FROM THE VAULT
Selected acquisitions of antique textile art
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27. 
Alg 2144
Carpet with stylised lotus flowers and leaf stems
Ningxia
Northwest China
Qing Dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)
686 x 427 cm (22’6” x 14’)


Notes: asymmetrically knotted wool pile open to the left on a cotton foundation
The extremely rare and monumental, ivory background large carpet shown here is decorated by an harmonious pattern of blue and light blue scrolling lotus flowers connected to each other by a fine tendril and to long leafs with a cloud-like contour. In a seminal study on early Chinese carpets (M. Franses, Early Ninghsia Carpets, Hali, vol. 5, no. 2, London 1983, pp. 132-140) a group of seventy carpets with floral field patterns were identified, only three of which with lotus flower designs. A very similar carpet is in the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. (see C.I. Rostov, J. Guanyan, Chinese Carpets, New York 1983, pl. 81, pp. 136-137). The treatment of the main border, decorated by yellow peony blossoms on a blue ground in conjunction with the inner greek fret guard stripe, is seen on a carpet depicted in a Chinese ancestor portrait of the Qing dynasty (see M. Franses, op.cit.). A fragment with a very similar pattern on a yellow ground has been recently published in the catalogue of an important exhibition on early Chinese carpets (H. König, M. Franses, Glanz der Himmelssohne – Kaiserliche Teppiche aus China 1400-1750, London 2005, pl. 81, pp. 136-137).

 



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