TYPE: A Tibetan remake of a Baotou runner (‘made’ by Tent Tom)

CIRCA: 1977-8


This beautiful remake of a three square runner (or ‘long carpet’) from the Baotou / Suiyuan region of China was woven in Bhodhanath – which at the time was an outer ‘suburb’ of Kathmandu, Nepal – in 1977 or 1978. It was made by a Tibetan weaver employed by the legendary Tent Tom* as a special commission for one of the many colourful characters that called “The Valley” home in those daze (because his Baotou original was literally falling apart). Each of the three squares consists of a stylised mandala in a reddish-maroon center field that is surrounded by flowers, while a floral design also anchors each of the four corners. The narrow outer edge border is adorned with Tibetan tigma-like – or cross – patterns (hence denoting that the original Baotou carpet this was copied from was almost certainly made for the Tibetan market in the first place **). The wide main border consist of cartouches filled with various designs, i.e, the endless knot, an interlocked swastika pattern and various flowers / floral displays; while inside that is a narrow secondary border featuring the ‘flaming jewel’. All in all a very beautiful carpet with excellent colours, top quality wool, full pile and no repairs or reweaves.

*If you were “into” Tibetan carpets and either lived in, or visited, the Kathamndu Valley in the 1970’s you either personally knew, or at least knew of, ‘Tent Tom’ (Glen) and his Tibetan wife Lhachu. Besides a Swiss backed carpet weaving ‘cooperative’ started in the late 1960’s, Tom was one of the first westerners – the other being Thomas Guta (aka Tom Bol) – to begin a carpet weaving business in Kathmandu using Tibetan weavers to make carpets using the Tibetan knotting technique. Unquestionably they helped pioneer the industry there, and kicked off what was to become a booming business; that is until the Maoist insurrection in the mid 1990’s and the assassination of the King (of Nepal) and nine members of the Royal Family in 2001 that changed things there forever (but that’s a whole two other stories, best left told told elsewhere by other people, as has been). So for anyone who wants to own a genuine piece of history from the era that was the fledgling carpet weaving industry in Kathmandu, this be it. A 100% guaranteed genuine Tent Tom piece in excellent condition!

** The EXAMPLE ONLY image bottom left shows this carpet alongside an original Baotou carpet with three squares that we have – https://warpandweft.club/portfolio-item/baotou-suiyuan-item-18/ – which also has the narrow outer pile border made with the same tigma-like pattern (which points to it being made for the Tibetan market also).

SIZE: 1.90m x 0.60m

WARP: cotton

WEFT: cotton

KNOT COUNT: 52kpsi