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A rectangular carpet with detailed floral design with a patterned green border, a yellow pentagonal shape in the middle that points up, and a small red vase at the bottom. The entire rug is detailed with the floral designs.

The rectangular carpet lies flat vertically and is detailed with floral designs over the entire piece. The floral designs incorporate green vines and leaves, small white buds and flowers, large round red and black flowers, and shoes a wide variety of flower types and shapes. The rug has a thick, patterned green border, a yellow pentagonal shape in the middle that points up, a red space in between the border and the top of the pentagon with two larger flowers in the top corners, a green space in between the border and the bottom of the pentagon, and a small red vase at the bottom.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Niche Carpet, Millefleur Type
Textile Arts
Work Type
18th century
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Kashmir
Mughal period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Wool (goathair) pile on a foundation of silk warps and cotton wefts
Woven with pile
174 x 111 cm (68 1/2 x 43 11/16 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Joseph V. McMullan
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Carpets of this type have been described as “millefleur” (thousand flowers) rugs because of their profusion of floral motifs. A plethora of flowers emerge from a central vase, contained within a niche. This niche could indicate use as a prayer rug or allude to an arched gateway and signal the carpet’s function as a hanging. The goathair or pashmina pile of this carpet is particularly luxurious. This material readily absorbs dye stuffs, creating a vibrantly colored carpet.

Publication History

  • Joseph V. McMullan, Islamic Carpets (New York, 1965)
  • David Sylvester, Islamic Carpets from the Collection of Joseph V. McMullan, exh. cat. (Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1972), p. 41, cat. no. 31
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Prayer Rugs, exh. cat., The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum (Washington, D.C, 1974), pp. 88-89, fig. 27
  • Walter B. Denny, Oriental Rugs, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C, 1979), pp. 110-111, colorplate 26
  • Sheila Blair, ed., Images of Paradise In Islamic Art, exh. cat., University of Tennessee Press (Austin, TX, 1991), p. 32/27a
  • Mr. Raoul Tschebull, "To Praise and Pray", HALI, ed. Daniel Shaffer (London, England, November 2002 - December 2002), vol.24, no.6, issue 125, pp.108-109, p. 108

Exhibition History

  • Enter Ye the Garden: Prayer Rugs of Islam, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/26/1989 - 08/20/1989
  • Islamic Art: The Power of Pattern, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/23/1989 - 01/17/1990
  • The Here and the Hereafter: Images of Paradise in Islamic Art, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, 03/16/1991 - 05/26/1991; Asia Society Galleries, New York, 06/27/1991 - 09/06/1991; Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Springfield, 04/26/1992 - 06/21/1992
  • Earthly Paradise: Gardens in Islamic Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/08/1993 - 08/22/1993
  • Pattern and Purpose. Decorative Arts of Islam., Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/19/1994 - 07/03/1994
  • The Best Workmanship, the Finest Materials: Prayer Carpets of the Islamic World, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/03/2002 - 12/15/2002
  • Prayer Carpet: Beauty and Purpose, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 02/18/2023 - 07/02/2023

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at