In many aspects this rug is a remarkable addition to the canon of 17th century Isfahan weavings. The silk and cotton foundation is a break with tradition and its small, almost square format stands in stark contrast to the gallery-size carpets (see lot 403) and larger rugs (see lots 401 & 405) synonymous with Safavid production from Isfahan. The ‘flaming’ medallion at the centre of this rug is a highly unusual feature which is more congruent with a group of Mughal carpets from northern India, an example of such attributed to 1620-30 is in the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon inv. no. T 62 (‘Auction Price Guide’, Hali, issue 103, p. 138 and illustrated in Daniel Walker’s Flowers Underfoot, New York, 1997, fig. 56, p. 62). Such idiosyncrasies raised the question of the origin of the seemingly singular related example, which sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 16 December 1998, lot 186. That example is all but identical to the present lot; with only very slight tonal and decorative differences this rug could well be the pair to that mentioned in Hali (op.cit., ‘Auction Price Guide’, p. 138). Given the classic ‘in-and-out’ palmette field design, border patterns and the palette of both rugs, Isfahan remains a reasonable attribution.