The design of this kelleh derives from carpets which are generally attributed to either North West Persia or the Azerbaijan region of the Caucasus. One example is discussed by Ulrich Schürmann, (Schürman, Caucasian Rugs, Munich, 1961, pp.58-59, pl.2), while another was in these Rooms 10 October 2008, lot 41.) Both those rugs are clearer drawn than the present example, each on a green field, but the elements of the design are clearly held in common, with the paired trees and the central roundels. At first glance both those rugs appear to have been woven in the same border region of North West Persia if it were not for the inclusion of the lyre motif in the border of the Schürmann example, which is characteristically of Caucasian origin (see Schürmann, op. cit., p.67, pl.6).
Another related example, attributed to Azerbaijan, is discussed by Eberhart Herrmann, (Asiatische Teppich- und Textilkunst, 3, Munich 1991, pp.50-51, pl.21). That has more in common with our rug, a development from the more restrained earlier rugs, although that has considerably brighter more primary colours than those found here, and the design is further removed from ours than the two green ground examples.
This is a wonderfully idiosyncratic rug, with an enthusiasm and vitality to the drawing, even while the weaver patently does not fully understand the original derivation of the design she is so carefully weaving.