TYPE: A ningxia saddle ‘set’ of carpets

CIRCA: early 1800’s

A rare intact set of saddle carpets, i.e.  both for under and above the saddle, made in the Ningxia region of China sometime in the early 19th century. Although these carpets are usually made as a set like this, they are more often than not broken up into separate pieces over the years somewhere along the ‘supply chain’, and sold off individually. To have such an old and intact set is truly rare. All natural dyes, and a minimum of colours, i.e. varying shades gold / yellow and varying shades of blue, and un-dyed wool The main outer border has a simple ‘flower diamond’ type design, while the inner border has pearls, whereas the main field has some flowers that surround a central medallion on each side. There are wear holes in the under saddle piece as can be seen in the photo, while the above saddle piece also shows wear through the center – and a small piece missing out of one end – commiserate with being well used as an above saddle carpet. A collectors set / pieces, of a kind which is rarely seen on the market. (A similarly coloured Ningxia under saddle carpet with a vaguely similar main field can be see on page 96, plate 7.14, Dragon and Horse by Koos de Jong.)

SIZE: 1.30m x 0.67m ‘under saddle’ / 0.98m x 0.60m ‘above saddle’

WARP: cotton

WEFT: cotton

KNOT COUNT: 42 kpsi ‘under saddle’ / 45 kpsi ‘above saddle’

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