TYPE: A Tibetan under-saddle carpet with yin-yang ’roundel’

CIRCA: 1910 – 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. This exquisitely designed example features a stylised yin-yang symbol emblazoned on an orange orb, tightly surrounded by clouds on a dark blue abrashed field, while an exceptionally well executed and very unusual rendition of the yundrung (lucky swastika) motif makes up the main border. The very outer red border is pile, and mimics the use of red felt edges found on many Tibetan carpets. (The corduroy center panel and the very outer edging is a much later addition of course.) The use of all natural dyes makes this a wonderfully unique piece.

SIZE: 0.74m x 0.90m top x 1.19m bottom

WARP: wool

WEFT: wool

KNOT COUNT: 55 kpsi

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