Styles Page

Prayer War Rugs

Hajj Group Prayer Rug with Planes and Buses
This unique and super high quality rug was perhaps intended as a multi-person prayer rug as defined by the six pointed shapes running down side of the field. Four planes in colors matching the bottom fringe (red, black, red, and blue) run up the center of the rug behind two large busses. The rug features an un-dyed background making it very soft and shiny.
The blue, red, black, and purple shapes (trees? fireworks?) that make up the border mirror the shapes that separate the pointed shapes in the main field.
The dye used to create the purple color has tip-faded to a light lavender color. Tip fading on purple

Masood Prayer Rug
New condition. This is an example of what Kevin Sudeith has duped, 'the feedback loop' where public discussions of war rugs sparks new iterations of these designs. Discussion on Nigel Lendon's blog.

Three Panel Sajada with Minaret Mihrab
Excellent condition. New, full pile. The design of this rug is unusual. It is a variation on the 'Three Panel Sajada' style, but the meandering road which usually runs back and forth diagonally across rug in this case attractively runs straight up the middle. Also, in stead of a variety of plants and building scattered over the rug's field, this rug had two columns of well drawn planes and helicopters. Most notably though is the change in the top third of the rug. Usually this design has mountains at the top, but in this case the top has been clearly turned into a traditional Afghan mihrab of repeated minarets. It is both attractive, and clearly makes this a prayer rug. Missing from the design are the gates at the bottom.

The earliest example of this design is Rug 1090. Another early example is at the Textile Museum in Canada. Some later examples are here, here, here, here, and here (Plate 35 from Pictorial War Rug book.

Double Prayer Rug
Excellent condition. The field blue color is that best of Herati blues. Slightly darker than cobalt with good depth and resonance.

Prayer War Rug
This red and orange prayer rug features a series of 6 helicopters landing on what appears to be some sort of buildings or gardens. Running down the middle of the rug is a series of medallions, perhaps also gardens, connected by a geometric stripe and branches of leaves.
Geometric Greek-pattern inspired adrskni mihrab running around the field is interesting, cutting off the top two corners of the field.
This is an overall solid and good quality rug with a lot of interesting features.

(exhibited at Miami University Art Museum) Brown (washed) Saph (Runner Dimension Prayer Rug)
This rug is a saph, or runner shaped prayer rug for many people side by side. It is not used the long way, like in a hall, but people pray cross-wise to the run of the carpet. Probably washed, but difficult to say for certain.
The pointed shapes of the mosque are mirrored in the dark solid shapes above them, as well as in the pointed shapes in the borders. Helicopters sit nose-up vertically between the mosques, looking as if they've 'landed' on the side.
Exhibited at Miami U, has canvas hanging sewn to back.

Prayer War Rug with Four Helicopters and Two Bombers
This rug is a Taimani Baluch rug from south western Afghanistan. This is a prayer rug, which is represented in the two sets of two towers. Each set of two towers is joined at a blunted crest of arches, typical of prayer rugs. What sets this prayer rugs apart from hundreds of others are the airplanes and helicopters floating above the towers.
This incredible art work was woven in South-western Afghanistan by a woman of Taimani Baluch descent. It is a functional piece of art, as she juxtaposes the traditional directional carpet with contemporary images from her current existence. Among the images of the towers and the crest of arches that would be used to point towards Mecca during prayer, we can see the reality of life during what should be peaceful reflection interrupted by her clear expression of noise in her war torn nation. This devout Muslim woman, in her attempt to create a magnificent piece in which to use for prayer, cannot ignore the planes and helicopters as they fly over head. Why would this artist risk death by the Taliban to preserve her art? Why is it of great importance? This brave artist points out with only pure alacrity that in spite of ones circumstances her faith and beliefs must live on. This lustrous art tells of an example of great perseverance.

Alexander the Great Citadel Prayer War Rug with Three Helicopters
Perhaps the most impressive architecture depicted is Alexander's Citadel from the 4th Century B.C. The inner guard stripe is very similar to the Homer pl. 5 (Homer, Julian, Exclusively Belouch (Cheltenham, Homer Oriental Rugs, 1986). The old architecture of the Citadel contrasts with the helicopters above. A mihrab, the mountains, and the trees point towards the top of the rug. Two 'hand emblems' rest on either side of the mihrab indicate where one places their hands during prayer.

4 Niche Prayer Rug - ZPU 4
good, new mix knots

Afghan Prayer Rug with Rockets and Animals
This Soviet era rug is in good condition given its age. The wool is beautiful and the color is unusual for type. It has areas of low pile and some repairs, please see the pictures. The repairs are reweaves of good quality. The first is near the middle of the rug and is roughly 2x4 inches, the second is about 1.5 inches square also towards the middle. The other two repairs are dime sized reweaves near the bottom of the rug. One is a lighter blue than the surrounding area and sits in just south of the middle of the border. The other is in the outer guard stripe. There are other minor imperfections as well, such as some missing fringe. All things considered, this is a beautiful rug of old vintage in a rare pattern in very satisfactory condition.
The blue four-legged figures are very charismatic and give a lot of character to the rug.

Pictorial / Prayer Afghan War Rug
Very unusual design. Rug is Dusty. Nice fatty wool. This rug is a very unusual pattern. This is the first distinctively prayer rug we have had. Checkered building are nicely contrasted by blue stream or street running up middle. Hole in middle.