The town of Alcaraz, from which this example is believed to have come, rose to prominence as a weaving center in the 15th century. The industry was evidently flourishing by the second half of the century, when the town fathers presented to Queen Isabella of Castile an impressive selection of rugs. By the mid-17th century, however, Alcaraz's industry had all but perished (Kühnel 1953, 3).
Many of the later rugs attributed to Alcaraz are in patterns inspired by contemporary silk fabrics. The lattice with palmette design used here for the enter panel is frequently found on Italian voided velvets of the period. Precedents for the border motif of paired beasts confronting one another can be seen in contemporary fabric design.
"Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 31