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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


Early 19th century

Type of object:

Prayer rug

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wool warp, cotton weft; knotted; symmetrical wool and cotton knots


H: 176cm, W: 121cm; knot density ver. 53/dm; hor. 34/dm; 1,802/dm2

Period / Dynasty:



Turkey, western Anatolia, Gördes


Gördes prayer rugs of the 18th and 19th centuries were much appreciated in Western Europe as well as in Romania, where they have been preserved in large numbers. Here, the stepped arch of the niche is featured on a white ground; the floral and geometric motifs of the mihrab field are reminiscent of a mosque lamp. A tiny brown mosque lamp appears as such in the centre of the composition, hardly discernible amid stylised flowers and stars. The elaborate decoration, with a wealth of floral motifs on the inner edges of the niche, is a recurrent feature of 19th-century Ottoman carpets at a time when architectural motifs derived from courtly art were gradually losing their original shape and meaning. The cross panels featured above and below the niche are decorated with Chinese cloudbands. The main border is made up of seven narrow bands on white and red ground, sometimes associated with the seven heavens, while the secondary borders contain flowers connected by wave scrolls.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis

How Object was obtained:

Transfer from the Kalinderu Museum, Bucharest

Selected bibliography:

Dunca, Mircea, Covoare turceşti, secolele XVII–XX, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 1994: cat. 32.
Dunca, Mircea, De la mihrab la grădina paradisului, Bucharest: Muzeul Național de Artă al României, 2006: cat. 6.

Citation of this web page:

Mircea Dunca "Prayer rug"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;rm;Mus31;9;en

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

MWNF Working Number: RO1_009