American Sorouk when we had a rug cleaner come over to pick it up. It belonged to my father and has been in storage for many years but luckily it is in almost perfect condition and I am thrilled to still have it in the family. I just stumbled across your site when looking for information- thanks for the great history lesson!

  • On 11.05.07 Allen wrote:

    What do you mean by type?

  • On 11.25.07 Kevin wrote:

    A lower taxonomic category selected as a standard of reference for a higher category; also : a specimen or series of specimens on which a taxonomic species or subspecies is actually based.

  • On 04.15.08 e.j. wrote:

    i have a beautiful 2 1/2 x 5 american sarouk in very good condition. does anyone know it’s value or who would be interested in buying it for a fair price?

  • On 04.16.08 Richard wrote:

    I’d be happy to take a look if you can send a photo.
    Richard@internetrugs.com

  • On 05.28.08 Marilyn Motsch wrote:

    I have an antique Sarouk purchased in 1925 by my great aunt — I have the original bill of sale. Unfortunately it is too large for my small house and I must sell it. I’m having it hand-cleaned and the ends secured by a rug dealer here (in Louisville, KY). It has a small area of moth damage in one corner and is otherwise in great shape. My dealer here says it the moth damaged area were restored it would be worth around $6000, the restoration would cost around $1500.

    Any advice you could give me on how to sell this rug would be greatly appreciated. Should I try to sell it myself? Shop it around to other dealers? What is a fair commission if I have the dealer here sell it? I have already paid over $500 for cleaning and securing the ends.

    The rug size is 9′ x 13′.

  • On 06.05.08 Mary wrote:

    I think it’s wonderful to have a space to discuss and learn about the wonderful art of persian rug making.

  • On 06.07.08 Richard wrote:

    Marilyn,
    My first advice is that if you plan to sell it to a dealer, don’t invest in the re-weave. Let them do the work on the piece and save yourself some money. If the dealer is charging $1500 for the repair, it probably is costing them $700. If you consign the piece to a dealer, the way it usually works is, you set a price (which is usually about half the retail) and no matter what, that is the price you get if the carpet sells. So if the dealer says the piece is worth $6000 retail, you consign for $2500-$3000 and the dealer makes the retail $6000. You split the profit. If you sell the piece privately you become the dealer and should expect to get something close to the retail price. The best way to do this is on Ebay or Craigslist. You can also put an ad in your local paper. Good Luck! If you have any other questions please e-mail me at Richard@internetrugs.com

  • On 06.07.08 Richard wrote:

    Thanks Mary!

  • On 06.23.08 Kate wrote:

    I have what I think is an American Sarouk rug that has been in my family for over sixty years. It measures 18.3×9.3 The tag says Iran rug number 1087 and has a word in a language unknown to me. The rug is in excellent condition with fringe edging still intact although I imagine shorter than when it was first produced. I am interested in selling this piece. Could you tell me what a fair price would be? The color is primarily red and the rug had been cleaned without fading so I don’t think it is one of the painted rugs mentioned in your article.

  • On 06.24.08 admin wrote:

    Kate, would you be able to email a picture of your rug to richard@internetrugs.com?

  • On 06.24.08 Kate wrote:

    yes tommorrow. You can communicate thru e-mail if you want. Check yours. Mine looks very similar to your American sarouk pictured above with the square boader and the floral medallions. The largerst meallion is in the center is one center medallion and two smaller ones above and below the center and then several smaller ones throughtout. The weave on the back is appro 120 per square inch and the colors on the back are more brilliant than the front.

  • On 06.24.08 Kate wrote:

    Pardon my typos I have a four year old leaning on me.

