A magnificent scalloped-cornered saddle carpet made of the highest quality wool from Inner Mongolia, probably made in the Baotou area. A master dyer obviously made the dyes for the wool used in this carpet as there is really only one dyed colour, which is blue but in various shades / tones; while the ‘white’ used elsewhere is natural undyed white / off-white wool. For instance, notice how the blue in the main outer border differs on either side of the carpet, as does the ‘white’ in the central roundels. Note also the four rounded leather-edged ‘holes’ for the saddle girth straps – the closeup shown above is from top and bottom of the carpet – a sure sign of its Mongolian heritage. (For more information on these saddle carpets from Inner Mongolia see Chapter 9 – and a photo of the ‘scalloped-edge design’ on page 105 – in the book Dragon and Horse by Koos de Jong, published 2013). The center field uses the running swastika design to good effect, and is centrally ’embossed’ with a plain circular roundel of undyed wool. The main outer border consist of a depiction of either flowers, or the ‘lucky coin’ design, inter-spaced with various cartouche’s containing the ‘shou’ symbol, the character for double happiness and longevity. Next to it is a secondary inner border with the ‘running’ or ‘Greek’ T design, while the innermost secondary border depicts the sacred pearl. The carpet is in immaculate condition and although it can be seen as having been used at times – by the wear on the leather surrounding the girth strap ‘holes’ – it has obviously been a treasured possession used only use on very special occasions and more likely kept as an “heirloom” as it were. A truly elegant, rare, collectors piece.