Antique Tabriz Silk Prayer Rug

Antique Tabriz Silk Prayer Rug


169 x 126 cm


This antique Tabriz silk prayer rug was made in the city of the same name in northwestern Iran in the late 19th century.

The field depicts a classic design of a plain architectural space with a pointed mihrab. A hanging lamp ending in a fan-shaped flower motif and flanked by two floral shrubs on either side drops into the empty space below the apex. Two vertical columns, one on each side, with a simple meandering pattern carry the opening  of the mihrab. They partition off two further niches, narrower and lower than but nonetheless echoing the main space. The areas around the mihrab are decorated with an irregular golden pattern on a pale green-golden ground, giving it a textured look. An enclosed rectangle of pale florals on a maroon ground finishes the field over the top  of the mihrab.

A series of multiple borders encloses the field, with the main border containing alternating larger and smaller flower heads and tendrils forming a meander around them. This border has a relatively strong element of maroon and is much more patterned than the surrounding, narrower borders with a predominance of the gold found in the field.

The combination of a restricted colour palette, the concentration of the patterning  on the main border and the border at the top of the field but otherwise sparse decoration, the very fine weave and the use of silk create a sophisticated and elegant rug.

The rug is woven in silk on a silk foundation. It has small areas of slight wear in the field but is overall in very good condition.