The export of Safavid spiraling vine carpets became so profitable by the mid-17th century, that they were deemed amongst the most sought-after luxury commodity in Europe and held the same status when collected by the wealthy entrepreneurs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are many variants of the design and differences in the weave of existing examples however most are based on a system of tendrils arranged symmetrically on either side of the central vertical axis, incorporating large palmettes with shaped outlines across a field which is usually a burgundy shade of red. The borders are either dark green or blue and include vines of a variety of intricacy and exuberance of design. The field of the present example is relatively common but the border design of paired scrolled arabesques is much less so, but can be found on an example offered in these Rooms, 10 October 2008, lot 37.
For a fuller discussion on this group of carpets see Friedrich Spühler, Oriental Carpets in the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin, London & Boston, 1988, pp. 68-87, Spiral-tendril (Vine Scroll) Carpets (Cat nos. 79-83), pp. 74, 81-82, and particularly Cat. No. 79, pg. 81, fig. 79, pg. 221, for a Spiral-Tendril carpet, 17th century (254 x 142 cm.) (Inv. No. 75, 196, transferred to the Kunstgewerbemuseum in 1875).