At one time, Plate Thirty Two belonged to the well-known
carpet scholar Friedrich Sarre and it is now in the Berlin Museum
of Islamic Art.
Three other very similar fragments, all of which may
or may not be from the same carpet are known. These are presently
located in Istanbul , Kuwait and Switzerland .
The Istanbul and Kuwait fragments seem to fit together
perfectly but the Berlin piece has a more elegant flow to its horseshoe
shaped mihrab that the other fragments lack. The Berlin piece, like
the Emperor's carpet, has been given an Indian provenance by some
authors, but this theory seems groundless.
These fragments appear to be one of the departure points
for the Salting carpets, a controversial group of Persian style rugs
that have been variously attributed to either Turkey or Persia and
dated between the 16th and 19th centuries.
Legend has it that when Humayun, the deposed Emperor of India, sought
refuge at the court of Shah Tahmasp, no prayer rug could be found
for his personal use. This is probably a spiteful Sunni tale but how
could they have found this carpet? Up until the 1930`s it hung in
Friedrich Sarre`s office in Berlin, where a young Kurt Erdmann, perhaps
the most famous carpet scholar of the mid-twentieth century, so often