Rug Gallery

Multiple niche prayer rug (saf)
India
Late 18th century


The Textile Museum R63.00.15
Acquired by George Hewitt Myers in 1950
Detail of rug measuring 138 x 616 cm

The length and layout of this carpet were determined by its intended use as a prayer rug in a mosque. When it was woven, the warps would have been stretched on the loom in the usual manner, with the patterns woven sideways.

The niches with spandrels and a pair of columns correspond to architectural features in Islamic secular and religious buildings. The style of this example, along with its colors and weave structure with cotton warps and wefts, suggests that it was manufactured in late Mughal India.

The patterns differs from niche to niche. In each case, the field pattern depends upon reflection with or without glide reflection. Glide reflection in the main border allows for the naturalistic rendering of a delicate scrolling vine on a white ground, which finds parallels in other Mughal decorative arts.

View Symmetries (Larger Image)

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