Of the relatively small number of carpets of "Smyrna" design produced in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, a very small proportion differ from the norm shown in the previous lot 52 and have technical characteristics which are typical of the weavings of Ushak. There is a small alteration in the field design, the inclusion of a small quatrefoil rosette, which creates a second centre for the design, providing a counterpoint to the bold palmettes. This is also however a feature which can be found in one of the carpets of the more normal colouration and border type (Hali 51, pp.64 and 193).
The present carpet must be one of the earliest of all the carpets produced at Ushak of this design. The drawing is very tight, and there is an admirably wide range of colours used. The inner border is one which appears on a small number of 17th Century "Transylvanian" rugs (Christie's London, 13 April 2000, lot 76 for example), and which is extremely rare to find on an Ushak carpet. This is thus the start of production of a design which was to dominate Ushak carpets in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A massive example, slightly later in date than the present carpet was sold in these Rooms 20 October 1994, lot 516. That shows a slightly less clear drawing of the field elements combined with a much more standard eighteenth century border design, woven with a looser weave. As the decades progressed, so the fineness of weave deteriorated, the design was enlarged further (an interesting aspect since the design here is already a much enlarged version of a small Ottoman repeat palmette design), and the number of colours became very limited. Thus derived the classic "Turkey" carpets of the European nineteenth century Country House, far removed from the intensity and balance of the present carpet.