Uncommon thickly padded four panelled Tibetan Masho – or above-saddle carpet – woven in the tsuktruk style. When I first encountered a very finely woven example of one of these tsuktruk masho carpets without the padded backing I wondered how such a ‘light’ weave could provide any protection for the rider, let alone longevity of wear. It was not until I encountered this example that I understood, as encased between the pile and the heavy backing material is copious amounts of felt like wool, as can be seen in one of the photos above.
The naturally dyed pile is actually a deep purple, obtained from aubergine. The face has thick pile throughout save for the wear as to be expected in the center from being directly under the rider when over the saddle, and there is some edge-wear, but there are no repairs, and the stain seen on the back does not come through to the pile. Warp, weft and pile are of hand-spun wool and and was made circa 1900, or possibly before. (An example of a similar piece is shown and described on pages 44 and 89 in the highly recommend book Drumze – Metamorphoses of Tibetan Weaving by F Erhard & T Wild, 2022.) Altogether it is an original piece that is still in good condition for its age and hence would suit a collector.