1999: Clinton Administration

Map Room
Carpet Description
  • Ferehan Sarouk Carpet
  • With ivory fields are among the most sought after by collectors
  • Typically fetch the highest premiums at auction houses around the globe
  • The Map Room is a room on the ground floor of the White House, the official home of the President of the United States. The Map Room takes its name from its use during World War II, when Franklin Roosevelt used it as a situation room to consult maps as he tracked the war's progress. The West Wing Situation Room is now used for this purpose. The room was originally finished as part of the extensive renovation of the White House during the Roosevelt administration; the former basement billiard room was made into a formal space. In the Truman reconstruction of the White House, from 1949-1952, the room was paneled in the late Georgian style with wood from the 1816 load-bearing timbers of the house. During the Kennedy administration, the room was used by the newly anointed White House Curator as an office, used to catalog donations of furniture and objects. Under the leadership of former First Lady Pat Nixon, working with the Curator Clement Conger, the room underwent a major redecoration in 1970. The room was refurbished as a parlour in the Chippendale style (named after English furniture designer Thomas Chippendale), which flourished in America during the last half of the 18th century. This style combines the graceful lines of Queen Anne furniture with carved motifs in more elaborate rococo, Gothic, and Chinese designs. Redecorated in 1994, the room includes two stuffed-back armchairs likely built by Philadelphia cabinetmaker Thomas Affleck. A rare 1755 French version of a map charted by colonial surveyors Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson (Thomas Jefferson's father) still hangs on the east wall, covering a case of world maps presented by the National Geographic Society. Today, the room is used for television interviews, small teas, and social gatherings.

    Ferehan Sarouk rugs

    19th century Ferehan Sarouk rugs are widely sought after in the collector community, known for their wonderful depth and hue saturation as well as rhythmic geometric motifs in an allover design. Most carpets attributed to Sarouk were made in areas contained within Iran's Markazi province and many were routed through what is now the city of Arak. They are solidly woven with great wool, with colors varying from brighter bold shades to more muted earthy tones. Farahan Sarouk typically feature a dense weave with a knot count in the range of 130 - 240 knots per inch, with the average example showing in the area of 140-180. A very limited run of silk Ferahan rugs made between 1860's and the 1890's feature multi-color silk warps and exceptionally high knot count in the range of 300 - 450. Most Farahan Sarouk rugs will be found in the 1875-1915 range, with earlier examples having rather large designs with open color space and fine knotting, and later examples showing higher level of details and rather low density of open area.

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