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Carpet

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1920-1940 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk knotted pile with wrapped metallic threads

  • Credit Line:

    Addis Bequest

  • Museum number:

    FE.140-1983

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This rug is one of a pair with silk knotted pile and wrapped metallic threads. The inscription on this one, only partially legible on the upper edge, may indicate that it was designed to be used in the Palace of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Another series of rugs of a similar size and technique, each with a four- or five-character inscription assigning it to a particular hall of the imperial domain, is known outside China. It has been suggested that it dates to the reign of the Qianlong emperor (ruled 1736-1795). Another source has claimed that this group of rugs was made in the Street of the Embroiderers in Beijing in the 20th century, in which case an imperial connection seems unlikely.

Physical description

Rug with a yellow ground and a stylised floral pattern with a key fret border in blue, white and red. Within the border is a four-corner design, each corner containing a Chinese lion and a central dragon medallion. The corners and medallion are worked in metallic threads in the weft-wrap weave technique known as soumak. The rest of the rug is of knotted silk pile. There is a short unread inscription woven into one end.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1920-1940 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk knotted pile with wrapped metallic threads

Dimensions

Width: 1570 mm Top, Width: 1603 mm Bottom, Length: 2503 mm Proper right, Length: 2509 mm Proper left

Object history note

Registered File number 1965/3344.

Descriptive line

Rug, silk knotted pile with wrapped metallic threads, China, Republican period, 1920-1940

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wilson, Verity, 'A Diplomat's Collection: The Chinese Textiles of Sir John Addis' in Arts of Asia vol.33 no.2, 2003, pp.90-101 plate 21
Lorentz, H., A View of Chinese Rugs from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century, London: Routledge, 1972, pp 94-5 fig. 55

Labels and date

The only partially legible inscription on the upper edge of the rug indicates that it may have been designed to be used in the Palace of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City in Beijing. A series of rugs of this size and in this technique, each with a four or five character inscription assigning them to a particular hall of the Palace are known outside of China. It has been suggested that they may date to the reign of the Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795).
It has also been suggested that this group of rugs was made in the Street of the Embroiderers in Beijing this century in which case an imperial connection seems unlikely. This particular rug, and another similar one not on display, were the only textiles from the collection in use at Sir John's family home in Kent. []

Materials

Silk (textile); Metal thread

Techniques

Knotted pile; Weaving

Subjects depicted

Dragons; Lions; Floral patterns

Categories

Floor coverings; Textiles; Household objects

Collection

East Asia Collection

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