Floral designs have become associated with the reign of Shah Jahan (1628-1658) and represent the decorative opulence and richness of his court. A number of extraordinary carpets were produced under his influence, of which, luckily, many have survived. One example of a similar style was sold in these Rooms on Thursday 24th April 1997, Lot 425 and there are a number in the posession of the Maharaja of Jaipur (Hendley, T.H.: Asian Carpets: XVI and XVII Century. Designs from the Jaipur Palaces from Material Supplied by the Permission of H.H. the Maharaja of Jaipur and from Other Sources, London, 1905).
This fragment is from one of those, contrasting the characteristic blood-red field with its white lozenge lattice enclosing flowers. The flowers represented in this fragment are some of the favoured flowers of Shah Jahan's court including peonies, chrysanthemums, irises and lilies. In this fragment each lozenge is unique. For a discussion of the influence that European prints of botanical designs had on Lattice carpets see Walker, Daniel: Flowers Underfoot, Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era, New York, 1997. pp.86-88, pp.107-113.