TYPE: An inner Mongolian under-saddle carpet

 CIRCA: 1850 – 1880

A beautiful 19th century inner Mongolian (i.e. the Baotou – Suiyuan area) ‘wasp-wasted’ under saddle carpet with all natural dyes. (‘Wasp-wasted is a term used to denote a noticeable narrowing at the center of a saddle carpet – in this example where the two pile filled sides are joined in the center by red nambu cloth – giving the carpet on either side of the center an almost wing-like appearance.) Besides the design pointing to its origin, the four evenly spaced circular edged-stitched holes – intentionally put there for the girth straps to fit through – are a feature unique to this region (see text and photos in Chapter 9, Dragon and Horse by Koos de Jong, published 2013); as opposed to being square or oblong as used in most other regions’ saddle carpets. The grayish main field has three individual floral motifs spaced around a central circular floral roundel, while in each corner of the center field is what could be implanted a lucky coin depiction and the archaic ‘rams horn’ design. The primary design of the main outer border is a variation of the swastika (good-luck) motif, cleverly interwoven together to form the design, with an endless knot in a cartouche anchoring either end of the carpet. The outer border is further inter-spaced with other cartouche’s depicting various motifs (i. e. bamboo and other floral designs). This naturally dyed saddle carpet itself is in very good condition with no holes or repairs (only the wear as can be seen to the red nambu center cloth) and is of a type not often seen on the market. An item of beauty made originally for someone of status, it would be a worthy addition to anyone’s collection.

SIZE: 1,50m Long x 0.60 Wide x 0.51m at the center

WARP: cotton

WEFT: cotton

KNOT COUNT: 42 kpsi

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