The origins of this design are very archaic indeed. A prayer rug in the Alexander Collection shows the same basic structure, although single-ended (Christopher Alexander, op.cit, p.127). On the facing page in his catalogue is depicted the very well known saf of this design in the Turk ve Islam Museum which dates from the 15th century. Another early village rug which shares most of the same design features, but more tightly delineated than here, is in the Orient Stars Collection (E. Heinrich Kirchheim, Orient Stars, A Carpet Collection, Stuttgart and London, 1993, no.200, p.317.)
The design became abstracted, ceasing to be that of a prayer rug, and appears in a small number of other 17th century village carpets, such as a beautiful and much tighter drawn example in the Bardini Collection (Alberto Boralevi, Geometrie d'Oriente, Stefano Bardini e il tappeto antico, exhibition catalogue, Florence, 1999, no.21, pp.72-3).