OLD NINGXIA RUGS - January 2011
To welcome the New Year, ALTFIELD will be exhibiting a collection of rare and fine carpets from the Hui autonomous Region of Ningxia. These carpets featuring classic Chinese motifs and aesthetic, with gorgeous and unique colour palette of golds, amber, corals and blues, are highly desired and cherished by antique and art connoisseurs and collectors.
These Ningxia carpets were hand-knotted with the destinctively lustrous, long and wavy wool of sheep from the Alxa plateau. The wonerful colours are based on vegetables dyes, a tradition of which has continued from early times to throughout the early and mid 1900s.
The designs of Ningxia carpets are full of symbolism, alive and bursting with energy, dragon being a powerful symbol of the grandeur of chinese civilization, moving with strength and vigor, and flowers being an artistic representation of nature, blooming with vitality. Rare Buddists images such as the thunderbolt djorje and yin yang give one an insight into the world of meditation and the balanced forces of the universe.
Carpets served various functions. Very long carpets made up of a series of identical squares were used as temple runners, providing a comfortable place for long rows of monks to sit together and pray. A form of rug unique to China is the seat rug, originally woven in two parts with a square section for the seat on which the monks sat cross legged in traditional Buddhist prayer pose, even when raised from the floor and a scalloped section which mirrored the shape of the chair back. Traditionally these seat rugs were considered status symbols and made into cushions, adorning the seats reserved for the highest ranking officials.
This superb collection of the most collectable Ningxia carpets will be available in our Prince's buidling gallery and gallery annex in Aberdeen.