Western Anatolia

Prayer Rug (sejjadeh), 19th century

The wide field of this rug is topped by a stepped arch very common on Anatolian prayer rugs. These steps suggest the silhouette of honeycomb vaulting (muqarnas) over the prayer niches and portals of Seljuk and Ottoman mosques. At the bottom of the field, the triangular cornerpieces with nested lozenges and protruding interlaces testify to the long life of rug motifs; they are portions of the same medallions that appear on Turkish rugs exported to Europe from western Anatolia as early as the 15th century. For all its historic allusions, the intense primary and secondary colors of this rug give it visual immediacy. In the main border, the weaver has skillfully distributed the simplified flowering plants - managing to avoid chopping them off at side or end even though she was working from memory - and has explored the possible permutations of the bold colors, only rarely repeating herself.



Structural Analysis

SIZE:  51 X431/2 in. (129.5 x 110.5 cm.)
WARP:  wool, Z2S; ivory, light brown
WEFT:  wool, z x 2; red
PILE:  wool, Z2S, symmetrical knots, h. 9, v. 12, 108 k/sq. in., design woven opposite direction to pile; ivory, dark brown, red, light orange, gold, blue-green, blue (abrash), dark purple
ENDS:  red and blue wool weft-faced plain weave, cut
SIDES:  red wool selvedge of 6 cords, mostly replaced

Oriental Rugs from New England Private Collections