Early Senneh prayer kilims have always been among the most highly 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).
Other examples from this group are the Straka kilim (Jerome A. Straka and Louise W. Mackie, The Oriental Rug Collection of Jerome and Mary Straka, New York, 1978, no.100, p.100); one at Nagel, Stuttgart, 7 May 1994, lot 1211; and one with Eberhart Herrmann (Seltene Orientteppiche III, von Konya bis Kokand, Munich, 1981, no.77, p.139).
Perhaps the closest comparable to the present lot however, was exhibited by Eberhart Herrmann (Seltene Orientteppiche V, Munich, 1983, no.56). In that lot, as in the present lot, the polychrome stripes have been reversed so that they now fill the mihrab and instead the field has been filled with staggered rows of small flowering boteh. Another unusual aspect of the present lot is that its measurements are substantially larger than the most of the other examples from this group.