The approx. knot count is 9H x 10V per sq. cm.
This souf Kashan carpet is one of the most beautiful of all the Kashan "maharaja" carpets. The souf technique involves the design being piled as in a normal carpet. The ground however is flatwoven, making the design stand out both physically and visually. The main structure of souf Kashan carpets has a central cotton core, but it is woven such that in the areas of flatwoven ground it is covered by the secondary silk wefts. When a souf carpet becomes worn you begin to see the cotton structure showing through the coloured silk ground.
The colour in the field is given by the surface coloured silk warps and wefts. In most Kashan souf rugs and carpets these are both of a uniform colour, as in the smaller souf rug in the same collection, lot 24 which has a yellow field. Sometimes one finds extra metal-thread wefting providing a silver field. A very few souf carpets use this technical feature to create field and border designs that are different. The present carpet is one of the best of all of these. The field colour is achieved by the combination of the yellow warps being woven with blue wefts. Not only does this achieve a beautiful soft shade of green, but it also ensures that, as in the silk kashan carpet in lot 14, the field seems somehow to shimmer behind the design.
This is an outstanding carpet that has survived in reamrkable condition, an example of Kashan weaving in this complicated technique at its most successful.