The triple-niched open brick red mihrab beneath a coupled-column supported cream arch filled with stylized floral and arabesque motifs all within an ivory floral cartouche border, partial end borders, minor repairs, slightly ragged selvage
Approximately 6ft. x 4ft. 3in. (183cm. x 130cm.)

Lot Essay

Warp: wool, tan, natural Z2S, traces of golden end dip
Weft: wool, light brown, natural, Z1, 2-3 shoots alternating, first and third straight, second wavy
Pile: wool, Z2, symmetric knots pulled leftward, alternate warps depressed 60-80 degrees, H9xV8-9, made inverted, many lazy lines
Sides: two single body warp bundles wrapped in golden tan Z2S wool Ends: both not original
Colors: mid red, beige, brown-black, light blue, straw, pale green, pale blue, buff

The rug offered here is related in design to a well-known group of rugs attributed to western Anatolia which share the triple-niche and coupled-column format seen here. In general, these rugs are believed to be provincal workshop interpretations of sixteenth century Ottoman court prayer rugs, such as the Ballard prayer rug in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The present carpet, however, differs in certain design aspects and coloration which distinguishes it from the classic group of "coupled-column" prayer rugs. The majority of the latter, and most likely earlier, group have a bolder palette and a border design of floral-filled round cartouches. The muted coloration of the present lot also relates it to certain types of the so-called "Transylvanian" group of rugs, which derive their name from the fact that many examples have been found in eastern Europe. Another "coupled-column" prayer rug with some similar design motifs as the present lot is in the Museum für Kunstgewerbe, Budapest (see Batari, Ferenc, "Turkish Rugs in Hungary," Hali, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1980, p.82, fig. 9). Both the offered rug and the Budapest example share a hexagonal cartouche border containing diamonds and floral sprays as well as similar stylized leaf and floral motifs in the arches. It should be noted, that the seemingly haphazard lazy lines which appear in this rug may raise doubt as to its date and western Anatolian attribution.