The carpet scholar Alberto Boralevi and others hold that this rug in the Black church is the oldest in the Transylvanian collections, dating from the mid 15th century.  The minor 'S' chain borders are similar to to the "Dragon & Phoenix Combat" carpet in the Berlin Museum of Islamic Art.  Boralevi has also noted that excepting the major border, this carpet most closely resembles its namesake in the Ghirlandaio painting.  Our thanks to carpet scholar Stefano Ionescu for the use of this photograph, from his book "Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania (

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