Belonging to a rare group of animal rugs, the lot offered here exemplifies the prolific and exceptional weaving traditions in the early 17th century in Isfahan. The inclusion of animals in Persian weavings was established in the 16th century and perfected with the silk Kashan weavings of this time. These silk Kashan rugs with combatant and singular animals admist flowering shrubs provided the inspiration of the Isfahan animal rugs. It is interesting to compare our Isfahan animal rug to the Altman rug in the Metropolitan Museum of Art which is an example of a 16th century silk Kashan rug (see M.S.Dimand and J. Mailey, Oriental Rugs in the Metroplitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973, p. 142, fig. 79). Although the treatment of and the use of animals is quiet similar, the surrounding floral elements are failry different. While the Altman rug seems to be influenced by Mughal rugs from the same period, our example is reminscent of red ground Isfahan carpets with a palmette and floral trellis produced concurrently as the animal group. The Carpet Museum in Teheran has in its collection a similar animal rug that was formerly in the collection of John D. Rockefeller (see A. U. Pope, A Survey of Persian Art, London and New York, 1939, plate 1182). The fact that our piece was also included in two prominent rug collections at the turn of the century signifies that animal rugs were considered important and were greatly esteemed.