TYPE: Buddhist monastery wall hanging – Lama pictorial carpet

CIRCA: 1900

A striking very well balanced and aesthetically pleasing pictorial carpet featuring a Buddhist lama (i.e. ‘priest’) made originally to be wall-hung in a Buddhist monastery. As these ‘lama carpets’ – as they are colloquially known – were generally made in pairs, with the each carpet’s figure facing the other, it was most likely one of a pair used to adorn the wall behind either side of a very high lama’s throne (as opposed to encircling a pillar in the ‘prayer hall’ as other hanging carpets depicting side facing dragons were specifically made for –see https://warpandweft.club/portfolio-item/ningxia-item-8/ ). These types of carpets depicting a lama are also significantly rarer and less seen on the market than are the more familiar ones with the dragon. Here the lama is depicted surrounded by various auspicious symbols relating to Buddhism and is blowing on a conch shell, which symbolises calling the faithful to prayer. At the top is the head of an ancient mythological creature, here used to symbolise a guardian or protector of the dharma, i.e. the ‘true way’ in Buddhism. (This mythological creature goes by various names – and assorted spellings – in several countries, and is very common in some parts of Asia; for instance to the Newars of Nepal he is Chepu, in Tibet known as Dzeepa and in India as Kirtimukha.) This symbolic and visually well balanced carpet has lustrous colours which are rich and fast, with the natural saffron background being a deep burnished golden yellow that appears to glow. It is in very good condition with full pile and no repairs having never been used, or meant to be used, on the floor. A unique focal point whether used to adorn the wall of a home or office, or a mediation room / retreat.

SIZE: 2.55m x 0.90m@top x 0.95m@bottom

WARP: Cotton

WEFT: Cotton

KNOT COUNT: 42 kpsi

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