China, Tibet and East Turkestan

Silk rug with inscription
Before 1700
178 x 90 cm (70 x 35.5 in.)

Knot count: 16 H x 9 V = 144 kpsi
Colours: gold yellow, red (2)
Condition: good pile overall with a few localised areas of wear and associated holes, all of which need conservation. A stain on the upper/middle right hand side. Original sides and ends.
Notes: What is this mysterious rug, unearthed in Tibet in the mid Nineties? Also my friend Edoardo Concaro couldn’t really answer this question when he wrote the caption to this piece in the ‘Sovrani Tappeti ‘ exhibition catalogue. The tone-on-tone compartment pattern created by using tufts of silk pile (and hardly noticeable on a digital image) makes me think of multi-niche rugs or ‘safs’. The red inscription apparently means something associated to the act of elevating oneself. The use of imperial yellow silk suggests that it was woven for a very high ranked individual.
Published: E. Concaro, A. Levi, Sovrani Tappeti, Milano 1999, plate 143, p. 166.



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