When discussing "Lotto" carpets, Kurt Erdmann noted that it was remarkable that, among the more than five hundred examples that he examined, there were less than ten colour variants from the normal yellow on red combination (Erdmann, Kurt: Seven Hundred Years of Oriental Carpets, London, 1970, p.60). While more recent discoveries have probably brought that figure to a few more than ten, it is still a minute proportion of the whole group.
The most famous example which has on its red field a design that is not wholly yellow is the magnificent carpet in Berlin (Turkish Carpets from the 15th to the 18th Centuries, exhibition catalogue, Istanbul, 1996, p.103 amongst many other illustrations). Three further examples are known which combine blue and yellow motifs on the red field (Concaro, Edouardo and Levi, Alberto: Sovrani Tappeti exhibition catalogue, Milan, 1999, no.11, p.35; Schmutzler, Emil: Altorientalischer Teppiche in Siebenbürgen, Leipzig, 1933, pl.19, and one in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Ganzhorn, Volkmar: The Christian Oriental Carpet, Cologne, 1991, pl.387, p.271). A battered example in the Vakiflar Museum, Istanbul, has a blue design on a brown field (Yetkin, Serare: Historical Turkish Carpets, Istanbul, 1981, pl.36). There is however only one example, in the Alexander Collection, which shares with the present rug a blue design on a red field (Alexander, Christopher: A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art, New York and Oxford, 1993, pp.216-220).
The border of the present rug is equally extraordinary. While the ragged leaf border is well known from early Anatolian carpets, no other example has the palmettes marching in line up the side of the field; they invariably face in or out around the field. In both this rug and the Alexander Collection piece it is as if the weaver, having decided they want to ignore normal designs, go out of their way to flout conventional design and thereby create something completely their own.