While by no means the earliest of this classic design, the present carpet has wonderfully rich colouring in the well preserved pile which in so many cases has worn down to the structure. The basic design principal consists of a red field with delicate floral tracery and a large indigo primary medallion flanked by lobed medallions all filled with split-leaf rumi and angular floral vinery. The origin of the design has been the subject of great debate, but one suggestion is that it originated as a response to stylistic developments in illuminated manuscripts during the rule of Mehmet II Fatih (1432-1481); for a full discussion of the design see Jon Thompson, Milestones in the History of Carpets, Milan, 2006, pp. 90-101. The earliest and best examples of these carpets were woven for the wealthy Ottoman home market however they already appeared in European paintings during the 16th century with examples being depicted by artists such as Velasquez, Zurbaran and Vermeer (Donald King and David Sylvester, The Eastern Carpet in the Western World from the 15th to the 17th Century, London, 1983, p.73). By the 17th century there is evidence of a substantial export market in Europe where they continued to be popular in Europe for decades if not centuries. A similar example to the present lot was offered in these rooms 17 October, 2002, lot 102.