Boston,MA area based Quadrifoglio Gallery is one of America’s most selective dealers specializing in antique Persian carpets, antique Oriental rugs and contemporary natural dye Persian rugs. Conveniently located in historic South Natick, 15 miles west of Boston and near Brookline, Weston, Concord and Newton, Quadrifoglio Gallery oriental rugs works by appointment with a national clientele looking for exceptional antique and new, natural dye Oriental rugs.
Respected as scholars in the field of antique rugs, Quadrifoglio Gallery owners Helen and Douglas Stock are 25 year members of The Art and Antique Dealers League of America, a Manhattan (New York City) based consortium of approximately 100 of the leading antiques dealers in North America. Founded in 1926, The Art and Antique Dealers League is the oldest national antiques organization in the United States. Douglas Stock served on the board of the Art and Antique Dealers League for many years. Douglas is also a long time member of the Antique Carpets Vetting Committee at The Winter Antiques Show in New York City and has served as committee chairman three times.
Quadrifoglio Gallery is one of approximately 270 American members of the international antiques organization Confederation Internationale des Negociants en Oeuvres d’Art (CINOA).
With more than 60 years of combined experience in the field of antique Persian carpets, Quadrifoglio Gallery owners Helen and Douglas Stock have helped build many significant private collections across the United States. Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs is located in historic South Natick, Massachusetts, 15 miles west of Boston’s Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighborhoods and 5 minutes from Wellesley center. Easily accessible to Weston, Concord, Brookline, Newton, Sherborn and the North Shore and South Shore, Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs is open by appointment Monday through Saturday.
Helen and Douglas Stock have spoken on antique Oriental rugs at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. on three occasions and have written numerous articles about antique rugs and the decorative arts for magazines and trade publications.
Quadrifoglio Gallery carries a broad selection of antique decorative carpets and antique collectable rugs. Douglas and Helen Stock are recognized for their expertise regarding antique Fereghan Sarouk rugs; Mohtashem Keshan rugs (sometimes spelled Mohtasham Kashan); antique Bidjar rugs; and antique Heriz and Serapi rugs and work with antique rug clients across North America and Europe including Florida; Connecticut; New Jersey; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Cincinnati; Philadelphia; Washington DC; Toronto; London; New York; Boston; and other regions.
TERMINOLOGY ON THE QUADRIFOGLIO GALLERY WEBSITE:
The word “rugs”, as in Oriental or Persian rugs, is often used to describe pieces smaller in size than approximately 6 feet in width and 9 feet in length. For example, a weaving measuring approximately 4 feet wide and 7 feet long would be referred to as an antique “rug”. The word “carpet”, on the other hand, is often used to describe weavings larger than 6 feet in width and 9 feet in length. Hence, a weaving measuring 9 feet wide and 12 feet long would be described as an antique “carpet”. This nomenclature is fairly commonly used but consumers frequently are not aware of the distinction and, since the words are sometimes used interchangeably by dealers, it can understandably be confusing.
The phrase “Oriental Rug” is a broad, generic category:
Antique Oriental rugs were woven in various Asian countries, including Persia, Turkey, The Caucasus Mountain region of southern Russia, Turkmenistan, India and China. The phrase “Persian Rugs” (or Persian Carpets) applies exclusively to weavings made in what was, in the 19th and early 20th century, still referred to as “Persia” (modern day Iran). This is an important distinction and you will see it reflected throughout the Quadrifoglio Gallery website. For example, Heriz is a village located in the province of Azerbaijan in northwest Persia. Hence, a 9 foot by 12 foot piece woven in Heriz would be referred to as an “Antique Heriz Carpet, Northwest Persian…”; where a 4 foot by 7 foot weaving from the Shirvan district in the Caucasus would be referred to as an “Antique Shirvan Rug, Northeast Caucasian”. The majority of our antique rugs and carpets are Persian, and Quadrifoglio Gallery primarily focuses on village rugs of the Serapi, Heriz, Bidjar, Senneh and Sarouk Fereghan types, and “Mohtashem” type rugs and carpets from the central Persian city of Keshan; but you will also find a fine selection of antique tribal and village rugs, saddle bags, bag faces and Yastiks from the Caucasus and Turkey. Please, feel free to visit our Oriental Rug Glossary page for more educational information.
