In the later nineteenth century, as the western appetite for Oriental carpets increased dramatically, European firms like Ziegler ceased simply to import; they began to open production centers in Iran and to become involved in the design of the carpets as well. Mahal and Sultanabad carpets of the highest quality like this one were produced under this system. Ziegler carpets drew directly on the original classical Persian designs of the Safavid period (16th-17th centuries). Here the classical Herat pattern with its grand, undulating sickle-shaped leaves and palmettes achieves a monumental scale – very large in proportion to the size of the carpet – not seen since the great effloresce of Persian weaving centuries earlier. The monumentality of the field is beautifully balanced by the more finely-scaled, lacey border.