Carpets and Textiles in the Service of Religion
Communal Prayer Rug, fragment
Iran, Khorasan Region, 17th Century
244 x 91.5 (96 x 36 in)
Harold M. Keshishian Collection
This fragment, in which parts of three niches can be seen, comes from a large communal prayer rug (saf), originally one of a set of matching carpets. Other carpets from the same set are known, and one of them was woven with an indentation in one corner, suggesting that they were commissioned for a specific space, doubtless a mosque. Communal prayer rugs worked in knotted-pile are fairly common in Turkey, but are rare in Iran, where blue and white cotton rugs are preferred.