Object Record

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Catalog number 58.39
Title Prayer rug
Object Name Rug, Prayer
Description Although dyed in the traditional colors of older Turkish rugs, the motifs on this rug identify it as most likely a "Panderma," a later type made in Anatolia (Turkey) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,1850-1900 AD. Turkish rugs are woven with a double loop or "Ghiordes knot," and are therefore referred to as "Ghiordes rugs." Typically, Ghiordes prayer rugs are smaller in size and have a single pointed "mihrab," unlike our rug, which has an undulating arch with colonettes signifying the mihrab. The prayer rugs contain a "mihrab" or prayer niche in the center of the rug. The artists left the centre of the niche plain, perhaps in order not to distract the person using it from praying. In subsequent stages, however, the entire rugs, including the prayer niche, were fully decorated and looked rather like a garden in bloom.

A mythical story is told about a Greek priest who foretold the Phrygians that a king would come to them in an oxcart and that he would spread peace in their country. It so happened that a peasant by the name of Gordius or Gordios appeared and the people crowned him king. Another prophecy went around about the fact that the person who was able to untie the knot, which tied the Gordius's oxcart to a post inside a temple, will become the ruler of all of Asia. Luck was on the side of Alexander the Great who, in his impatience, cut the knot with a stroke of his sword.

Medium/Material Wool
Dimensions W-48 L-68 inches
Year Range from 1850.0
Year Range to 1900.0
Search Terms 19th century AD
20th century AD
Anatolia and the Caucasus
Exhibition and Publication History *"Queens College Art Collection," 1960, #224.
* "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Other Collections," A. Winter, X. Lin, Curators, G-TM, 10/15-12/20/2003, #71, ill., p. 37.
*The Grandeur of Islamic Art in Image and Object, GTM, February 13 - May 31, 2007. Lisa Brody, Co-Curator.
*"Interwoven Worlds: Exploring Domestic and Nomadic Life in Turkey," GTM at Flushing Town Hall, March 9-April 29, 2012. A. Winter, A. Bauer, Curators.
Culture Turkish/Anatolian