The claret-red ground of the present lot, filled with an intricate play of 'in and out' palmettes' together with delicate spiralling tendrils working on three overlapping planes, is typical of this group of carpets which were produced during the reign of Shah 'Abbas (1587-1629). In 1598 Shah 'Abbas decided to move the Persian capital from Qazvin to the city of Isfahan in central Persia, where he established court manufactories to produce exceptional carpets.
The presence of these carpets in European inventories and paintings help to develop an idea of the chronology and expansion of this group in the West. They appear by the late 16th century but were not widely disseminated until the following century. The passion for collecting these extraordinary weavings was reignited in the 19th century when great European families and their American counterparts began to collect these masterpieces. Luminaries such as Henry Clay Frick, William Randolph Hearst, Henry E. Huntington, J.P. Morgan, Samuel H. Kress, Andrew Mellon, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford, actively sought out these great carpets, inspired by their beauty and jewel-like qualities and were encouraged by extraordinarily powerful art dealers such as Joseph Duveen (1869-1939).