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Photograph: Costin Miroi, Marius Preda,  © Muzeul Naţional de Artă al României

Name of Object:

Prayer rug


Bucharest, Romania

Holding Museum:

The National Museum of Art of Romania


Late 19th century

Type of object:

Prayer rug

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cotton warp and weft; knotted; asymmetrical wool knot


H: 123cm, W: 104cm; knot density ver. 33/dm; hor. 42/dm; 1,386/dm2

Period / Dynasty:



Western Iran, Farahan


The prayer niche is merely suggested here by two diagonals that do not meet. The field of the niche features two hands and above them, a floral motif, which is repeated all over the purple ground of the spandrels. The spandrels and the three narrow borders with a rich decoration of botehs or tiny flowers connected by scrolls are in sharp contrast to the large beige mihrab field. Popular belief associates the hand motif with the hand of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, and as such, it is often used to decorate talismans. Sometimes, the hand motif also appears on prayer rugs, mostly on Caucasian and Baluch rugs.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis

How Object was obtained:

Purchased from the owner

Selected bibliography:

Dunca, Mircea, De la mihrab la grădina paradisului, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 2006: cat. 8.

Citation of this web page:

Mircea Dunca "Prayer rug"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;rm;Mus31;14;en

Prepared by: Mircea Dunca
Translation by: Victoria Gheorghita
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: RO1_014