Offering an antique, late 19th century Persian Qalam Kar wall hanging prayer textile. This textile is completely hand sewn down the center, perfectly joining two panels designed to resemble a prayer niche when hung. The design was block printed by hand with natural dyes.
The textile measures 60" X 90" and is unfinished at both top and bottom. It is delicate and must be carefully handled. The fabric also has an unusually sweet smell, almost like old books bound in Morocco.
The edges are ragged with some small tears and looses threads however the center is whole. The textile is very old, woven linen I think. One back side corner is stamped with the size: 60 X 90 – Made in Persia and then a logo featuring the Persian Winged Lion.
The unidirectional design is simply wonderful, with peacocks, lions, sheep, various birds and flowers. At the top is the dome of the mosque. An intricate work of art.
These Qalam Kar are very rare now but they used to be necessary for nomadic tribes, to have a place that pinpointed Mecca for their prayers. The niche hanging takes the place of a prayer corner in a mosque. In Central Asia and elsewhere, many important events occur out of doors. Textiles such as these, are hung to define the space set aside for prayer and special occasions. This textile may also have been exported for use by Muslims living abroad.