A so-called ‘General Ma’ or ‘Big Horse Ma’ (also a general) carpet from either the Yarkand or Khotan oasis’s of Xinjiang province (old East Turkestan) in China, consisting of whites and various shades of blue only, with a nice abrash. The Chinese writing in the roundels is read from either end (and the translation open to debate), that is one set will always be upside down no matter which way you look at the carpet (the carpet is displayed here as it was woven, that is the bottom at the bottom). As the story goes, General Ma had these carpets made for his troops / followers in the 1930’s. But which General Ma? (See page 16, Hali Magazine #44, 1989 and a different view; page 69 Hali magazine #136, 2004.) Personally, we are not convinced either way, as the translation – and even the dating – of one of the carpets thus described in the magazine is open to debate, but it is a good story just the same, and worth a read if you can get your hands on either article. Be that as it may, a carpet with a history.