Carpet with Triple-arch Design

Object Name: Carpet

Date: ca. 1575–90

Geography: Attributed to Turkey, probably Istanbul

Medium: Silk (warp and weft), wool (pile), cotton (pile); asymmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: Rug: L. 68 in. (172.7 cm)
W. 50 in. (127 cm)
Mount: L. 71 in. (180.3 cm)
W. 53 3/4 in. (136.5 cm)
D. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm)
Wt. 120 lbs. (54.4 kg)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: The James F. Ballard Collection, Gift of James F. Ballard, 1922

Accession Number: 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.