The colour palette found in Ningxia carpets is typically dominated by an ivory or golden-yellow field, or sometimes a soft apricot, combined with ubiquitous navy-blue detailing. The prominence of a saturated red with pink undertones in the present lot, therefore, is a highly unusual feature. A late 18th/early 19th century silk example with a red-ground field, but of different design, sold in these Rooms, 19 April 2016, lot 126. The stylised bat motifs that surround the central floral roundel of our carpet are a common theme in the Chinese symbolic lexicon as the word for ‘bat’ and ‘happiness’ in Chinese are homophonic (Charles I. Rostov & Jia Guanyan, Chinese Carpets, New York, 1983, p.92). The inner stripe of cartouches, set between floral panels, contain a number of motifs including the fan from the ‘Symbols of the Eight Taoist Immortals’, the chessboard and books from the ‘Four Gentlemanly Accomplishments’ and the endless knot from the ‘Eight Buddhist Emblems’ amongst several others (E. Gans-Ruedin, Chinese Carpets, Tokyo, New York & San Francisco, 1981, p.29).