There is a small group of early Chinese carpets discussed by Hans König and Michael Franses, (Glanz der Himmelssöne: Kaiserlische Teppiche Aus China 1400-1750, London, 2005, p.78) which have very similar traits to the present rug. Of these, the two published examples which most resemble the present rug are that which was published by Eberhart Herrmann, Asiatische Teppich - und Textilkunst, volume 4, 2, pp.12-13; and the other, originally in a private English collection published by J.Eskenazi, Hali 76, August/September 1994, pg.150, but more recently discussed and illustrated by König and Franses (op cit, London, 2005, No 13) and described as "The Naito Medallion and Lotus Daybed Cover".
Ranging in size, with that of Herrmann being the smallest and the present lot being the largest, all three have the same ivory field with scrolling tendrils issuing various combinations of stylised lotus flowers in beige, tan, dark brown, indigo and powder blue. All three have a different pattern within the inner stripe but the same dark brown outer stripe containing a leafy flowering vine.
In China, even before Buddhism gave particular significance to the lotus flower with further countless symbolic references, it was honored as the plant of Summer. Similarly the peony flower, which appears in the central medallions on both the present lot and "the Naito" daybed cover is considered a symbol of wealth and honour.
The drawing of the vine and the central medallion on the present lot appear finer and more elegant than the heavier square-set medallion of the "Naito" rug where the serpent-like vine, although slightly finer woven, is a little less fluid in movement.
Interestingly, following a carbon date testing on the Herrmann rug, the results showed that there is a 95 possibility that the rug was woven before 1650 which remains in line with the proposed dating of the present rug.