The inscription cartouche reads; Portraits of the first kings who conquered lands, on top of which is Gayumarth, Iran.
At the end of the 19th century three was a revival of Iranian interest in its historical and pre-historical past. This was partly driven by the archaeological discoveries within the country, and also from European publications of ancient Iranian sites. The kings from the shahnama were suddenly visible in their historical context, and the current shah was seen even more than before as the inheritor of an immensely long and important tradition. This was reflected in workds of art, such as a penbox dated 1899-1900, due to be sold in these Rooms 10 October 2006, lot 142, and in carpets such as the present example.