Sarouk rugs are made in a rather narrow range of
styles and qualities. Rarely do you see poor quality rugs
they are also rarely any better that good quality. It is unheard of to
rugs in the same grades as the best Isfahan
Rugs or Kerman rugs and
carpets. I can not remember a workshop grade Sarouk and there
is no sign of the fine cartoon designers that we see in other cities.
The Sarouk from the 1900 at least seems to have been designed by
With the loss of the European market in W.W.I the market
shifted to a rug called The American Sarouk . As Cecil Edwards
told us in The
Persian Carpet The American Sarouk had certain distinctive
characteristics that made it popular: P. R. J. Ford
suggests that the American Sarouk was originally produced by Mr. S. Tyriakian the
Arak representative of K.
S. Taushandjian of New York in the early 1920s1.
11 millimeter pile (.44 inches) deep pile. This was
long enough to stand up to a double alkali bleaching after which it was
Knot density from 9 by 10 to 10 by 12 knots to the
Mill spun cotton warps and the second thinner weft is
mill spun the straight weft was hand spun.
Rose field with floral sprays framed by a blue
The first European to set up a carpet business in the
Sarouk area was very likely Hotz and Son. In a reference to Hotz and
Ziegler Reinhard Hubel attributes the pastel shades to Ziegler which
suggests that Hotz was using natural dyes.
A.P.H. Hotz (1855-1930)
At the age of 19 Albertus Hotz went to Persia to engage
in commercial activities like oil prospecting, coal mining, banking and
the carpet weaving industry. In 1884 he moved the seat of his company
to London. In 1895 his business failed, but he remained in London until
1902. After a four-year stay in the Netherlands Hotz accepted the post
of consul of the Netherlands in Beirut, which he held intermittently
until his retirement in 1921. He died in Switzerland in 1930.
Hotz was an avid collector of books and maps. In 1925 he
donated part of his collection, mainly maps and atlases, to the Royal
Geographical Society, of which he was a fellow. After his death his
widow Lucy Woods donated his collection of 15,000 books together with a
great number of papers, pamphlets and photographs to Leiden University
Library. Well represented in the book collection are Middle Eastern
travelogues and diaries. A printed catalogue of the books appeared in
1935-1936: Catalogus A. Hotz, 2 vols., Leiden
(Bibliotheca Academiae Lugduno-Batavae, Catalogus,
vols. 27, 34). The Hotz
Collection / Oosterse collecties
Late Twentieth Century Sarouk
Sarouk rugs are still thick but they are no longer
painted. In the second half of the twentieth cream field Sarouks are
becoming more popular.
Prior to the introduction of the American Sarouk
these carpets represented the best of the Sarouk production. They were
attributed to the village of Feraghan but were likely made in a number
Once the American Sarouk took off these began to
disappear. These pieces are highly desirable in today's market and this
one sold for just over 500 dollar per square foot ($74,000)
at Sotheby's New York, when it went up for auction in 1998.
From the collection of the Mosque of the Imam Reza:
This is a Mahal Carpet. Mahal is a grade
of Sarouk that is thinner than an American Sarouk. This is one of the
rugs deaccessioned from the collection of the Mosque of the Imam Reza
when the Mosque sold off pieces of it's collection to raise funds.
Ziegler Rugs of Arak - In 1883, Ziegler and Co., of Manchester,
England, established a Persian carpet manufacture in Sultanabad (now
Arak), Iran, employing designers from major Western department stores,
like B. Altman and Liberty of London, to modify fanciful 16th- and
17th-century Eastern designs for the more restrained Western taste.
Using highly developed dying techniques (which Ziegler futilely
attempted to copyright) and the best artisans from the region, Ziegler
created rugs with bold, allover patterns and with softer palettes than
their vibrant Persian counterparts. Ziegler rugs developed an almost
immediate following, especially among newly monied Western
industrialists; early collectors included the Guinness family, the
owners of the stout-beer manufacture, who laid them in Elveden Hall,
their Suffolk, England, estate. http://www.farsinet.com/arak/
The key to understanding Ziegler Mahal carpet is that Ziegler organized
production on their own looms with their own designs. Ziegler designers
started with the standard Persian designs such as forked tendrils,
palmettes, and rosettes.