We are not really 'rug dealers', per se.
However, there are certain rugs that I consider
far more than a 'floor covering',
truly fine, amazing
works of art for the floor.
Finely woven flatweaves fall precisely into that category.
I enjoying seeing each stitch, clearly defined,
with the resulting interwoven patterns and varied textures.
Nothing is blurred, as on piled rugs
(on which I actually prefer seeing the knotheads).
Heading my own flatweave list is the
also known as a 'Verneh Sileh Soumak'.
This is quite a sought-after form of rug - often offered in single strips only.
The last Sileh we owned was seven years ago,
and I mourned the day it left the gallery.
This is the first Sileh I have seen (in seven years) that met all of my requirements :
19th century; excellent condition; soft coloration; fine stitchery;
the two strips original to one another; original fringe endings.
The rug is composed of two long strips,
each having a 4 rows of large rectilinear indigo and white Z's (S's),
representing dragons :
the bottom left two, a further variation of the Z,
all filled with small polychrome Z's (S's),
the field with further abstracted dragon forms (heads and body)
on a soft red geometric field within a reciprocal diamond outer border;
wool on wool foundation with all vegetal dyes,
original endings and fringe.
The Z (or S) form is sometimes known as a
and said to be derived from the dragons on much earlier knotted rugs.
At the top of the Z-form appear representations of two dragon horns,
and the base the small
line representing the jaw
(see the image above).
Some see it backwards, reading the bottom single line as the horns, the double lines as the feet.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Sileh is what it does for a room.
It is refined, subtle, 'light' in feel,
and easy to blend into both classical and contemporary settings.
The quality of the detail itself transforms
the entire richness and texture of a room -
even more subtly and delicately than can a piled carpet
(to my eye and mind, at least).
We watched this enrichment in awe, as we put this one in place.
The Sileh is also equally at home on the floor -
or on the wall, where I suspect this one has been.
Size : approximately 8'10' x 6'1'
For larger images, please click here
Also click below for another very finely woven flatweave :
Fine and Rare Bidjar Soumak, Persia, c1900
retaining the original kelim endings