Common Sizes: Most common are larger, room size carpets such as 9' x 12'. However, many unusual sizes may be found from 2' x 3' all the way to 12' x 20'.
Approximate KPSI: Generally 100-180, although higher density exist. Below 100 kpsi may indicate an arak weaving.
Materials: Wool pile with cotton foundation.
Common Motif: Traditionally an allover design/covered field with floral sprays although medallions with both covered and open field are not atypical.
Distinguishing Characteristics: One of the only rugs in the market to be acceptable with a 'painted' field.
Approximate vintage: 1920's thru late 1950's.
Typical Price Points**: The 'average' 9' x 12' American Sarouk in fair condition may be found in or around $1750 at retail. Exceptional condition and quality may be found as high as $10,000 for the same size. Very high qualities, unique designs, and smaller pieces A 2' x 3' to 4' x 7' in exceptional condition can command as high as $300/sq.ft.
Alternative Spellings: Saruq, Sarook, Saruk
Common Colors: Wine red, navy blue, golds, some colorful accent top colors as well.
The American Sarouk is perhaps one of the more popular designs of the 20th century. The American Sarouk was a genre of rug which was woven in Sarouk, Persia. The demand, importation and production of such carpets was very high from the 1920's through the 1950's. While the American Sarouk varied greatly in thickness, some of the more identifiable characteristics include the following:
1. American Sarouks often feature a red background with blue border, or blue background with red border. While the color of red varied greatly from a dusty rose to a deep wine red, the use of these reds was almost guaranteed to come with a deep blue. There were few exceptions to these color combinations. Blue backgrounds seem to be less commonly found. Another less commonly found field color was a ivory.
2. American Sarouks were most often produced with an allover "floral spray" pattern. While some American Sarouks did feature medallions, they are found in far less frequency. The floral sprays basically were set into proportion with the size of the carpet, however looked like a cluster bouquet of flowers often in a diamond shape covering the field. American Sarouks almost never had spandrels in the corners of the field, and most common sizes were 9x12. It is not unusual to find unique and oversize American Sarouk pieces too.
Above: A typical American Sarouk design, although a very finely woven carpet for its type with approximately 140 - 160 knots per inch. Note the quantity of different colors all ranging in jewel tones of ruby red, emerald green, sapphire blue: These are the signature colors of a classic and finely woven American Sarouk. In this particular carpet, there is excellent contrast, especially in the pinwheels stemming from the central medallion. A beautiful example woven around 1930. The photgraph of this Sarouk rug is courtesy Old New House.
Above: Another classic example of a traditional American Sarouk. Note the deeper burgundy tone of this piece, which is about as deep red as the shade was ever made post painting. We estimate this rug to have an estimated weaving date of 1945. The photograph of this Sarouk rug is courtesy Old New House.
Above: Circa 1925 Persian Sarouk. This is a rug that many would perhaps consider being part of the very latter end production of Mohajeran as opposed to American Sarouk production in Persia. However, the character of this carpet is thicker in nature, the design is clearly transitioning and leaning more toward American Sarouk (large floral boquets) and perhaps most relevant - the shades of the colors as well as relative spacing / design balance of patterns are now by this time more closely related to what is considered American Sarouk.
The photograph of this Sarouk rug is courtesy Old New House.
Above: A transitional Sarouk connecting production of Mohajeran Sarouk rugs of the very late 19th century into the first quarter 20th century to american sarouk rugs. The physical character of this carpet is considerably thinner by weave, lending credit to Mohajeran production. The design, however, shows an evolution from Mohajeran characteristics and hints to new design elements soon to be consistently seen in American Sarouk production. A beautiful transitional rug connecting both eras of production. We date this carpet as being woven around 1910. Also note the lovebirds. Here is some additional information on Sarouk rugs. The photograph of this
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