TYPE: Large left facing yellow dragon pillar carpet

CIRCA: 1920’s

This large pillar carpet with a five clawed left facing yellow dragon on a dark blue background was made in the Ningxia or Beijing region of China and in all likelihood intended for use in a Buddhist monastery (to wrap around a tall pillar in a large ‘meditation’ hall, so that it appeared the dragon encircled the pillar). The main feature is a very benign looking golden dragon which frolics in the clouds chasing the elusive flaming pearl, set against a dark blue background, which in itself is relatively uncommon, as the majority of pillar carpets have yellow backgrounds. The main field features six of the eight auspicious Buddhist symbols (the Endless Knot, the Wheel of Law, the Conch Shell, etc.) while on the lower left are three bats, believed to be luck bestowing symbols. The Dzeepa* (Zeepa, Dzeba, etc.) heads across the top are intended to ward off evil, they are protective guardians as it were, while below them is an array of strung pearls with small banners (or stylised lanterns) dangling beneath. At the bottom are stylised waves, clouds and mountains, centered at the apex by the mythical Mt Meru.

As it is quite long and has been intentionally woven wider at the bottom than at the top, it was possibly ordered for a very specific pillar in a tall monastery hall. Size is 407cm long, 127cm across the bottom and 115cm across the top, it has cotton warp and weft, and was made sometime in the early part of the 1900’s. The colours are good and it has medium length pile but no excessive spots of wear. It has been in the same collectors possession since the first half of the 1970’s and this is the very first time for sale on the open market since he bought it over 50 years ago. Overall it is in very good / excellent condition with no stains, colour runs or reweaves / repairs. It would make a stunning impression placed on the floor in an entrance-way hallway!

Several other pillar carpets of various ages can be found on this page:  https://warpandweft.club/ningxia/

*Dzeepa’s, usually portrayed as a disembodied head, are ancient mythological creatures used to keep evil spirits at bay, and their likeness is very common in several countries throughout Asia. Depending on their locale they go by various names, and assorted spellings; for instance in Tibet he is known as Dzeepa (sometimes spelt Dzeeba / Dzeepa / Zeepa / Zeepah, or variations thereof), while to the Newars of Nepal he is Chepu / Cheppu, and in India he is Kirtimukha. (Dzeepa can also be seen portrayed on some of the other pillar carpets featured on the page via the link above.)

SIZE: 407cm long,

           127cm wide @ bottom

           115cm wide @ top

WARP: Cotton

WEFT: Cotton

KNOT COUNT: 30kpsi

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