This is probably the oldest of the carpets and fragments from the Alexander Collection in this sale. It shows direct links back to 13th and 14th century carpets, both in the field and in the border. The field with its staggered rows of octagons harks back to the great 13th century carpets. The arrangement here is considerably more complex than those, and appears to be as good a combination of the overall octagon field and the 2-1-2 medallion design as it would be possible to create. Both are very much elements of the design.
This is included within a border of equally ancient design. Again its roots can be traced back to the 14th century: the main element is the central element in the kufic border of the Kirchheim animal carpet (E.Heinrich Kirchheim et al., Orient Stars, London and Stuttgart 1993, pp.14-15). The vertical elements there have become a meander design here, which sprouts floral designs on the diagonals. The same border design can be found on a saf, three niches of which are in the Textile Museum, Washington D.C. given a surprisingly late date by Walter Denny of "16th or 17th century" (Walter B. Denny, The Classical Tradition in Anatolian Carpets, Washington D.C., 2002, no.2, p.59). A further fragment of the same saf is in the Bardini Collection dated to the 15th-16th century (Alberto Boralevi, Oriental Geometries, Livorno, 1999, no.9, p.42-3).
A rug with a later version of the same field design, but lacking all the complexity of the present example, is in the Turk ve Islam Museum (Hülya Tezcan, Sumiyo Okumura and Kathleen Hamilton Gündogdu, Weaving Heritage of Anatolia 2, Istanbul, 2007, no.23, p.45).