carpet with scrolling lotus flowers
qing dynasty, kangxi period (1662-1722)
250 x 163 cm (8’2” x 5’4”)
|| asymmetrically knotted wool pile on a cotton foundation
|| Early Ningxia carpets are among the most elegant weavings from the East. The best and rarest examples were woven during Kangxi period, marking the beginning of the Qing dynasty, when carpets began to achieve a status comparable to other forms of decorative art. Many of the patterns seen during this period derive from the Ming dynasty, which in turn were taken from the designs of ancient bronzes and ceramics.
In this refined example blue lotus blossoms, the symbol of purity, connected by leafy tendrils cover the characteristic honey-yellow field. The elegant drawing of this carpet is complemented by the austere geometry of the Greek fret border. The somewhat archaic rendering of the lotus flower and the spaciousness of the surrounding foliage are quite typical of Kangxi carpets, as is the inner border, decorated by the so-called 'octagon-rosette' motif. The corroded brown outer frame is a distinguishing feature of older Ningxia carpets