A Salting Type Prayer Rug
Origin: Possibly Kashan, Central Persia, circa 1600.
Size: Approximately 5ft. 8in. by 3ft. 10in. (1.73m. by 1.17m.)
Warp: Cotton, Z5S, alternate warps strongly depressed, natural wool
Weft: Alternate cotton, Z2S and silk, Z2S (loosely plied), 3 shoots, natural white, light brown
Pile: Wool, asymmetrical knot open to the left
Density: 19-21 horizontal, 19-20 vertical
Sides: 2 cords of 3 warps each, overcast natural white silk (incomplete)
Ends: Upper-1/8in. silk kilim, natural white; lower-1/8in. silk kilim, cranberry
Colors: Black, cranberry, turmeric, mauve, azure, umber, clover, apple green, ivory, saddle tan
Condition: Minor hole.
Notes: Inscribed with verses from the Koran: “O true believers, give alms of that which we have bestowed on you, before the day cometh wherein there shall be no merchandizing, nor friendship, nor intercession. The infidels are unjust doers. GOD! there is no God but he; the living, the self-subsisting: neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him; to him belongeth whatsoever is in heaven, and on earth. Who is he that can intercede with him, but through his good pleasure? He knoweth that which is past, and that which is to come unto them, and they shall not comprehend anything of his knowledge, but so far as he pleaseth. His throne is extended over heaven and earth and the preservation of both is no burden unto him. He is the High, the Mighty. ” and “Let there be no violence in religion. Now is right direction manifestly distinguished from deceit; whoever therefore shall deny Tagut (idols), and believes in God, he shall surely take hold on a strong handle, which shall not be broken; God is he who heareth and seeth.”; along the sides, “Verily God and his angels bless the prophet: 0 true believers, do ye also bless him, and salute him with a respectful salutation.”
This rug belongs to a controversial group of inscribed prayer rugs where scholars significantly differ in their attributions as to date and place of origin. Currently, there is a movement a foot to reexamine these rugs more closely.