Both this carpet and lot 183 are classic examples of the first generation of Isfahan carpets after the silk warp examples from which the design derives. The proportions of the design here are excellent. One most unusual feature in this carpet, which disobeys most of the classic tenets of Safavid carpet design, is the drawing of the large palmettes in the border which overlap the minor guard stripes. Such breaking of the lines between the various stripes, while common in miniature painting of the period, does not normally appear in carpets before the 20th century.
The origin of these carpets has been much discussed. What is generally agreed is that the design derives from sixteenth century examples of finer quality which were, it is generally agreed, woven in Isfahan (pace Grant-Ellis). In the seventeenth century the design was undoubtedly produced in India (see lot 9). When and where the cross-over was between the two is debateable. The positions are summarised in the introduction to The Bernheimer Family Collection of Carpets sold in these Rooms 14 February 1996. With regard to the claims of Herat in this discussion lot 100 in this sale is particularly interesting.