Souf Qum, circa 1915

6'6" x 4'3"

Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"

Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
Souf Qum, circa 1915:  6'6" x 4'3"
NameSouf Qum, circa 1915
Size in feet6'6" x 4'3"
Size in meters1.98 x 1.30
Pile (Fiber & Yarns Used)100% Pure Silk
Type of fabricationHand-knotted
Type of knotsSenneh (asymmetric)
Country Made InIran
Design OriginPersian
ConditionSemi-antique, very good condition
Carpet IDk1039
CUSTOM SIZES AVAILABLE BY SPECIAL ORDER
PLEASE CONTACT US Sizes are approximate. Photographs are not necessarily exact for color.
New rugs are of the highest quality in their category and are handpicked overseas by the Bashir family.
A Brief History of Qum Rugs

Qum CarpetsQum rugs, also known as Ghoum, Gom, Qom, Qoum, Kum or Koum, are woven in workshops of Qom, a city located in northwest central Iran. Since rug production did not begin in Qom until the 1930s, Qom doesn't have any traditional designs of its own. Qom weavers prefer to weave the most favorable designs of other Persian weaving groups and sometimes Caucasian weaving groups and adjusting these designs to their own taste. It is possible for Qom rugs to be mistaken with Kashan or Esfahan rugs. However, they will not be mistaken with Tabriz rugs because Qum, Kashan and Esfahan rugs are woven with the asymmetric (Persian) knot and Tabriz rugs are woven with the symmetric (Turkish) knot.

All silk, part silk/part wool, and kork (fine wool taken from the belly of sheep) Qom rugs are very well-known in Iran and abroad. The foundation of Qum rugs could be either cotton or silk. Most Qum rugs have curvilinear patterns and very elaborate floral motifs with intricate leaves and vines. As mentioned above the designs are varied, taken from different weaving groups. Some designs used in Qum rugs consist of vase, moharramaat, mir-i-boteh, zell-i sultan, panelled garden, hunting, tree-of-life, pictorial, Shah Abbassi melallion-and-corner with usually a circular medallion, all-over Shah Abbasi, medallion with open field, medallions resembling the famous Esfahan Sheikh Lotfollah medallion, prayer and all-over gul farangi (roses).

The gul farangi motif seems to be a popular motif also used in vase, tree-of-life, and zell-i sultan designs. A panelled design containing very different motifs in each compartment is also common; the motifs inside the compartments can consist of pictorials, vases, hunting scenes, and botehs all in one rug.

The colors used in Qum rugs are as diverse as the designs. The overall appearance could either be pale with background and border colors such as ivory, champagne, turquoise and light green, or it could be dark with background colors such as dark blue and even sometimes red. Red, blue and green are also used as motif colors. Other commonly used colors in Qum rugs are mushroom, rose, gold, yellow ocher and orange orcher. To learn more about iranian rugs, please visit our Persian Rugs section.

Sources and inspiration: B?rinstain, Val?rie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Meng?s, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.

About Antique Rugs

"Antique" refers to carpets at least 100 years old, whereas rugs between 50 and 99 years of age are classified as "semi-antique".

Typically crafted with hand-spun wool and eco-friendly organic dyes, old carpets have a more luminous surface, creating an illusion of depth. Newer pieces are rarely able to capture the patina and character of an antique, which can add warmth to even the most pristine and minimalist spaces.

Oriental & Persian carpet designs began to change at the turn of the 20th century, as Western influence expanded across the Middle East. The authenticity of the unique designs produced by local cultures declined with the introduction of larger-scale production that aimed to accommodate foreign tastes. Preserving the traditional techniques involved in the craft also became more challenging following the effects of the Industrial Revolution.

Tips for Collectors
  • Antique rugs are made of wool, cotton and silk. New rugs can be made from a variety of fibers, both natural and synthetic, including wool, cotton and silk, but also silk blends, faux silk (often called "Art Silk" or "artificial silk"), mercerized cotton and olefin.

  • If a rug has signs of wear but still looks vibrant, this is an indication that it is a genuine antique.

  • For insurance purposes, you should always obtain a certificate of authenticity from the dealer. This document should include the size, origin, age, style, materials, knot density, condition and estimated retail value of the carpet.

  • An authentic antique will not have a brand name associated with it, nor will it be hand-tufted.

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