  • On 08.11.08 Carol Tocco wrote:

    I just found out a rug I purchased at an estate sale is an Iranian Sarough made in the 1950′s. We took it to for cleaning not knowing the source of the rug until we received a call from the owner. The recommendation is to clean it via a high temperature ‘superwash’ since the carpet is made from vegetable dyes, which would cost $877 vs a routine rug cleaning at $57. There is a moth area present. To rehabilitate the fringe would cost $1937 for a German version or a hand stitching at $4735 (both include the cleaning). I would like to sell the rug so should I invest in the better cleaning? I’m inclined to forget the re-fringing based on what you recommended above. Also, I am told the rug could sell wholesale for $9000-10,500. Could this be so?

  • On 08.12.08 Richard wrote:

    Carol,
    It is never ok to use hot water when cleaning an Oriental carpet. Oriental carpets should be hand washed with cold water using a mild soap. Think of it as a really really expensive sweater. The fringe repair sound like an absurd amount of money and I would advise against it. Sarouk carpets woven in the 50′s rarely would be valued so high. If you would like to send me a photo of the piece I would be happy to take a look and give you my opinion of value and repair options. Richard@internetrugs.com

  • On 08.12.08 Carol Tocco wrote:

    Thank you for your advice. We also called another oriental rug cleaner in Los Angeles, who said the same thing. Now, we wonder if it is really a Sarouk at all! We will be picking up the rug. Can you make a recommendation for a cleaner in the LA area? Thanks, again.

  • On 08.15.08 Grace wrote:

    I don’t know if you received my message from yesterday (8/14) but I justed purchased ($300) a 4.8×9.4 Persian Sarouk, quality-Fine. It is numbered 17907 Jak 1038. It is in excellent condition and I would like your opinion if this was a good buy. The colors are predominatly red (boarder) with black (center) and other colors (greens, light browns, white, etc.)
    The person I bought it has two smaller rugs and will buy them if you believe this in fact is a Persian Sarouk. Please advise.

  • On 08.15.08 Richard wrote:

    Grace,
    Please feel free to send me photos of the piece and I will gladly give you my opinion. The colors seem a bit odd for a Sarouk.
    Richard@InternetRugs.com

  • On 11.20.08 Rayya Stevens wrote:

    We just moved to kuwait and want to start a collection of rugs to take home when we retire. What is a good starting point. We would like to start by purchasing two large rugs for a living room and dining room- Any help advice would be greatly appreciated. We went to the local souk and got bombarded by gorgeous rugs and walked away more confused when we arrived.

  • On 11.23.08 Edna wrote:

    I just purchased an old rug, 3′x6″ x 3′x 4″ from a consignment store. It looks like a Sarouk. It smells musty but in good condition. It looks clean but should I send it out for a professional cleaning or can I just try to air it out?

  • On 11.25.08 Richard wrote:

    I’d have to see a picture of it to advise you. You can e-mail a photo to Richard@internetrugs.com

  • On 11.28.08 Kevin C wrote:

    Hello,

    Does this look like a Sarouk? Not sure about price – good/fair/not so good ; -]

    Thank-you
    Kevin

    [Link to expired page removed by moderator]

  • On 02.23.09 Delores Holcomb wrote:

    My receipt shows I purchased a Savannah “sarouk” 5171 rug in Dec, 2004. Description” 550 red. It is 9’10″ X 12’11″. What is this and what is the approximate value? I did not see Savannah mention in your information.

  • On 03.18.09 pam wrote:

    I just bought 4 rugs. Have original rec from a importer of rare oriental rugs dated 1946. There are two that are called sarouk/ 4.4×6.10@original price of 400.00 and 4.10×7.2@original price of 450.00. They both have boarders with flower like pattern in middle. They both are in good shape, no fading or worn spots. Can you give me any information? Thank you

  • On 03.19.09 Carol wrote:

    I have found a Iranian Sarauk rug, 40″ x 60″ in a consignment shop. There are loose ends on either end but the rug seems in good shape. What would a fair price be?

