Rug with Opposing Niches in a Keyhole Niche Design

Circa 1700
Akhisar, Western Anatolia
168 cm x 132 cm
5'6" x 4'4"

One of the earliest and most intriguing niche design rugs I ever had the opportunity to acquire, entirely composed of a ‘single keyhole’ type of niche containing two opposing pairs of niche design elements, as well as two further prayer design motifs in the spandrels. Each of these niches contain mirror image anchor-type devices as seen on 16th Century ‘Bellini’ type of prayer rugs. A series of concentric lozenge-shaped hooked motifs occupy the center of the niche, where the innermost gul-type motif is repeated at the base and twice towards the top of the niche, as if representing a precious tribal emblem.
There is an almost identical piece in the Kinaci Foundation (published in Hali 155 (Spring 2008), p. 90) attributed to Turkmen tribes and dated to the 17th/18th Century.

  • Warp: wool, ivory
  • Weft: wool, rust red, 2-3 shots between knotted rows
  • Knot: symmetrical, weaving direction is adjacent to niche, no warp depression
  • Knot count: 7V x 10H = 70 knots/square inch
  • Selvages: flat, one set of paired warps
  • Ends: top and bottom with rust red weft-faced plain weave
  • Colours: mahogany red, brown, medium blue, aubergine, turquoise, apricot, light green, ivory (8)
  • Condition: the pile is good to medium overall, with some areas where it is low to knot heads. Some old rewoven sections in the bottom plain woven end

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