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

Name of Object:



Bucharest, Romania

Holding Museum:

The National Museum of Art of Romania


Late 19th–early 20th century

Type of object:

Tent door hanging

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool; knotted; asymmetrical knot


H: 170cm, W: 122cm; knot density ver. 56/dm; hor. 34/dm; 1,904/dm2


Central Asia, Tekke tribe


The basic design of the Turkmen rug called ensi (or engsi) features two long narrow rectangles intersecting at a right angle, which accounts for the term formerly used to designate them: khachli or khachlu (from the Armenian khach = cross). The arch at the upper end, which sometimes also appears on the vertical band of the cross, seems to suggest ensis may have been used as prayer rugs. More recently, though, the idea has been largely abandoned, the ensi being currently defined only as a door cover for felt tents. Sometimes, ensis have been compared to the chahār-bāgh-style Persian garden, whose layout resembles the quartered format of the ensi’s central field. The present example dates most probably from the last decade of the 19th century; its decorative repertoire is characteristic of the Tekke rugs, with Y-shape motifs and “ram’s horns” along the secondary outer border. This remarkably well preserved rug was part of the Romanian treasure sent to Moscow in 1916.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis

How Object was obtained:

Partial return of the Romanian treasure sent to Russia for safekeeping during the First World War

Selected bibliography:

Dunca, Mircea, De la mihrab la grădina paradisului, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 2006: cat. 18.

Citation of this web page:

Mircea Dunca "Ensi"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;rm;Mus31;15;en

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

MWNF Working Number: RO1_015

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