Name of Object:

Prayer rug


Stockholm, Sweden

Holding Museum:

Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet)

About Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet), Stockholm

Date of Object:

Hegira 13th century / AD 19th century

Museum Inventory Number:

NM 0162/1977

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool; knotted.


Height 148.5 cm, width 113 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Anatolia (Milas district), Turkey.


In the AH 12th and 13th /AD 18th and 19th centuries, the small town of Milas in the southwest of Turkey was a centre for the manufacture of prayer rugs. A characteristic feature of later Milas prayer rugs is the dark red angular prayer niche. The inner side of the niche is edged all around with small flower-like ornaments. In the lower part of the niche is an octagon connected with four rosettes. The ornamentation within the arch is badly worn. Four green and red peonies with a rhomb between on a white background fill the area of the spandrels. The central rectangular field containing the prayer niche is framed several times by stripes of different geometrical patterns. The next border shows on a yellow background a design consisting of red octagons, alternating with large stylised blossoms in red, white and dark and light blue. From each of these blossoms emerge four heavily stylised carnations. The outer band shows a row of multicoloured small octagons on a white background.

View Short Description

Prayer rug from Melas. Its characteristic feature is the dark red angular prayer niche surrounded by several stripes of geometrical pattern. Different kinds of flowers are spread over the whole area of the rug.

How date and origin were established:

Milas was a centre for the manufacture of prayer rugs in the 12th–13th / 18th–19th centuries. Prayer rugs from Milas showing angular niches are ascribed to the 13th / 19th century; a Milas prayer rug showing a very similar pattern is dated to the first half of the 13th / 19th century.

How Object was obtained:

Gift from the estate of Axel and Nora Lundgren, registered 29 September 1977.

How provenance was established:

Rugs with similar designs and colour schemes are usually ascribed to the Milas group of rugs.

Selected bibliography:

Dimand, M. S., Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973.
Zipper, K. and Fritzsche, C., Anatolische Teppiche: Battenberg Antiquitäten-Kataloge Orientteppiche 3, Munich, 1989, cat. no. 67.

Citation of this web page:

Friederike Voigt "Prayer rug" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;se;Mus01;25;en

Prepared by: Friederike VoigtFriederike Voigt

Friederike Voigt has an MA in Iranian studies, history of art and social science and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on wall tiles in architectural decoration of Qajar Iran. Since 2004 she has been a project-related curator at the Museum for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm for Museum With No Frontiers. She studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, at the University of Tehran and archaeology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She taught Persian language at several universities in Germany. She was an assistant curator at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, State Museums of Berlin. Her main fields of interest are the material culture of Iran, especially of the Qajar period, and contemporary Iranian art.

Copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SE 27


 Artistic Introduction

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Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries

Carpets Religious life

See also

Virtual Visit Exhibition Trail

EARLY OTTOMAN ART - Legacy of the Emirates


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