There are two other published pieces of identical design dating from the eighteenth century. One, now in the Textile Museum was formerly in the McMullan Collection (McMullan, no.34, p.142-3), while the other was recently on the German market (Hermann X, no.4, pp.14-15). All three are very similar in size and only have very minor variations in colour. All are incredibly fine, knotted with Pashmina pile on multi-coloured silk warps.
Better known are the millefleurs prayer rugs of the same group. Nine exist in private and public collections; McMullan owned one, another is in the David Collection, Copenhagen, while a third was also on the German market (Hermann IX, pp.7-9, which also gives references to the other six). Three other related rugs are also known with designs similar to that of this rug but with variations on the form of the lattice and without the small central medallion.
The group is thought to date from the second half of the eighteenth century. The design appears to be a combination of Persian motifs, presumably from the overspill of the invasion of India and sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah, and of the earlier Mughal lattice carpets, usually on a red ground, such as the example sold in the Benguiat sale, lot 50 (catalogued as 'Persian XVI century', but probably Mughal early 18th century, that also contains four prototype small medallions in the centre of the field).
This design was copied on a larger scale format in Western Turkestan (cf. lot 301) while the prayer rugs were copied and developed by the Qashqai tribe in Iran (cf. lot 347), continuing until recent production. This continuing tradition among the Qashqai led to the misattribution of a number of this group to that tribe.
American Art Association Inc.: The V and L Benguiat Private Collection of Rare Old Rugs, New York 1925
Folsach, K.v.: Islamic Art - The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990 Herrmann, E.: Seltene Orientteppiche IX, Munich 1987
Herrmann, E.: Seltene Orientteppiche X, Munich 1988
McMullan, J.V.: Islamic Carpets, New York 1965