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 12th century / AD 18th century

Museum Inventory Number:

MMI 1984.002

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool; knotted.


Height 157 cm, width 113 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Anatolia (Ghiordes district), Turkey.


This rug belongs to the group of prayer rugs from Ghiordes, a village between Izmir and Ushak, where most of the Anatolian prayer rugs were manufactured in the AH 12th–13th / AD 18th–19th centuries. It shows in the central field a pointed niche with a half-niche on each side on a cream background. The motif of the three-arched niche derives from rug patterns of Ottoman courtly manufacturing during the AH 10th–11th / AD 16th–17th centuries. In contrast to these original designs, the columns of this rug are based on stylised carnations. Edged with trefoiled blossoms they support the main niche and separate it from the half-niches. The spandrels are filled with stylised carnations on a dark-blue background. A large bouquet of flowers hangs in the apex, reaching nearly to the bottom where a row of carnations is presented. The panel above the spandrels is filled with rosette blossoms and ornaments.
The border is formed by two horizontal and two vertical stripes showing an endless pattern of stylised plants on a dark blue background. The wavy motif of a flower scroll alternately coloured in blue, red and tan is repeated on the inner and outer guard bands.

View Short Description

Prayer rug, probably from Ghiordes. In the central field the rug shows a pointed niche with a half-niche on each side. Stylised carnations and bouquets of flowers are the most important motifs of this rug. The central field is framed with a border.

How date and origin were established:

A very similar rug is dated to the 12th / 18th century.

How Object was obtained:

Acquired from the carpet dealer P. Willborg, Stockholm, in 1984. The rug belonged to the collection of R. Christensen, Stockholm.

How provenance was established:

Rugs showing similar designs and colour schemes are usually ascribed to the Ghiordes group.

Selected bibliography:

Dimand, M. S., Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973.
Sterner, M., Orientens Mattor, Stockholm, 1959, 204.

Citation of this web page:

Friederike Voigt "Prayer rug" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;se;Mus01;4;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 55


 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

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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