  • On 03.20.09 Richard wrote:

    Carol and Pam,
    If you can send me photos I can better answer your questions.
    Regards,
    Richard
    Richard@internetrugs.com

  • On 03.24.09 Olivera wrote:

    Hi there I have a rug thats been in the family for a long time i was told that its a persian rug of some sort, Unfortunately it has no tags on it they where taken off by my mother unknowingly, Its a deep morone colour with men on horses fighting, Its in great condition and it has a lovely soft silky feel to it! What can i do to find out/value it???

    Thankyou for your time!

  • On 03.25.09 Olivera wrote:

    I would like to correct myself there sorry!! Its men on horse back with Spears/bow and arrow – with dears and i think there tigers i cant tell!! It also has branches from tree’s and flowers – The colours are Morone, green, cream, black, There are those particular animals i mentioned on the outside of the border and the men on horse back are on the inside. The tag my mother had taken of it was attached to string at the end of it was a metal or red tag. Thankyou and sorry!!!
    Just wanted to know wether you could tell me something about it, or reccomend someone who can?

  • On 03.25.09 richard wrote:

    If you can send a photo of the piece I’d be happy to take a look.
    Richard@internetrugs.com

  • On 03.31.09 Olivera wrote:

    Hi there Richard, I sent you the photo’s and im hoping you have received them?

    Thankyou!

  • On 05.02.09 Kathy wrote:

    Hello Experts,
    I have just sent you an email with several pictures of our Iranian Sarouk rug. It will be interesting to hear back from you.
    Again, thanks to Richard and to all there who do this to help people. We DON’T want to sell this rug on Ebay. We want to sell it to the right people if we can and would appreciate knowing a little more about what we have.

    Thanks again, for a great website and very easy to read and understand descriptions and photographs. We can see why you enjoy what you do!

    All the Best,
    K.

  • On 06.27.09 Andrew wrote:

    hi there.
    I have a room size sarouk carpet. both front and back are the same colour. light rose. and large flower motifs.
    about 120 knots per square inch. made in 1920s. my question is how can I identify if it is a muhajeran sarouk or American sarouk as called. it is a single wefted carpet. it is in good condition. and also would like to know the going prices nowdays.
    I appreciated your comments.
    with kind regards.
    Andrew

  • On 07.09.09 Richard wrote:

    Send us a couple of photos. Back, front, and detail to the address above.

  • On 07.23.09 nargis wrote:

    Hi I have a collection of old rugs from iran which were passed on to me by my family they have been in the family for almost 70 years they are beautifully made and are still in good condition i am not sure of the value and was hoping if you could advise thanks

  • On 07.23.09 Keiko Stusnick wrote:

    I asked you about my recently purchased Persian rug with several photos attached late June. I haven’t heard anything from you. What’s going on? I took time. Trusted you. I followed your instruction as above. And there is no answer from you.
    Hi, Olivia, are you in the same situation” as below?:
    On 03.31.09 Olivera wrote:
    Hi there Richard, I sent you the photo’s and im hoping you have received them?

  • On 07.30.09 Richard wrote:

    Keiko,
    If I understand you correctly you feel your trust betrayed by the timeliness of the “FREE” advice you are seeking.
    We receive about 20 emails a day from people wanting to know the type, maker, and value of their carpets. We do this free of charge and for the pure enjoyment of helping people get as excited about Oriental carpets as we are.
    In all the hundreds of emails we have received and responded to, no one has ever complained about how fast we have responded to their queries. I have to admit I find it a bit unpalatable.
    Below is your email to us, and after, my response.

    Hi, Richard, I happen to find your website about Sarouk rugs today. From your explanation, the rug I bought from Estate Sales recently seems American Sarouk with mainly pink and partly blue. It’s worn-out, but in good condition. 2 edges are secured roughly. It looks very old. The size is 5′ 8 1/2″ by 3′ 8 1/2″. There is no tag attached but faded fabric tape stapled on the back of one corner. The colors seems all natural ly dyed. I don’t know knot-wise per inch. or double wefted (?). To me it’s rather thin and tight woven. .Attached are several photos about the rug. I am so interested in your opinion. Thank you so much. Stusnick

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
    Leonardo da Vinci

    Keiko,
    The piece is a Persian Kerman woven sometime in the middle of the last century. I’d say no earlier than 1950 and no later than 1960. The piece is missing the ends and the foundation is showing in a large part of the field affecting its value. Kermans, whether very old or in this case not, always had the most luxurious wool. Please accept my apologies for the Timeliness of my response.

