Gary Dickinson, in his essay about the hundred antiques, attributes their appearance at least partly to the search for legitimacy on the part of the Kangxi emperor (1662-1722) who founded the Qing dynasty. (Dickinson, Gary: "The hundred antiques", in Franses, Michael (ed.): Classical Chinese Carpets, London, 2000, p.57 sqq.). The antiques are a visible manifestation of part of the Confucian philosophical ideas, partly developing from the "eight auspicious sybols". The emperor, as a Manchu, wanted actively to court the existing Confucian literati.
This particular example probably dates from the half of the eighteenth century; the motifs are clearly and symmetrically arranged across the vertical field. By the second half of the century the individual motifs became increasingly reduced in scale, their philosophical importance having become less important. In the list given by Michael Franses of the known examples of this group, the present carpet is by a very long way the largest worked on a vertical layout (Franses, M.: op. cit., pp.90-91). Only two of the horizontal layout examples are on a similar scale.