Viale Ferrero, M., Arazzi e tappeti antiche, Torino, 1952, no.50, pp.238-9, fig.164b Boralevi, A., L'Ushak Castellani-Stroganoff, Firenze, 1987, Tav.9, pp.30-31
As with many classical rugs, dating is underpinned by their representation in European paintings: the earliest depiction of the small-medallion type is in ‘The Calling of St. Matthew’ dated 1519, by Girolama da Santacroce in the Museo Civico, Bassano, 127, see Thompson, Jon, Milestones in the History of Carpets, Moshe Tabibnia, Milan, 2006, p.113, Fig.104. The Santacroce example has the bi-coloured arabesque spandrel design, with the cloudband border, indicating that this border was in production from at least the early 16th century. In the majority of examples the ‘heads’ of the cloudbands face outwards, or occasionally they alternate in-and-out. The left hand border has been rewoven to match the right, but with three borders extant it seems reasonable to assume that originally and unusually, all the cloudbands faced inwards. Another unusual feature is the small leaf scrolls which decorate the outline of the double-niche.
Original pile generally in fair condition with knot bars just visible. The left hand border has been rebuilt up to and including the narrow strip of lighter red pile showing in the illustration on the edge of the field. There are repairs and reconstructed areas in the lower border and in the lower half of the right hand border, all visible as lighter areas in the catalogue image. There are several small rewoven areas in the field which show clearly as lighter patches in the catalogue illustration. The work likely executed several decades ago. Additional photographs are available on request illustrating the repairs. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."