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An Antique Rainbow Senna Circa 1880

This is an antique silk warp "Rainbow" Senna measuring approximately 4'9"x7'3" from the last quarter 19th century.  While newer renditions of silk warp Senna rugs exist, most production seems to be isolated between 1860-1910.  Within antique Persian Rugs, the silk warp Senna is by far one of the easiest to identify:

Rainbow Silk Senna 


Below:  Other than the common medallion field with covered repeating designs, consistently silk warp Senna rugs are often found in the 5'x8' size or smaller, feature high knot count in the vicinity of 200-400 KPSI. This particular example has approximately 320 kpsi.



Below:  However, perhaps the most apparent and unique characteristic of such a rug is the multi-colored or "polychrome" silk warps which comprise the structure and fringe.  Silk warp Senna rugs are often nicknamed the "Rainbow" Senna, as the fringes are often found to have anywhere from 5-8 different colors such as purple, yellow, ivory, green, red and blue.

Rainbow Senna


Below:  A close up detail of one corner.  From lower left to upper right: note the yellow, purple and green fringe (or foundation).   This piece also has overcasting to prevent end loss

Fringe Detail


Below:  While the foundation warps are silk, the pile is almost exclusively wool.



Below:  A close up detail image of the edge of the rug.  If original, Rainbow silk Senna rugs often have a two cord silk selvage sometimes the color of which would be in the "purple" family.

Silk Warp Senna Selvages


Below:  Looking closely at the reverse side of the rug, we can see a bit of the foundation warp threads showing through the knots.  See how a slight overcast is seen running vertically through the rug taking on a similar tone of the warp beneath.

Reverse side of Senneh Persian Rug


Sennah Corner


One or more example(s) photographed above courtesy Dilmaghani & Co. from the inventory of their NY oriental rug Warehouse Outlet or NY showroom of Oriental Rugs 

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