after treatment Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Prayer Carpet
Textile Arts
Work Type
Creation Place: Central Asia, Caucasus, South Caucasus
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Woven with pile
133 x 113 cm (52 3/8 x 44 1/2 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Elizabeth Gowing, Harborne W. Stuart, Peggy Coolidge, and the Estate of W.I. Stuart in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby H. Stuart, Jr.
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Marasali Prayer Rug. Deep blue field with horizontal rows of variously colored botehs forming diagonals by type and ornament, surrounded by reciprocal palisade in red and blue. Three guard borders of five petaled flowers, white ground outer main border with bunches of grapes; yellow ground inner main border with fruits. Around the niche area, an incomplete human form, 2 ewers (ibrik), a piece of jewelry or a comb, and a date,1908, repeated 3 times.

Warp: 2 S plied Z spun white undyed wool on one level. Weft: 1 Z spun yarn in 2 shoots, or occasionally in 2 parallel + 1 construction. Pile: 3, or occasionally 2 (depending on color), S plied Z spun. Pile color: 2 + 3 ply red, 3 ply green, 3 ply yellow, 2 ply green; all 3 ply: dark crimson red, dull medium red, very dark purple red, dark navy blue, medium blue, medium green, light green, dark yellow, very pale yellow, slightly corrosive brown, white, light brown wool; small areas of undyed and dark red silk. Both selvedges: 2 warps wrapped in magenta silk or shiny (mercerized?) cotton. Top: 1/2 cm. blue countered soumak brocade, 2 cm. tapestry weave, stripped, 1 1/2 cm. knot lace. Bottom: 1 cm. knot lace based on 4 warps, 1 cm. left to right countered soumak in brown, dark yellow, and red.
Publication History

Walter B. Denny, Oriental Rugs, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C, 1979), pp. 58-59, colorplate 11

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), page 87/figure 93

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

Colors of the Caucasus, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/16/1990 - 09/09/1990

Woven, Hammered, and Thrown: Textiles and Objects from the Islamic World, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/22/1991 - 08/18/1991

The Best Workmanship, the Finest Materials: Prayer Carpets of the Islamic World, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/03/2002 - 12/15/2002

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

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