Ottoman Turkish rugs were one of the most important trade items between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century. Within the expanding Ottoman realm the rug trade boomed and Turkish rugs spread into Central Europe. Many of the Transylvanian rugs may have found their way into private collections or of the Reformed Church during this time (Stefano Ionescu, Antique and Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, Rome 2005, pp 13-17).
Transylvanian prayer rugs form a distinct group of rugs woven in Western Anatolia (Emil Schmutzler, Altorientalische Teppiche aus Siebenbürgen, Leipzig, 1933, p.20). Within this group there are some whose characteristics are a camel coloured prayer field, either plain or with a couple of finely drawn floral motifs, and soft coloured flowering-stems in the often ivory spandrels such as two in the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest (Batari, Ferenc, Ottoman Turkish Carpets, Budapest, 1994, p.81 and p.82); in these examples even the guard and minor stripes are of the same design as in the lot offered). Another similar rug is in the Black Church in Brasov (Schmutzler, ibid. p.38) while another sold in these Rooms, 13 April 2000, lot 78. The common border design shows rosettes alternating ('pine-cone') palmettes and surrounded by sickle leaves on ochre or yellow-golden ground. The gaps are ornamented with hyacinths, carnations and small tulips which are typical of Ottoman taste in this period and can be found in rugs and textiles woven in the Ottoman Court ateliers (Ionescu, ibid., p.66).