Another prayer rug from the same group, which is probably the best known of this type, is in the Textile Museum, Washington D.C., formerly in the Jerome A Straka collection (Straka, Jerome A., and Mackie, Louise W.: The Oriental Rug Collection of Jerome and Mary Jane Straka, New York, 1978, no.102, p.104-5 and cover). That rug has, like ours, alternatively facing rows of well spaced polychrome boteh and the angular boteh vine border. These features are particular to the earlier examples from this group. An even earlier example dated AH 1254/1838/39 AD is shown by Herrmann, (Eberhart: Asiatische Teppich und Textilkunst, Band 4, Munich, 1992, p.108-9, pl.48). In this earlier example the prayer arch is less angular and the spacing of the field boteh even more pronounced than in the later examples. Interestingly, there is another, from the same group in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Dimand, M.S. and Mailey, J.: Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973, pp.271-272, pl.237). This rug is dated AH 1223/1808-9 AD but the date is not as clear as those on the others of the group and stylistically it would appear to be later.
A further example, which appears to be an almost exact copy of ours, although not as large or as finely drawn, is dated one year later AH 1275/1858 AD (Bausback, Peter: Antike Orientteppiche, Brauschweig, 1978, p.238, pl.29). What is extraordinary about that example and ours is that the placing of the boteh, the colour scheme used and the design motifs both in and surrounding the boteh appear to be almost identical. This would indicate that rather than a random arrangement of motifs that these rugs were woven to a set pattern. Within the whole group this indication is further enhanced by invariable paired white part boteh flanking the top of the mihrab arch throughout the group.
In the later examples the boteh become more crowded, angular and the boteh start to face the same direction. A later example dated 1870 was sold at Sotheby's, New York, December 15 1994, lot 89, that example differed in that although the weft was silk the design had begun to be more crowded and stiffer.
Whilst there is a consensus, but no proof, that prayer rugs from this group were woven in Marasali, in the Shirvan district, they do however conform to the same structure as the Shirvan rugs. There can however be little doubt that this small group of prayer rugs were produced in North East Caucasus by weavers producing highly prized rugs of a superior quality, design and a vast array of colours and motifs.