While the 'star' Ushak is one of the best known icons within the field of 'classical' carpets, and is to be found in a number of surviving examples, it is not one of the most frequently encountered examples in European paintings. There are however some depictions which date back to the sixteenth century, the earliest of which is the very well-known Paris Bordone painting of 1530, The Doge's Ring in the Accademia, Venice (Canova, G.: Paris Bordon, Venice, 1963, pl.37 and dust jacket). While king Henry VIII of England is shown in paintings on a number of Ushak carpets, including a variant on the present design, he is not shown with a 'Star' Ushak proper.
As with the large 'medallion' carpets, there are also a number of variants on the design, of which the present field design is the most common. The best and earliest examples of the group have borders which often differ from each other. The present carpet is no exception; the border is not found on other carpets with this field. It is however to be found in a carpet in the Detroit Institute of Arts, (Ellis, C.G.: Oriental Carpets in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1988, pl.25b, p.74), a carpet which otherwise has a field of quadrilateral medallions.
Within the group, the present carpet is one of the best drawn and best preserved examples. The drawing and proportions of the present carpet are very similar to those of that in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, formerly in the McMullan Collection (McMullan, J.V.: Islamic Carpets, New York, 1965, pl.67, pp.230-231). Like that example, there is great variety and lack of symmetry in the drawing of the motifs in the field and in the designs of the centres of the star medallions. The present piece however has a lighter tone of red and a general tonality which is not quite as intense.