Medallion and cartouche carpets are among the most impressive of all early Safavid carpets. Apart from the two examples without medallions and on silk warps which can be dated to the late Timurid Period, there is a group of seven large early examples which all have the same field and border designs but which differ in colour. One of these was in the Bernheimer Family Collection of Carpets sold in these Rooms 14 February 1996, lot 101, the note to which entry details the other examples. One alteration to that note is that the Wher Collection example is a fragmentary part of the same carpet as the Düsseldorf fragment (Concaro, Edouardo and Levi, Alberto: Sovrani Tappeti, exhibition catalogue, Milan, 1999, no.51, p.74).
The present fragment is a very rare example showing that the design was woven in other sizes with small alterations. The border here is slightly simplified from the original, lacking the interlaced second colour of arabesques. Probably somewhat later than the originals, it probably represents production at Tabriz after the capital had moved away to Qazvin in 1548. Another fragmentary example of a medallion and cartouche carpet of similar original date and size but different border was in a private German collection (Volkmann, M.: Alte Orientteppiche, ausgewählte Stücke deutscher Privatsammlungen, Munich, 1985, no.8, pp.30-1).