For many years, rugs of this type were believed to be of Persian origin; however, scholars now generally agree that this example is part of a group that derived from Persian prototypes but was made in India.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Mughal rulers of India prized Persian rugs of similar design and imported them in large numbers for use at their courts. To secure a steady supply, they established weaving centers in the Indian cities of Lahore, Jaipur, and Agra in the 16th century. This example is believed to have come from the famous city of Agra and subsequently to have been exported to Europe. Because of their high-quality design and workmanship, Indian rugs were prized in Europe and were sold there in significant numbers. The fact that countries like Portugal traded extensively with India beginning in the 16th century facilitated this commerce in fine textiles and other Asian luxuries.