Persian red-ground carpets with scrolling arabesques terminating in palmettes that are framed by a deep indigo or green border of corresponding design, are one of the most familiar groups of 17th century carpets that have survived to the present day. The popularity of these weavings is attested by the sheer number depicted in Dutch and Flemish paintings of the period, which also support their dating. Despite this however, there has been considerable discussion about their place of manufacture, at times being attributed to Herat or India and often termed ‘Indo-Isfahan’. In more recent history it has been generally accepted that Isfahan was the production centre for these carpets whose popularity soared throughout the first half of the 17th century and were subsequently woven in great quantities for export to Europe. Within this substantial group there are a number of design variations, a carpet which exhibits the more angular and tighter drawing of one variant was offered in the Christie’s New York, 18 December 2002, lot 100. In contrast, the design of the present lot shows a much grander scale and more open drawing in both the saz leaves and cloudbands of the field and the palmettes of the main border. The cloudbands are arranged in a 2:1 formation which accentuates the central vertical axis but also emphasises the sheer breadth of the design. These features are expertly incorporated into a harmonious overall design that is only enhanced by the subtle nuances in colour, which although now very worn, show that it once included a varied palette. Measuring almost 25 feet without one end border, this was once a most impressive carpet.