Chinese saddle rug


2'0" x 4'0"




Collection of Dr. Michael Wirth, purchased c, 1990

Rug ID 23819 Category



An extraordinarily ornate and exquisitely detailed saddle rug from China. The weave is unmistakably Chinese but the design appears to have been conceived by a Tibetan. Perhaps a Tibetan patron gave the design to a workshop in China? The lines of design in both the primary border and within the two medallions is the type of drawing usually associated with Tibetan, rather than Chinese, rugs. The red lotus blossoms are delicately articulated, suggesting a Chinese hand in the drawing along with the corner fretwork on the field. It is also much more colorful than most Chinese rugs, with an unfaded red dye which one rarely if ever sees in wool weavings from China. As it is so very different than other Chinese saddle rugs, the exact location of the workshop remains a mystery as does the dating; it is difficult to determine how old it is, but a mid 19th century estimate is fair while possibly being a bit conservative too.

Condition Report

Very good condition with small hole and slight loss at one end

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