China, Tibet and East Turkestan

Fragment with tiger and leopard pelt pattern
Northern China
Ming Dynasty
16th Century
120 x 20 cm (47 x 8 in.)

Knot count: 5 H x 4 V = 20 kpsi
Colours: light yellow, dark brown (2)
Condition: fragmentary with the four sides sewn under and originally conserved with a light blue cotton fabric. Browns are partially corroded.
Notes: The weave and handle of this fragment is typical of the chunky carpets with square knots dated to the Ming period and attributed to the Imperial looms of Beijing (see for example Glanz der Himmelssohne - Kaiserlische Teppiche Aus China 1400-1750, plates 2-4 and 6). To my knowledge it is the oldest pile rug with the tiger (and leopard) pelt pattern. Also the treatment of the design is quite similar to the way it appears on Ming silk velvets. It was retrieved in Inner Mongolia.


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