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Q&A: What's this Rainbow Senna Worth?



Rainbow Polychrome Warp Senna


I am interested in having this carpet which I inherited evaluated.  Please find attached requested photos, hope they are helpful to assess my carpet.  Size is 6.88x4.46 ft.  I am interested in knowing its current value.  I live in London-England.



Persian Rug with multi-color fringe

Knot Density of Rainbow Sennah

Silk Warp Senna reverse side

Polychrome multi-colored Fringe and ends

Pile of Silk Warp Senna




Very nice example, thank you for bringing this to our inbox!

This is known as a "Polychrome silk Warp Senna" Rug.  You can see a similar example of a "Rainbow Senna" here, and a more detailed description of the genre on this page.  Most commonly, they have wool pile on a silk foundation as we see in your example and the ones linked. Photographs can be deceiving sometimes, but we're going on our experience and making some assumptions.  We recommend this rug be reviewed by an expert in person.


To summarize the above links, this rug appears to have all characteristics of the traditional Persian Silk Warp Senna, which is a very unique variety of Persian rugs.  Typically, they are characterized with multi colored fringe/warps.

The majority of Silk warp Senna rugs seem to have a production frame of weaving between 1860-1910.  However, we believe there are earlier pieces, and certainly newer renditions of similar rugs which exist

Evaluating the rug from the provided photographs and assessing the piece as a whole, we found the following:  The design execution of your carpet appears to be very good.  Slight irregularity in shape and general construction rules out a much "newer" example in conjunction with material inputs and general weave.  The question here is: how old?

Within the multi-colored fringe of your carpet, there are clear "tan" and "orange" warps, which to us alludes to a slightly newer vintage.  The knots are slightly different than pre-1900 pieces.  The warps are highly exposed through the back of the rug as we can clearly see vertical striations delineated by the polychrome warp.

Given the above information, we believe this example may have been created slightly after the majority of production and woven around 1920, but perhaps as new as 1950.  To accurately determine age, we would need to see and feel the rug in person, although the coloration of warps seems to be a good visual indicator.  Most importantly, your rug appears to maintain and embody similar, desirable characteristics of the highly collectible antique rugs of this genre. The only problem is that going by photographs, it's probably best to err on a conservative side, and it could very well be as new as 1950's so that's important to keep in mind.

We were lucky enough to see the example at the bottom of the page in person.  This particular piece was brought to the hammer at a Sotheby's Sale in December 2007.  It was in close to pristine condition with exceptionally high knot density.  Upon our close inspection we found what Sotheby's referred to as "small losses to fringes" as a very slight unravelling of the flatwoven kilim.  Not necessarily loss, but a slight alteration of the fringe to be open rather than closed.  We're using this rug as an indicator & marker for your rug.  Again, the example below had significantly higher kpsi than your piece, with a pre-sale auction estimate of $10,000 - 15,000.  

Provided your rug is in similar condition with absolutely no pile wear or conditional issues...  And making the assumption this is close to a 1920's vintage... Comparing the two rugs: While lot 119 below sold with a 25% buyer's premium of $12,500, given the approximate age, the higher knot density of the Sotheby's rug (yet similar size to yours), and given the current market, we feel comfortable placing a loose auction estimate of $7,000 - 10,000 for your carpet sight unseen.  Please remember that a rug should always be carefully inspected in person by an expert for a thorough and an accurate evaluation.  Condition is very important for these rugs, even a few knot heads or pile wear may significantly affect value. 

If the rug is newer vintage, 1950's being a possibility, perhaps $4,000-7,000 in near immaculate condition.

Overall, you have a beautiful rug here in what appears to be very nice shape!

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to submit them in the text field at the bottom of this page.

All the best,

- Rug Rag

Lot 119 from a December 2007 Sale:  As Quoted on Sotheby's Website

Sale N08377
Session 1 | 13 Dec 07 10:00 AM
New York 



Sotheby's Lot 119 December 13, 2007


LOT 119


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