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

Name of Object:

Double niche ‘Transylvanian’ carpet


Bucharest, Romania

Holding Museum:

The National Museum of Art of Romania


Late 17th–early 18th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool; knotted; symmetrical knot


H: 180cm, W: 125cm; knot density ver. 33/dm; hor. 29/dm; 957/dm2

Period / Dynasty:



Western Anatolia


The term “Transylvanian” rug refers to 17th- and 18th-century rugs preserved in large numbers in Transylvanian Saxon churches, and once considered to have been made in Transylvania, whereas in fact they were produced in western Anatolia. Certain Transylvanian rugs have a mihrab design, typical of prayer rugs; others, such as the present one, feature two opposing arches. The shape of this double niche and its undecorated beige ground are characteristic of later “Transylvanian” rugs, while the border of alternating polygonal cartouches and octagons can also be found in earlier examples. Several technical imperfections such as the inaccurate rendering of space, which accounts for the incomplete motifs in the main border, and the lack of left–right symmetry though indicative of a modest workshop, retain a certain appealing charm.

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. 11.

Citation of this web page:

Mircea Dunca "Double niche ‘Transylvanian’ carpet"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;rm;Mus31;6;en

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

MWNF Working Number: RO1_006