People sometimes ask, “What is an ‘antique’ rug?”
Various definitions can be used but we prefer defining an “antique” Oriental, and especially Persian, rug or carpet as one woven prior to World War I. There are various reasons for this, and they are more thoroughly elucidated on our Frequently Asked Questions page, but, in essence, the reasoning for this definition is as follows: there is little, if any, difference between an Oriental rug woven in 1899 and a rug woven in 1901. No significant cultural shift occurred that specifically altered rug production in the narrow chronological window making the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. Similarly, the definition sometimes applied to antiques, of various types, being items that are 100 or more years old makes little sense when applied to Oriental or Persian rugs. In 2050, a rug woven in 1950 will be 100 years old; but the immediate post World War II period was a low aesthetic point for Persian rug production, and Oriental rug manufacture in general. The beauty of designs had deteriorated significantly compared to rugs woven in the late 19th century and synthetic dyes were almost exclusively used from the 1940s until production started to improve during a renaissance period that began around 1980 with the promulgation of the DOBAG project in Turkey and the commercial reintroduction of natural dye productions that followed. The World War I period did, however, alter the cultural landscape of some rug producing nations. Many Oriental rugs and carpets, especially Persian rugs, from the 1920s do reflect significant differences, aesthetic and often in the quality of dyes and wool used, from those woven in the late 19th century and the first ten or fifteen years of the 20th century.
ANTIQUE ORIENTAL RUG OVER VIEW.
FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW, PLEASE VISIT OUR GLOSSARY / DICTIONARY PAGE:
Antique Afshar Rugs: Woven in the south central Persian province of Kerman by members of the Afshar tribal group. Both nomadic weavers and sedentary village weavers wove Afshar rugs and bags in the 19th century.
Antique Tribal Bags: Woven by a wide range of tribal groups, from the pile bags woven by QahsQa’i, Afshar, Bakhtiari and Khamseh groups in southern Persia, to the antique Kurdish Antique bags woven in Kurdistan Province and the Veramin area in north Persia, to the Shah Savan soumak (brocade technique) bags of the Shah Savan in northwest Persia and the Caucasus Mountain region, antique tribal bags were produced in many forms for a diverse range of domestic purposes. Large antique tent bags, sometimes referred to as Chuvals, were woven by various Turkoman tribes in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, and by Kurdish weavers in northwest Persia. Salt bags; small bags to hold personal grooming effects; miniature bags; and long, narrow bags known as Torbas were woven by many tribes throughout Persia and The Caucasus. Antique Oriental tribal bags are a widely collected art form, suitable for display on a wall or table or stuffed and used as pillows on the floor or a piece of furniture. Antique bags typically had a flat woven (Kilim technique) backing originally. These backs were often times damaged through domestic utilitarian use and the front portions, referred to as “bag faces”, are more likely to be found than complete bags or, even rarer, still connected double bags connected by a Kilim center section.
Antique Bakhtiyari Rugs: Woven by members of the Bakhtiyari tribe, both sedentary village weavers and nomads, antique Bakhtiyari rugs were woven in the sotuh central Persian province of Kerman. Designs tend to be geometric, though floral examples are also seen. The most famous design seen in antique Bakhtiyari rugs is the “Garden” panel design.
Antique Bidjar Rugs: Woven in the northwest Persian Province of Kurdistan. Extremely durable, colorful and often individualistic. Called “The Iron Rug Of Persia” due to their high quality.
Antique Caucasian Rugs: Woven in the Caucasus Mountain area of southern Russia and including antique rugs of the Kazak, Genje, Karabagh, Shirvan, Kuba and Daghestan varieties.
