Attributed to Bursa or Istanbul, Turkey
Pile weave, wool and cotton pile on silk foundation, 288 asymmetrical knots per square inch; W. 50 in. (127 cm), L. 68 in. (172.7 cm)
The James F. Ballard Collection, Gift of James F. Ballard, 1922 (22.100.51)
This rare rug is one of a small group of Ottoman court prayer rugs featuring a prayer niche, or mihrab, with architectural elements such as columns and capitals. It is one of the earliest examples of the triple-arched prayer niche. With its paired or coupled columns, undecorated field, split palmettes in the spandrels, and horizontal panel containing crenelated forms, it is also the classical prototype for later rugs. Characteristically Ottoman are the carnations and tulips at the base of the arches as well as the feathery lanceolate leaves, hyacinths, and other flowers in the curvilinear border pattern. The harmonious design, skillful weaving, and luxury materials reflect court taste.