    By the way, Olivera received here response the day after she sent it and was pleased with the FREE appraisal of her carpet.

  • On 07.30.09 Richard wrote:

    Nargis,
    Send photos to the address above and I’ll be happy to take a look.
    Regards,
    Richard

  • On 07.31.09 Richard wrote:

    Thank you Keiko I accept your apology. You got a really good deal on the carpet and I hope you enjoy it for years to come.

    Hi, Richard,

    As a hindsight, I feel so bad and apologize to you. After I bought the worn-out Persian rug, I tried to check the rug’s history from several websites in vain. When I found your site and I read other people’s comments (questions to you), I took several pictures and emailed to you which was on July 4th. Today is July 30th. I have had many experiences replies through on-line never came back to me even when they were just questions, not an appraisal. Recently I went back to your site and read that someone had written to you with the photo attached, but that he hadn’t had a reply from you. And I thought mine was the same case, and I wouldn’t get any answer even when I took several pictures with my detailed explanation about the rug so you would easily recognize about it.

    Right, you may have so many similar questions, but I didn’t think that you are answering each of the email with such an honest way now you did to me. I only read your simple answers to some people, and also I read that you are asking some people to add the pictures so you can answer to them. But after that? I didn’t know how they got your appraisals or not. I did everything possible and waited for your free appraisal. Yes, it’s free. Even if you hadn’t replied to me, I shouldn’t have complained. But I wanted to say one thing which made you upset. As a hindsight, I really feel sorry. You gave me an sincere appraisal today.

    You are totally different from some other ‘contact us’ people.

    Please add this comment on your website. I don’t mind it. But don’t change my words. You deserve doing it.
    BTW, I got that rug for $90 at some estate sale. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your appraisal. Sincerely Keiko

  • On 08.08.09 Shawna wrote:

    Thanks for the great article. We just purchase at 10.7 x 13.8 Persian Sarouk today that I’m curious about. I emailed you pictures and more information.

  • On 09.04.09 Molly wrote:

    Oh my gosh, I’m confused. I have what I think is a Sarouk from the 20s. My grandfather was a doctor in New Jersey and they most likely purchased this for their home when they were first married in the late 20s. And since all “well appointed” homes had one of these, I can believe it. It has a beautiful playful floral heart-shaped motif. Probably a wedding present is my guess. Deep rich tones. Azure blues,golds,greens and pinks on a deep red base, deep blue border. Little over 10 x 13. So in order to price this thing, I’m lost. The pinks in it are NOT painted, I see them on the back in the weave. Does it make a difference?

  • On 09.12.09 Richard wrote:

    Molly,
    If you care to send me a picture at the above address, I’d be happy to take a look.

  • On 09.22.09 Molly wrote:

    Yes, I will. I just had a local persian rug guy come look at it and I just don’t know. He said it is worth about 1500, but would be 7-8000 if it didn’t have the “wear”. Gosh, the wear he saw is not that bad! Really. No holes, still full color, still thick looking. Edges need some stitching help, but no big deal there. It is 9’7″ x 15.3″ by the way. He said he would “trade” it. 1500 toward a new rug in his shop. I feel iffy about this deal.

  • On 09.23.09 Molly wrote:

    I sent the photos to you. I would like to hear more discussion about “wear” on rugs and how it affects value if you care to comment. Also, I would love to be able to see people’s rugs that are writing in. Perhaps a link somewhere to another site so we can reference them? As if you don’t have enough to do.

