TYPE: carpet end fragment depicting Mount Meru above the ‘cosmic ocean’

CIRCA: 1900 / early 1900’s

The end fragment of a longer carpet, most likely made in the Baotou-Suiyuan region of China circa 1900, and which has (much more recently) been professionally mounted so as to hang from a canvas covered wooden headboard. In the upper center the design shows the mythical ‘Mount Meru’ – the sacred five peaked mountain considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes according to Buddhist, Jain and Hindu cosmology – while beneath it are stylised waves, clouds, mountains and sea spray coming off the prominent singular waves at the base of what was once the main field beside the selvedges; all of which are part of the ‘cosmic ocean’.  Also note the four ‘flaming jewels’ atop the lesser  mountain range, with the inner two actually spouting flames (see image lower right for close up of one). The fragment is a mix of chemical and some natural dyes, that is the blue dyes appear to be natural, and the main field ‘peach-like’ colour seen on the front has faded from a darker red (as can be seen in the close-up photo from the back) which may have come from logwood, a natural dye well known to fade because of its light sensitive properties. The pile is somewhat low, and it has one very small worn spot, otherwise there are no reweaves / repiling in the fragment itself.

SIZE: 1.02m x 0.50m inc. mounting

WARP: Cotton

WEFT: Cotton

KNOT COUNT:  56kpsi +/-