Rug with Tiger Pelt Pattern and Confronting Dragons

Circa 1800
Kansu, East Turkestan
174 cm x 100 cm
5'8" x 3'3"

This rug belongs to a small group of weavings recently defined as RKO because of their distinctive design, consisting of a sequence of bands with strokes and dashes that are reminiscent of the sonic sound waves present on the logo of the RKO motion picture company. The structural characteristics of this piece, together with the type of wool employed, indicate its origin to the district of Kansu, of which we know only fifteen examples. The field pattern is clearly a rendition of a tiger pelt, which was already in use during the Ming Dynasty, at the center of which we see a Greek fret medallion composed of a pair of stylised, affronting dragons.

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