TYPE: Three paneled Baotou-suiyuan (or Gansu) ‘runner’

CIRCA: 2nd half 1800’s

Three panels from what was once a much longer ‘runner’ (i.e. a long narrow carpet) that may have been made in the Baotou-Suiyuan region of China (or perhaps in Gansu, see below). However, given the outer border design mimics the much loved ‘tigma’ tie-dyed design pattern particularly favoured by Tibetans, it was almost certainly made for use in either a monastery in Tibet, or by an aristocratic personage in Tibet. The center squares feature a dragon frolicking in clouds; with the yellow squares having archaic or foliate styled dragons in each corner, while the red square has what appear to be bats in each corner. Each square is then surround be a minor border featuring the precious jewel, which itself is enclosed within a secondary larger border featuring a design sometimes referred to as a ‘flowered diamond’. It contains a mix of aniline and natural dyes (there is speculation that the purple / mauve colour in the design could be from mauveine dye, one of the very first synthesized aniline dyes) and other than having been shortened at some time from a longer runner, is in very good condition. What is also of interest and rather rare – if from the Baotou-Suiyuan region – is that wool has been used for the weft, which is unusual for that region, as there they usually use cotton. This, along with some other design features, has given rise for some to speculate that this carpet may have actually originated in Gansu. [A purportedly Baotou runner – although much longer – with a similar tigma border but described with the expected cotton weft can be found published on page 91 in the book Carpets From China, Xinjiang And Tibet by Lennart Larsson Jnr.] There are no holes nor any repairs (save for either end having been stabalised when shortened) and is a very interesting and attractive older piece from the latter part of the 1800’s.

SIZE: 2.00m x 0.74m

WARP: cotton

WEFT: wool

KNOT COUNT:  33 kpsi