TYPE: A Tibetan under-saddle carpet with dragon

CIRCA: 1920

A so-called ‘butterfly shaped’ Tibetan under-saddle carpet (makden), the shape of which is generally believed to have been ‘introduced’ by the Younghusband expedition to (i.e. invasion of) Tibet in 1903, where it was copied from those used by the British cavalry and subsequently became popular in Tibet. Here a whimsical looking horned dragon cavorts in the waves while clutching the wish-fulfilling flaming jewel. Unusual is the fact that it cavorts in the waves, as generally the dragon is seen either above, or passing through, clouds and is a mix of aniline and natural dyes. It has definitely been used for its purpose as an under saddle carpet, so there is some pile wear, and there are two small rewoven areas that were made a long long time ago it appears; the larger of the two in the stylised ‘mountain’ design at center at very bottom, the much smaller one at top left at back edge of dragons ‘neck’. When looking at front side of the carpet neither stand out though. A striking example for any dragon lovers, and of a somewhat rare design for this type of under saddle carpet.

SIZE: 0.80m x 1.22 m top x 0.72m bottom

WARP: cotton

WEFT: wool

KNOT COUNT: 66 kpsi

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