  • On 09.25.09 Mildred B. wrote:

    I have a Persian Sarouk that was my Aunts. It is 14.7 x 17.4. My Aunt bought it when she had her first house back in the 20′s. It was appraised for $12,000.00 in 1980. Can you tell me how much it is worth?

  • On 12.06.09 laura denny wrote:

    Hi I have a rug that was in my Mothers bedroom when she was a little girl. It has been in our family for eighty to ninty years. It has a tan floral medallion in the middle and a blue background with a red edge. It is about 9 by 13′. It is mostly floral. A rug dealer came by today and said it was a Sarouk and made in Arak. He said he would charge 2000 dollars to repair it as it has three tears in it and the edges need repair. He says it is worth between 7 to 10.000 dollars. The edge is really red and then a blue and then a tan stripe. Flowers and beautiful designs abound. He said it had held up really well. I would never sell it but I just wonder if I should have it fixed and put it in a less trafficed area. I would appreciate your ideas on this.

  • On 12.06.09 laura denny wrote:

    I looked again at the history on this page and I do think it’s a Mohajaran Sarouk. It has the same kind of tendrilly flower designs. It is room sized and I know my Grandfather got it overseas.

  • On 01.08.10 Greg Daniel wrote:

    Hello there. I own a non-traditional lending business and started doing some loans backed by Persian (and similar) rugs as collateral. According to the Borrower, they are Bidjar, Shiraz, Kilim. Sarouk, Tibetan, Gaschghai, Kashan, and Turkman. A number of them are old and beautiful and others are more “average”. I could end up owning them all and was curious about valuing and selling them (I assumed lower values and used my common sense so that I didn’t get into them for too much money). Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Greg

  • On 05.11.10 Jessica wrote:

    Do Sarouk rugs typically have a tag on them?

  • On 12.15.10 بنیامین (Benjamin) wrote:

    با سلام و آرزوی موفقیت شما در فروش محصولاتتان من ملایری هستم اما ساکن تهرانم از اینکه فعالیت شما را در این زمینه میبینم خوشهالم
    (Hello, and good luck in selling your products. I am from Malayar but I am living in Tehran. I am happy to see that you are active in this area.)

  • On 12.30.10 Sharon Medvitz wrote:

    Thank you so much, I enjoyed reading your history of the Sarouk Carpets. When folks such as yourself share their knowledge with others via the internet it makes me very hopeful for the future. Happy New Year

  • On 02.07.11 Mark Carlson wrote:

    Your article on Sarouk rugs on this site was very helpful in identifying my 9 X 12 rug. It appears to be a painted American Sarouk that has been in the family since at least the 1920s. It appears to me to be in very good condition. I will submit a picture when I get one and if you are interested in seeing it. Mostly I want to know how to get it appraised in the Philadelpia area. I do want to sell it as it is too “burgundy” for any family member at this point in time.

  • On 03.05.11 Sunny wrote:

    This is a really wonderful article. Thank you for sharing this information.

  • On 08.14.11 Carol Horton wrote:

    Would you know of a place in NH where I could buy a persian carpet?! Thanks.

  • On 11.15.11 Billy Leitch wrote:

    Well!!such a great site for information on these beautiful rugs,thank you all.
    All the very best Billy
    Photos to come

  • On 12.12.11 Sita Wissenbach wrote:

    Thank you… really needed this information as i have a few old Persian rugs/carpets including an American Sarouk, a Mohajaran Sarouk, a Sarouk Mir and one that resembles the Indo-Sarouk but far more intricate among others.

  • On 12.13.11 Kim wrote:

    Hello, I have an American Sarouk, quite similar to the rug posted here. Mine is painted. Last night my husband spilled coffee on the rug and I quickly cleaned it up. Using a little dishwashing liquid, on a cold wet face cloth, I wiped up the coffee. The place where the coffee was, is now beautifully luminous. It must need a good cleaning. Did the coffee remove some of the paint?

