TYPE: A saddle carpet set with roundels and ‘frog-foot’ design

CIRCA: 1900’s, late(?) 3rd quarter

This saddle carpet set is somewhat of a oddity, in both its history and construction. It is a  ‘butterfly’ shaped under-saddle carpet with matching over-saddle carpet with roundels and the so-called ‘frog-foot’ design (or sometimes referred to as the ‘Buddha’s Hand’ design) that for all intents and purposes one might assume was Tibetan. However, while it might have been made in Tibet, it is not made with the Tibetan knot, but the knot used in other areas of China (i.e. the so-called Persian knot). It is very well made and although synthetic dyes are used throughout, the colours are none to harsh and the rendering of the overall design is quite well drawn, making it quite an attractive set. The center roundel (the one in the over saddle carpet encircled in a thin blue circle) is surrounded in the main field by the ‘frog-foot’ design, which is then enclosed by an inner border of pearls, a secondary border of the ‘running-T’ design and a main outer border that contains a floral design, and the two halves of the under-saddle carpet is joined with tye-dyed nambu cloth. As for its ‘history’, well, its previous owner literally bought it ‘on-the-hoof” in western Tibet. That is, while travelling across the Chang Tang Plateau in Western Tibet, close to the Ladakh border, he bargained with and bought it from a Tibetan horseman who was actually riding on it! At the time it was so dirty (and backed by cloth) that he took it for being Tibetan made (i.e. using the Tibetan knot). However, upon return to his country of origin, upon having it cleaned and removing the cloth back, found it to be made with the ‘Chinese’ knot. And rarely does one see this style of saddle carpet made with the Chinese knot. Be that as it may, it is a very solid set, both pieces have full pile and are in very good condition, save for some slight edge wear to the top saddle carpet where it has rubbed / worn on the back and front of the saddle.  (For more detailed information on saddle carpet shapes and sizes and how they are made please see https://warpandweft.club/saddle-carpet-shapes/ )

SIZE:  Over (above saddle); 0.95m x 0.55m

      Under; 1.33m (bot.) x 0.65 (top) x 0.56m (high)

WARP: cotton

WEFT: Cotton

KNOT COUNT: Over- saddle 68 kpsi / under 64kpsi

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