Antique Ningxia Rug

Kangxi period (1662-1722)
Ningxia, Northern China
369 cm x 73 cm
12'1" x 2'4"

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. Here ivory lotus blossoms, the symbol of purity, connected by green leafy tendrils over 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 a distinguishing feature of the Kangxi period, as is the corroded brown outer frame. The pair to this rug is conserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

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