This carpet is knotted with the most wonderful lustrous wool, giving a sheen that is impossible to capture in a photograph. Where the pile is full, and in a fair amount of the carpet this is the case, this allows the vibrant rich colours to glow superbly.
This rug is one of the oldest amongst those from the Alexander Collection in the sale. Each feature of the design clearly indicates a 16th century date. The precision of drawing and the clarity of the colours are certainly indicators, but it is the borders that show the link clearest. The main border relates closely to that of one of the earliest Small Pattern Holbein carpets dating from the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, a fragment of which was in the Alexander collection (Alexander, op.cit, pp.176-9), a larger fragment of which is in the Turk ve Islam Museum (Suzan Bayraktaroglu and Serpil Özêlik, Carpet Museum & Kilim and Flatweaving Rugs Museum Catalogue, Ankara, 2007, p.33). It also appears on another rug in the same museum, a village rug dating from the 16th century (Bayraktaroglu and Özêlik, op. cit., pp.88-89). Even earlier is the motif in the minor border, which is used in carpets of the Seljuk period and rarely appears thereafter (Bayraktaroglu and Özêlik, op. cit., pp.10-11, dating from the 14th-15th century; and Hülya Tezcan, Sumiyo Okumura and Kathleen Hamilton Gündogdu, Weaving Heritage of Anatolia 2, Istanbul, 2007, no.23, no.8, p.30, dated to the 13th-14th century)