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  • Place of origin:

    Caucasus (made)

  • Date:

    1915 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wool and cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss Tamara Stokes

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Caucasian single niche prayer carpet made of wool.

WARP: cream wool; Z3S; 23 threads per inch (90 per dm._)
Warp loops can be found across the back and vary in length from 1.5 cms. to 2.5.
WEFT: white cotton; Z3S; 2 shoots after each row of knots; varied between 11-13 knots per inch (43-49 per dm).

PILE: wool: 12 colours: dark red, red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue, blue, light blue, brown, light brown, black, cream with some marked abrash in places; symmetrical knot tied around 2 threads; average 137 knots per sq. inch (2070 per sq. dm).

SIDE FINISH: 2 cords over sewn with cream cotton.

END FINISH: Lower: max. 2.5 cms. plain weave with cream cotton then 1.5 cms. of warp twining and evidence of a knotted fringe with several rows of off-set knotting. Upper: 1 cm. plain weave then as the Lower End.

DESIGN: Field: cream ground with a 5-angled niche extending horizontally to the side borders; the ground is covered with a tooth-edged diamond lattice in dark blue edged with dark red and meeting at a dark blue cross with a yellow centre. Stylised floral sprigs in 15 offset bands, fill the diamonds - some bands vary only in colour, others alternate in outline and colour. The field extends into the niche where, at the top, there is fitted a 5-sided red ground panel containing a cream decorated diamond and a scattering of small flowerheads. Along the sides of the field the partial spaces have S-motifs, small sprigs and amulet like motifs. The two spandrels have the cream ground and colours of the field. In each the lattice design is filled with enclosed sprigs. The niche outline has a blue ground with a line of multi coloured flowerheads interspersed with tiny white ones.

Borders from the innermost:
(1) black ground with small blocks of colour alternating with white flowerheads.

(2) light blue ground with a small amount of blue wool (abrash? accidental?); along the sides the decoration is primarily of abutting S-motifs in red which have gone wrong in places; along the ends is a band of red diamonds.

(3) as (1)
(4) cream ground with two zigzagged lines containing yellow ground and coloured crosses
(5) black ground with white diagonal blocks
(6) red ground with an elaborate Z-motif with triangular terminals and a cross bar; in various colours
(7) as (5)
(8) as niche outline
(9) as (5)

NOTE: There is something we cannot explain: on the back of the carpet there are twenty or more loops in the direction of the warp (plus ones which have broken). Each is between 1/2 and 1 inches long and is made from multiple white cotton threads secured in place with an ordinary knot on the face of the carpet.

Place of Origin

Caucasus (made)


1915 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wool and cotton


Width: 1250 mm Top edge, Width: 1260 mm Bottom edge, Length: 2020 mm Proper right, Length: 2020 mm Proper left, Weight: 14 kg

Object history note

Registered File number 1992/854.

Descriptive line

Single niche prayer carpet made of wool, Caucasus, 1915

Production Note

Daghestan, single niche carpet.

CF: Bennett (1981) illus. 428 'Daghestan' "perhaps early 20th c." NB: Innermost minor border. Also illus 426..."possibly Shirvan. Late 19th c." NB. side filling of field.
Schurmann (1974) illus. 319 'Daghestan'.


Wool (textile); Cotton thread

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns


Textiles; Interiors; Religion


Middle East Section

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