Antique Ivory Oversize Ningxia Carpet

Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)
Northwest China
673 cm x 432 cm
22'1" x 14'2"

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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