TYPE: Full length (i.e. not shortened) five square Tibetan ‘runner’

CIRCA: 1800’s / 19th C.

A rare five paneled Tibetan runner (or ‘long carpet’) from the 19th century with both ends intact – i.e. it has not been shortened from a longer runner as many have, but was originally woven as just five squares – and with the red covered ‘felt-like’ border still in place. It is made with all natural dyes, hand spun wool warp, weft and pile, knotted with the big ‘loose knots’ associated with Tibetan weaving’s of that era, and is backed by a heavy cotton cloth. There is some wear to the pile around the very edges in places – as to be expected for a carpet this age – but the pile elsewhere is good and there are no repairs or restorations. The red cloth border (and cotton backing cloth) has come loose / unstitched at one end (which is where we managed to take the photos of the knotting on the underside edge) and the red cloth is torn in one corner at the other end (which gives a unique view of how the rather crude ‘felt-like’ underlay is constructed; see * below). Overall size including the red cloth border is 280cm x 72cm (110” x 29”). Actual woven carpet size is approximately 266cm x 58cm (104” x 23”). For a carpet woven sometime in the 1800’s – most likely in the second half – and well used, it is still in quite good condition. This is only the second time this runner has been for sale since originally being collected from a Tibetan in Kathmandu (Nepal) in the very early 1970’s, and it has been left in its ‘intact-as-bought‘ condition since then. Here is a unique opportunity for a serious collector to now acquire a intact 19th century Tibetan runner.

* If one looks closely at the images in the 2nd last row, the tear in the red cloth border allows one to get a unique view of how Tibetans wove thick un-plied woolen strands together using thinner two-plied woolen strands – to give cross-ply integrity – to make a felt-like material to support the cloth borders that surround the edges of the carpet. Crude, archaic even, but effective!

NOTE: The image – bottom right – of the carpet without the red cloth border is only an example to show what it would look like if the red cloth border was removed (as some buyers are known to do). The carpet is being sold with the red border not removed.

SIZE: 2.80m x 0.72m inc. border

          2.66m x 0.58m carpet only

WARP: Handspun wool

WEFT: Handspun wool

KNOT COUNT: approx. 20kpsi