Produced from as early as the late 16th century through to the 18th century, a group of carpets to which the present example belongs, united by structure and power of drawing, are believed to have been woven in Karabagh, on the Persian border. For a discussion on the origin of this group see C. G. Ellis, Early Caucasian Rugs, Washington D.C., 1976, pp.10-11. The whole group has always been subdivided into a number of known design types some of which contain a variety of details which are inter-related but nevertheless differ considerably in detail. For a detailed summary of the various design types see E. H. Kirchheim et al., Orient Stars, Stuttgart and London, 1993, pp.101-114 and S. Yetkin, Early Caucasian Carpets in Turkey, London, 1978, vol.II, pp.41-43.
The carpet offered here depicts the Sunburst Blossom or so-called Transitional design. The red ground of this example is drawn on a vertical axis with the central sunburst medallion enclosed within large bold cusped leaves and flanked at each end by stylised hooked palmettes. Rather than beginning to form a further octagon to enclose these palmettes and to suggest a repetitive design, the serrated leaves at either end have been drawn on the vertical axis which flank the palmettes using their hooked ends to form a frame which better suits a smaller rug format and anticipates the design of classic 19th century Kazak rugs.