TYPE: Ningxia ‘throne back’ carpet

CIRCA: 1850’s

A seating back for the ‘throne’ of a Buddhist lama or very high official, made in the Ningxia region of China. These were originally made as a set, that is one carpet (as here) for behind the person’s back, and another, usually square carpet with the same / similar design, for him to sit on. At the base of this carpet there is symbolism for clouds, mountain and waves, while the border is a floral trellis-like design. The central main five clawed (imperial) dragon – which is drawn exceptionally well and has a real presence – looks directly out with a piercing gaze, while the two lower dragons bow with a look of supplementation in their eyes as they ‘juggle’ the precious jewel between them. Colour has been used sparingly throughout, with an overall muted burnished gold colour and lovely saturated blues. All natural dyes and in very good condition save for missing several rows of knots at the very top.

SIZE: 0.64m x 0.62m

WARP: cotton

WEFT: cotton

KNOT COUNT: 45 kpsi