The reign of Shah Jahan (1628-58), has become associated with the use of floral designs, the richness and splendour of his court. It is known that under his direction a great number of extremely fine carpets were produced. This is largely through the relatively large number which have survived. Most of those in the West can be traced back to the Maharaja of Jaipur's palace at Amber, which was completed in 1630 and many of those had inventory labels sewn on the reverse dating them to the 1630's. This carpet being offered for sale is undoubtably one of the finest produced from this period to come on to the market in recent years.
Carpets produced during this period all appear with a crimson field which creates the richness which epitomises the style of the period. This example has the same crimson field and a white overall scrolling lattice, linked at ends by a minute cruciform flowerhead. Curiously these alternate throughout the lattice at the ends to overlay the design or to be enclosed within the cusped points. Each lozenge encloses a single floral spray using the favoured flowers of the court: lilies, irises, peonies, carnations, chrysanthemums and poppies. An interesting observation in this carpet is that the direction of the flowers changes to the other direction halfway down the field, whilst this is usual in Mughal carpets, it is not known in similar dated Persian carpets.
Two examples of a similar style are known one is in The Textile Museum, Washington DC, James D. Burns Gift, Inventory no. TM 1994. 12.1 HALI, 88, September, 1996 p.105). The other, previously in the Kevorkian collection, Bennett,I.: Rugs and Carpets of the World, London 1977, pp129-130.