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17 century Peking Ming Carpet fragment – 160407

Design No.:160407
Product Status:In Stock
Construction:Handmade
Materials:Wool
Style:Allover
Circa:1700
Available Sizes:40X50

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This is an antique fragment of what once was a very large carpet woven in the Imperial Carpet Workshop in the Forbidden City Palace Compound in Peking. The outer border of stylised paeonies and leaves is found on other carpets of the group, but the main band of complex fretwork and dragon heads seems to be  unique. The second, inner, main border of rosettes within a hexagon honeycomb lattice is adapted directly from contemporary silk brocade textiles The outermost border is in the wave pattern. The carpet was originally red, but the dye used, sappanwood, is fugitive to light and has faded to a tawny gold. The weave  is extremely coarse with  20 knots per square inch. The warp and weft are both cotton. Although these carpets for imperial use were often of enormous size, they were woven very quickly. This carpet, lacking any  evidence of a field pattern, may have had dragons or an allover field design. Many carpets from the palace were damaged by vermin and were subsequently cut up to preserve the best parts. This is an outstanding  fragment from an otherwise unpublished palace carpet.  The pile is in excellent condition and the handle is thick and substantial.  The original carpet was probably woven for a throne room or reception hall and was in place for at least three centuries, and had little or no traffic, thus accounting for the excellent condition of this historically and artistically important early Chinese fragment.

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