This stunning pictorial rug was woven in the Persian city of Kerman during the middle of the 19th Century.
This stunning pictorial rug may depict the Queen of Sheba (known as Bilqis in the Quran) visiting King Solomon. Her story is told in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles as well as the Quran.
During her meeting, the story goes that Solomon had her throne disguised, in order to test her awareness. This might be referenced by the fact that Solomon and Bilqis are sitting in two different thrones - the back on the Queen's throne is striped blue and white, while Solomon's is a solid blue. Another instance from the story referenced in the rug is Solomon's shiny glass floor, which Bilqis confuses for a lake and raises up her skirts to avoid getting wet. In the right corner of the rug are fish on the floor, instead of a body of water.
Other story-telling traditions also say that Bilqis is part djinn, or demon, which might explain the flame engulfing her head. This flame might also be a reference to the fact that her people were known as sun worshippers, or it might be a halo because she is mentioned in the Quran.
The other figures in the rug include a man on horseback, a woman spinning wool as she walks, and a couple of figures holding unidentified objects.
In very good condition, signs of wear consistent with age. Low pile, with a fine handle.