A KANSU CARPET
A KANSU CARPET
A KANSU CARPET
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A KANSU CARPET
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A KANSU CARPET

WEST CHINA, CIRCA 1870

Details
A KANSU CARPET
WEST CHINA, CIRCA 1870
Of Pu-lo design, full pile throughout, overall excellent condition
10ft.1in. x 5ft.9in. (310cm. x 180cm.)

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Emilie Frontera
Emilie Frontera Senior Sale Coordinator

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Lot Essay


Up until the 15th century the region of Kansu in Western China was an important political and cultural corridor that linked the region of Ningxia in the east with the oases towns on the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang to the west. To the north was the wilderness of the Gobi desert, bordered beneath by the fertile and mountainous lands of Qinghai. Importantly the silk route ran through the middle before dividing in two when reaching Xinjiang. Due to its geographical location, Kansu naturally became a transit stop for nomads, travellers and traders but simultaneously became a place of production, with contemporary literature documenting the presence of established looms within the houses of the settled Han Chinese population. As a result the carpets from Xinjiang, Ningxia and Kansu became, at times, hard to define but work has progressed, and Hans König's studies add new enlightenment to the subject (Hans König, “Gansu”, HALI, Issue 138, January-February 2005, pp.52-64). See lot 252 in the present sale for an unusual white ground Kansu rug.

This minimalist overall design of small roundels in red, ivory or yellow on an inky-blue ground, framed by various geometric fret patterns was coined Pu-lo by Hans Bidder who related it to ancient tie-dyed textiles, produced in north Tibetan fabrics of the Kiang Turk tribe (Hans Bidder, Carpets from Eastern Turkestan, Tübingen, 1964, p.95). It proved a highly versatile pattern for producing carpets of varying size. The prominent geometric border and guard stripes are from the Xinjiang repertoire. A Kansu carpet of Pu-lo design but with the inclusion of a central roundel and spandrels sold in Christie's New York, 15 December 2004, lot 100.

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