A Collection of Oriental and European Carpets and Textiles

Eight Medallion Carpet with scrolling Lotus Flowers
Northwest China
Kangxi period (1662-1722)
332 x 198 cm (1011 x 66)

Notes: Asymmetrically knotted wool pile on a cotton foundation
Early Ningxia carpets are probably among the most refined antique carpets of the East. The best of these weavings show a subtle balance between geometric ornaments superimposed on a curvilinear background, and a harmonious palette based on two shades of yellow with touches of blue and ivory. This example is characterised by offset parallel rows of polylobed medallions, the four central ones containing confronting dragons, placed on a honey yellow background of scrolling lotuses. An almost identical rug with five medallions is in the Ballard Collection (M.S. Dimand, The Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs in the City Art Museum of St. Louis (St. Louis 1935), plate LXVIII) and a similar one is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (F. Spuhler, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Carpets and Textiles (London 1999), plate 59: 221). Both these related examples have the same floral golden yellow border. The oxidised brown outer frame is a distinguisihing feature for the earliest Ningxia carpets.



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