Multiple-niche prayer kilim (saf)
The National Museum of Art of Romania
Dated Hegira 1253 / AD 1837–1838
Wool; kilim weave; metal strip
H: 219cm, W: 323cm
Turkey, eastern Anatolia, Malatya
The multiple-niche prayer carpets, called saf (from the Arabic word for “row”), are sometimes improperly referred to as “family” prayer rugs. They were used in mosques, their particular design allowing several people to pray one next to the other. Here, the uneven colour areas in the mihrab field, the somewhat irregular shape of the arches, and the stylised vegetal motifs are indicative of its tribal, probably Kurdish, provenance. Unlike most large Anatolian kilims, made of two narrow bands, this one is made of only one piece. The Arabic inscriptions and the fact that the carpet was dated make it all the more valuable.
Dated; stylistic analysis; dye analysis; presence of metal strip
Purchased; formerly in the Dr Iosif N. Dona Collection
Dunca, Mircea, Islamic Art at the National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest: Muzeul Naţional de Artă al României, 2015: no. 13.
Mircea Dunca "Multiple-niche prayer kilim (saf)" [db_in_citation_dca] 2019. http://carpets.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?itemId=object;DCA;rm;Mus31;11;en
Prepared by: Mircea Dunca
Translation by: Victoria Gheorghita
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: RO1_011