This magnificent carpet is one of the relatively small group of 'in and out palmette' or 'red ground and scrolling tendril' carpets which are knotted on a silk warp and which use a great variety of fully saturated rich colours. Another of this type was sold in these Rooms 17 October 1996, lot 404. The attribution of the group has been the subject of considerable discussion, as indeed has been the question of whether it is one or more groups. Some of these discussions were summarised in the foreword to the Bernheimer Family Collection of Carpets sold in these Rooms 14 February 1996, pp.15-16.
While the present example shares the intense colours and the precise drawing of the carpet offered here last autumn, it differs both in the inclusion of cotton in some areas of pile, and, more importantly, in the drawing. The previous example, and indeed most carpets of this small group, have a very clear structure of scrolling tendrils which sometimes, as then, support perching birds as well as the palmettes and floral motifs. The present example has been designed to create a 'millefleurs' effect with myriad small palmettes covering the field, the scrollwork that joins them being hardly visible. Only in the border do the clearly drawn spiralling tendrils become more evident.