Attribution Guide to Seirafian Rug Signatures

A worry today is counterfeit rugs with the Seirafian signature. See Fake Serafian Signatures. Mohammad Seirafian mentioned to me that it was a problem with the old signatures but that they added a signature in English and Farsi. Mohammad Seirafian said that he never saw one of these forged. Still one should keep in mind that the older Seirafians have the older signature. Provenance becomes important. It is best to know where the rug has been.

Haj Agha Reza Seirafian’s seven sons:
Mohammed Ali Seirafian
Mohammad Seirafian
The Late Mohammad Sadegh Seirafian
Ahmad Seirafian
Ali Seirafian
The Late Hossien Seirafian
Mohammad Hassan Seirafian

The provenance of a rug is becoming ever more important. The difference between a very good quality Isfahan carpet and a signed Seirafian carpet can be considerable. So the authenticity of the signature and thereby the rug is a factor in valuation.

How do I know that the rug to the left is a Seirafian? (Signature above) I have the advantage that I know it is because Mohammad Seirafian personally showed it to me as an example of his work and posed for a picture with it. How else can we authenticate a Seirafian Rug:

A bill of sale, a shipping document, a letter from Seirafian are all good. In this article we have four rugs authenticated by the workshop of Sadegh Seirafian. The documentation is by email which is less desirable than a letter but it certainly helps in authentication. If the documentation is not from Seirafian themselves then the dealer is important.For instance when it comes to questions about Seirafian rugs I would accept the opinion of Mr. Rahim Soltani of Beverly Hills without question. Documentation that you bought a rug from Mr. Soltani would be very convincing. On the other hand a stack of documentation from “Shifty-Dealer” on eBay would mean virtually nothing.

Other factors come into play besides paperwork. We may expect a signed Seirafian workshop piece to be no less that 9 by 10 knots to the centimeter. We can expect the workmanship to be exceptional. I would not expect to see retied broken warps. However with the variation of the width of the cotton wefts I would not expect the weave to have a rigid grid like uniformity.

A note about the signatures in this article except for the montage of signature forgers all rugs on this page are authentic to the very best of my knowledge. They were authenticated by Mohammed Seirafian, the workshop of Sadegh Seirafian, or Mr. Rahim Soltani of Beverly Hills.

We have to be aware of fakes and forgeries because people are making a business out of the fraud. Here we have a montage of signature forgers taken in Isfahan a few years ago.

Isfahan Rug
Keep in mind that forgers are adding the signatures to lesser quality rugs. The first place to spot a fake is on the basis of weave, design and sophistication.

MohammadSeirafian Plate 14 Top and Bottom Signatures.
Mohammad Seirafian Plate 14 Top and Bottom Signatures
 I sharpened up the contrast to enhance the signature. Unfortunately it throws the color off.

The Sadegh Seirafian medallion Rug
The Sadegh Seirafian medallion Rug
This rug has been authenticated by the workshop of the late Master Sadegh Seirafian.

The Hassan Seirafian Hunting Rug
This rug has been authenticated by the workshop of the Master Hassan Seirafian.

Seirafian of Isfahan

What does the signature really mean?

In the very best rugs it is a guarantee that the rug is of first quality. Above we see a rug that failed to meet Seirafian standards and was cut. When one considers the cost of production cutting a rug is a serious thing. Seirafian feels that selling a substandard rug is even more serious. An authentic signature is that guarantee.