Guide to Sarab and Serapi Rugs and Carpets
Produced in Northwest Persia in the district of Iranian-Azerbaijan, this Serapi carpet is an excellent example of the Heriz medallion and the locally-preferred color scheme, including coppery reds and the classic Persian blue, which have acquired a gentle patina.
With classic split-leaf motifs, dramatic cloud band corner accents,and well-developed borders that include intact guard bands, this carpet represents many of the region’s iconic traits.
Antique Heriz Persian Rugs 44802
Style: Heriz-Serapi Rug Origin: Persian Rugs Size: 6 ft 5 in x 8 ft 6 in (1.96 m x 2.59 m)
The Antique Serapi Heriz Rug
The term Seapi however is an amazingly emotional and evocative term for rug collectors. Some people call them Seapi rugs and others call them Antique Heriz Rugs. The intensity of feeling is similar to that reserved for politics and sports rivalry.
The line between a Serapi and an antique Heriz is more a matter of style than substance. For instance Sotheby's New York does not generally use the term Serapi while their counterparts at Sotheby's London regularly use the term. In Germany both Nagel and Rippon Boswell use the term Serapi.
Antique Heriz Persian Rug from Nazmiyal 43621
From Sarab to Serapi
Sarab was both a town and a Khanate. Khanate is an old fashion term for an administrative district or state. The use of i on the end indicates that it is from Sarab so simply put Sarabi means from Sarab. All the rugs and carpets from the Heriz area would have been known as Sarab under the old name of the area. The carpets known in the trade as Serapi are clearly from the old Sarab Khanate. How then did Sarabi carpets become known as Serapi? I suggest that about the time the west was coming to know the carpets of Sarab a major news and gossip item was the Prince of Wales 1876 trip to India on the H.M.S. Serapis. Similar words and I suggest that Serapis became the popular pronunciation since it was the more familiar sound.