In 1598, Shah Abbas I moved the Persian capital from Ghazvin to the historic city of Isfahan. During the century that followed, Isfahan became one of the most populous cities in the world and was renowned as a cosmopolitan center of the arts and culture. In the early 17th century, a distinctive luxury rug production, which featured rugs that incorporated both silk and metal thread, began in Isfahan. While certainly treasured within Persia, pieces from this production were also exported as diplomatic gifts. Indeed, the name given to this group, Polonaise, reflects the prevalence of such pieces in Eastern European collections.
Polonaise carpets are renowned for their elegance and classic beauty. In this rug, soft luminescent tones are complemented with highlights of silver metallic thread that enhance sinuous vegetation and a variety of distinctly Persian field designs. While this piece is a pastiche, it retains much of its integrity of design. Half pendants are drawn against each side of the field, and a classic Persian border, formed from linked palmettes and foliage rendered against modulated green, frames the piece.