The design in the field of this carpet is named after the artist Lorenzo Lotto who painted two examples of the design in 1542 and 1547. It appears in many slightly different forms in Italian paintings from the 1520's until the first part of the eighteenth century (John Mills, "'Lotto' carpets in Western Paintings", Hali, vol.3, no.4, 1981 pp.278-289). It similarly appears in Dutch paintings, the earliest appearance being in 1544, continuing through at least until the end of the seventeenth century (Onno Ydema, Carpets and their Datings in Netherlandish Paintings, 1540-1700, Zutphen, 1991, pp.239 and 131-143). The field designs have been divided into three different styles by Grant Ellis (Charles Grant Ellis, The 'Lotto' Pattern as a Fashion in Carpets, Festschrift Peter Wilhelm Meister, 1975, pp.19-31), a division of styles which has been used almost universally subsequently, even if the conclusions drawn by the author have not been fully accepted. The field of the present carpet falls into the 'kilim' style, typified by the serrated edges of the motifs. The geometry of the design is particularly well balanced which may be as a result of the slightly thicker yellow stems than most.
Amongst the repertoire of differing border designs in the group, the single rosette with linked hooked vine issuing a triple leaf spray seen here was not widely used. An extremely similar border, but with hooked small leaves and a larger range of colours, can be found in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts, Inv. no. 51.121.1, exhibited in 1996 in Istanbul, (Turkish Carpets From the 13th-18th Centuries, exhibition catalogue, Istanbul, 1996, pl.79, pg.107). It is the extreme corrosion of the walnut-brown in the flowerheads in the present lot that makes them even more eye-catching and appear to rotate like falling snow-flakes. The closest comparable amongst the examples given by Mills is found in a painting by an unknown artist in the collection of H.M. the Queen of The Countess of Wessex (Mills, op cit, p.283, fig.17.) it also appears on a first half 17th century example noted by Ferenc Batari, (Ottoman Turkish Carpets, Budapest, 1994, p.107, no.12).
It is worth mentioning the minor stripes as they are not only complete but are an interesting variation on the scrolling 's' chain broken by alternating circular and square-hooked motifs. Penny Oakley was only able to find a few examples of the outer stripe which include a kilim-style 'Lotto' in Budapest (Batari, op cit., p.103) and a further 17th century rug in the monastery of Sighioara in Transylvania, (Stefano Ionescu (ed.), Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, Rome, 2005, p.99, no.35), Penny Oakley, (op. cit.. p.85).
This rug has been carbon 14 tested with a 81.9 probability resulting between AD 1430-1530; and a 13.5 probability resulting AD 1580-1630.