Antique Heriz Rugs: Woven in the northwest Persian province of Azerbaijan, Heriz is famous for its colorful and geometric rugs and carpets. Antique carpets referred to as “antique Serapi” carpets were woven in the Heriz district, as were antique Bakshaish carpets and Karaja rugs and runners.
Antique Fereghan Rugs: Woven in the central Persian province of Sultanabad. Referred to as “The Engllish Gentleman’s Carpet” due to their popularity with the English aristocracy in the 19th century. Antique Fereghan rugs often feature the classical Safavid “Herati” design and a light green dye that oxidizes resulting in a beautiful often sculpted effect.
Antique Fereghan Sarouk Rugs: Woven in the central Persian province of Sultanabad, along with the more conventional “Fereghan” rugs, Fereghan Sarouks are distinguished by a heavier, denser weave than regular Fereghan rugs, with double knotted construction with one half of an individual knot sitting virtually right over the other half. This makes for a fine construction that tends to be stiff. The earlier generation of Fereghan Sarouk rugs, circa 1870 – 1900, tended to feature a fine weave but softer handle than the later examples, and with quite thin pile and very elegant, somewhat rectilinear interpretations of floral designs. The later generation of Fereghan Sarouk rugs, circa 1900 – 1915, tended to be thicker, with busier, more curvilinear designs that eventually transitioned into the Mahajaran style circa 1915.
Antique Kazak Rugs: Perhaps the most famous of antique Caucasian rugs, Kazaks are seen in a broad variety of designs and types including Karachoph, Sewan, Fachralo and Bordjalou. The tend to be highly geometric and to feature thick, high quality wool pile. World class antique Kazak rugs can be among the most valuable types of collectable antique Oriental rugs. Due to their bold and colorful designs, antique Kazak rugs are suitable for both traditional and modern interiors, as floor rugs and equally well suited for display on a wall.
Antique Kerman Rugs: Woven in the city area of Kerman in south central Persia, antique Kerman rugs, especially those attributed to the nearby village of Lavar, tend to be finely woven and floral in design.
Antique Keshan Rugs: Among the finest and most valuable of all 19th century Persian rugs, antique Keshan rugs were woven in the central Persian city of Keshan and featured elaborate floral designs, more heavily stylized in the earlier examples.
Antique Kuba Rugs: Woven in villages in the Kuba district in the northeast Caucasus Mountain region of southern Russia, antique Kuba rugs tend to be more finely woven and feature thinner pile than their Kazak counterparts. Antique Zeichur, Bidjov and Karagashli rugs were all woven in the Kuba district.
Antique QashQa’i Rugs: Woven in the southwest Persian province of Fars, QashQa’i weavers were both nomads and settled into the city area of Shiraz. Antique QashQa’i rugs are among the most finely woven and valuable of all antique Persian tribal rugs and are highly collectable. Antique QashQa’i rugs typically feature geometric designs woven with high quality wool pile on a wool foundation.
Antique Sarouk Rugs: Woven in the central Persian province of Sultanabad, rugs from the village area of Sarouk are separated into at least three categories, chronologically with “Fereghan Sarouks” being the type from the 19th and very early 20th century; followed by “Mahajaran Sarouks” from the circa 1915 through the 1920s era and the “Commercial Sarouks” or “American Sarouks” (meaning they were woven for export to America) spanning the 1920s and 1930s. Antique Sarouk rugs tend to be durable, with the best, early examples having a great elegance while still retaining their village charm.
