Early Senneh prayer kilims have always been among the most hotly contested pieces when they make a rare appearance on the market. Yanni Petsopoulos has argued convincingly for relatively early dating for the well drawn, finely woven examples on the basis of a combination of evidence from Qajar paintings and from two dated examples, whose dates and details frustratingly are not given (Yanni Petsopoulos : "The Qajar kilims of Sehna", Hali 31, pp.42-47). One of the dated examples is said to be in the Berlin Museum but the catalogue of that collection makes no mention of any dated example although two of their kilims were purchased in 1877 and 1881 giving a terminus ante quem (Friedrich Sphuler, Oriental Carpets in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin, London, 1988, nos.156 and 204).
The present lot has a large amount of ivory colour both in the mihrab and the border which lifts the overall appearance and accentuates the variety of colours within the striped field. The minute motif of floral clusters as seen in the mihrab of the present lot, can be found on an example in the Jenkins Collection, Cathryn Cootner, Flat-woven Textiles - The Jenkins Collection, Washington D.C. 1981, pp.48-9, no.8.