    The rug has a 5″ x 2″ hole, it does not appear to be rot or moth damage The main border appears to have been removed, leaving only two inner guards. It must have once been 9′ X 12′, now roughly 7′ X 10′. The pile is mostly even, without foundation exposure. Is there any resale value left in this rug?

  • On 02.23.12 Patsy Hollingsworth wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing information about these rugs. It is very helpful to know that there are others that share our interest!

  • On 02.26.12 Patti wrote:

    Very informative. I have just discovered that I may have A Sarouk from the early 1900s & am just begining to hunt for info. This site is a great start for me. I have sent email to you with questions & looking forward to hearing from you. Great to have a site where you actually may find out about your rug. Thank you

  • On 06.28.12 Judith Henley wrote:

    I sent a picture of a Sarouk Rug purchased in 1980…the size is 2.1 X 4.2 – red. Would you know the approximate worth?

  • On 08.10.12 S. Halburian wrote:

    I have a Sarouk rug that is 114 years old. The colors are very good. Can you help me I need to sell it, but need help with it. Some time ago a dealer saw it and said it is a “nice piece”.

    It is about 15×18 feet. Dark red and dark blue with other colors as well. I will e-mail you pictures under the name of sh2_24_62@yahoo.com

  • On 04.13.13 Barbara wrote:

    I have a 21’3′ x 10’5″ Sarouk that has been in the family for 80 years. Rose background with blue/gold–all over flower motif. It is in very good condition having been kept away from the sun and no repairs. It was appraised in 1991 for $12,500. Is there a market today for large-scale persian rugs and what would be the current retail value?

  • On 07.26.13 Kathy wrote:

    I have several old Sarouk rugs that I am interested in selling. I have no idea what they are worth and would appreciate your advice. The first one is 8.9 x 11.5 and in good shape. I will email a separate picture. Thanks!

  • On 09.19.13 Douglas Stock wrote:

    Dear Mr. Eiland,

    Your article is very well written and of great service to the antique rug field. Thank you.

    I have had slightly different experiences or impressions on a few counts. First, in my experience, rugs of the “Fereghan” (Ferahan) type, as opposed to “Fereghan Sarouks”, tend to have navy fields, rather than the madder red you mention. Also, at least in my experience, there are probably more red (or rose or salmon) field Fereghan Sarouk rugs and carpets than navy or ivory; though a fair number of pieces with those background shades are indeed also seen.

    Regarding what “Mahajaran” Sarouks are, and I agree with you regarding the ambiguity in definition of these, the designs do tend to be, as you mention, more open and spacious than the typical “American Sarouks” with their floral cluster designs. Mahajaran Sarouk rugs and carpets also tend to feature more rectilinear articulation of the motifs; and that suggests a bridge period between the Fereghan Sarouk era, which also tended to be rectilinear, although fine and floral in basic composition, and the later commercial Sarouks of the 1920s – 1930s, that tended to be more curvilinear. This has generally suggested to me that the Mahajaran Sarouks, which are generally navy field examples, though lots of red ones are seen too, probably predate the predominantly red field and more “floral” (curvilinear) Sarouks of the 1920s and later. All conjecture, admittedly.

    Thank you, again, for your fine article and your contributions to the Oriental rug field.

    Respectfully and with best wishes,
    Douglas Stock

  • On 01.16.14 Trevor Sedgwick wrote:

    I inherited a Persian Persian which I think is a Sarouk , light green back ground and pink flowers etc , my parents got it from my grandparents , just interested , can I send a picture to you ? Thanks so much !

  • On 01.20.14 Kate Kozlowski wrote:

    This article rocks! Thank you for this site!

  • On 03.31.14 G. Herr wrote:

    We have a Red, Oriental rug large size, we bought it from Marshall Fields , Chicago about 1964…a few years later Fields called us ( the head of the dept ) and asked if we would sell it back to the store..as I remember we paid just under $2000.00. If you would give us an Idea of value, I will take some pictures and find the original sales receipt. The label says Royal Sarouk , just let me know…Jerry

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