Antique Shirvan Rugs: Woven in the northeast Caucasus Mountain area of southern Russia, Shirvan rugs tend to have a fine weave and feature a lighter handle than their Kuba rug counterparts woven further north. As is also the case for rugs from the Kuba and Daghestan areas, Shirvan rugs are more finely woven and feature thinner pile than Kazak or Karabagh rugs that area woven in the southwest and south Caucasus, respectively. There are, as is the case with antique Kuba rugs, various types of Shirvan rugs, sometimes attributed to specific villages such as the famous prayer rugs that were woven in the village of Marasali. Some Shirvan rugs can be difficult to distinguish from their Kuba counterparts, especially rugs that share motifs associated with the Kuba district village of Karagashli. Kuba rugs, as a rule, are heavier, with a more depressed weave, blue cotton selvedges and braided fringe; whereas Shirvan rugs have a flatter weave and white cotton selvedges. Rugs from the northeast Caucasus rarely come in room size formats, almost invariably being rugs in the 3 x 5 to 4 x 6 size range or occasionally in a long, narrow format referred to as a “runner” or “long rug”.
Antique Tabriz Rugs: Woven in the northwest Persian city of Tabriz in Persian Azerbaijan province, antique Tabriz rugs are among the finest and most valuable of 19th century Persian rugs. Merchants from Tabriz were highly influential in reviving the Persian carpet industry in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Antique Tabriz rugs tend to be finely woven and feature thin pile. Floral designs were favored as were carpets with “open fields”.
NATURAL DYES IN ORIENTAL RUGS:
Conventional wisdom regarding the use of natural dyes (sometimes called vegetable dyes or vegetal dyes) in Oriental rugs and Persian carpets is that natural dyes are invariably superior. While we believe natural dyes are nearly always better in Oriental rugs, we do not subscribe to the view that they are categorically superior. Dyes used in antique Oriental rugs, as well as contemporary rugs, vary widely in quality, as do synthetic dyes.
While natural dyes were extensively used in Turkish rugs until circa 1900 and in Persian rugs through the 1930s, contrary to popular belief, synthetic dyes were introduced in Turkish rugs as early as the 1860s and in Persian rugs as early as the 1870s. Some of the early synthetic dyes are known as “Aniline” dyes, and these had a propensity to fade or “tip out”, meaning the tips of the wool pile would fade, especially with exposure to sun. The Swiss chrome dyes of the early part of the 20th century were of very high quality but tended to be harsh. They were, however, highly fade resistant; arguably too much so.
The above said, there are quite a number of antique Oriental rugs woven in the late 19th century and early 20th century, utilizing exclusively natural dyes, that are nonetheless not very attractive. Color quality in antique rugs and new rugs is determined not exclusively by the quality of the dyes but by wool quality, the mordants used to fix the dyes to the wool and the skill of the person dying the wool. In Oriental rugs with all natural dyes, one can see reds that are over or under saturated compared to the other colors; blues that are too brown or black; greens that are too acidic in appearance; and yellows that lack clarity and strength.
On the other hand, synthetic dyes, regardless of period, tend to lack subtlety and depth of nuance. They are typically too bright and too static in appearance. Even when the weavers attempt to create the “abrash” or variegation produced by various dye lots in rugs utilizing natural dyes, the attempt tends to look artificial.
Essentially, we believe each rug needs to be assessed on its total merits and not simply on whether it features natural or synthetic dyes. A finely woven and well designed piece from the late 19th century, featuring high wool quality but one or two synthetic dyes in addition to natural dyes can certainly be superior to an unattractive rug from the same period or later that uses all natural dyes.
After the 1930s, virtually all Oriental rugs used synthetic dyes until the semi-academic Turkish based DOBAG project reignited the use of natural dyes in Oriental rug production around 1980. Subsequent commercial Oriental productions have produced some fabulous results and Quadrifoglio Gallery proudly offers a line of contemporary, natural dye Persian rugs which we feel is the best new rug production in the world.
IN ADDITION TO BUYING AND SELLING ANTIQUE ORIENTAL RUGS AND SELLING RUGS ON CONSIGNMENT FOR CLIENTS, QUADRIFOGLIO GALLERY OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:
1. Antique Oriental Rug Appraisals
2.) Antique Oriental Rug Cleaning and Restoration
IF WE MAY BE OF SERVICE, PLEASE CALL DOUGLAS OR HELEN STOCK
Thank you for your interest in Quadrifoglio Gallery Oriental Rugs Boston,MA area