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  • Place of origin:

    Turkmenistan (made)
    Central Asia

  • Date:

    1775-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand knotted woollen pile, on woollen warp and weft; symmetrical knot; 144 knots per sq. in (2,312 per sq. dm)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a deceptively simple pattern. The angularity of the small blocks of colour in the inner and outer borders has been balanced by the scalloped outline of the botehs in the main border and of the arch within the undecorated field. Each large boteh has a smaller one added at the top to form a curl and, to add greater variety, almost every boteh in the side borders has been filled with a different design.

Physical description

Prayer carpet of knotted woollen pile on woollen warp and weft; Turkoman, Yomud people, late 18th/early 19th century

WARP: cream wool; Z2S; 18 threads per inch (72 per dm).

WEFT: red/brown wool; Z spun, unplied; 2 shoots after every row of knots; 16 knots per inch (68 per dm).

PILE: wool; Z2S, 6 colours: dark red, red, dark green, dark blue, camel, light brown; symmetrical knot tied around 2 threads; 144 knots per sq. inch (2312 per sq. dm).

SIDE FINISH: missing.

END FINISH: missing.

DESIGN: the Mihrab has a camel ground with floral spandrels.
Main border: red ground with geometrically filled botehs.
Inner and outer borders: multi-coloured chequered pattern.

Note: the weaving began at the bottom of the Mihrab.

Date analysed: 2.4.94

Place of Origin

Turkmenistan (made)
Central Asia


1775-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Hand knotted woollen pile, on woollen warp and weft; symmetrical knot; 144 knots per sq. in (2,312 per sq. dm)


Width: 825 mm Top edge, Width: 835 mm Bottom edge, Length: 1290 mm Proper right, Length: 1285 mm Proper left, Weight: 10 kg Weight including roller

Object history note

Purchased from D.M. Harounoff, London EC2.

Descriptive line

Carpet, wool knotted pile on wool foundation, 'Prayer Rug' design with arched niche, Yomut Turcoman, northeast Iran or Turkmenistan, 1775-1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jon Thompson, "Forum", HALI 77 (1994) pp.85-87.
Jennifer Wearden, Oriental Carpet and their Structure (London: V&A, 2003), pl.76, p.134

Production Note

"... finely knotted in woollen pile. The workmanship is undoubtedly Turcoman and resembles that of the Yomud tribes. The design however follows that of the rugs of Khorassan. This is seen chiefly in the shape of the prayer arch and the occurrence of double cone devices in the main border stripe. The other border - stripes and other details of the pattern are typically Turcoman. It is a very interesting and unusual piece." CECT to A F Kendrick.
"This rug is clearly a copy, made by a rural weaver, of some urban, cartoon-woven rug. [...] scalloped-arch prayer rugs (and of course botehs) are familiar items in the weavings of Khurasan" (JT, HALI p.87)




Weaving; Knotting

Subjects depicted

Stylized flowers; Boteh; Arch; Squares


Textiles; Floor coverings


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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