This rug is part of a large group inspired by Persian medallion rugs. As with many of the imported prototypes, this example contains animal motifs, including birds and leopards. Traditionally attributed to Portugal, this group may contain some rugs of Spanish origin. Regardless of their exact origin, the rugs are embroidered rather than woven. To create the elaborate pattern, wool yarns were sewn onto a linen ground. This technique was used in various parts of Europe. The Reves Collection contains another example featuring a central medallion that is thought to have been made in southwest France during the 17th century.
"Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 34