Antique rugs have quite a lot of history behind them. The art of making woven rugs and carpets goes far back into the musty realms of antiquity. Chinese rugs and carpets may have come from other countries such as Persia, Egypt and China. The first woven rugs were spoken of in Chinese annals so long ago that Chinese antique rugs may well have antedated those of any country.
The theories as to whether rug making originated in China or came from the Near East cannot be substantiated because records so far back in the dim past are confusing.
The growth of rug weaving may even have been contemporaneous in the two parts of the world as a result of the intercourse maintained by early traders. The swastika which appears in so many Chinese designs is also found in Egyptian symbolism. It means good luck, abundance, happiness and prosperity. Some scholars believe this sign to have originated in China. Carpet weaving attained a high degree of artistic value in the Tigris,Euphrates Valley and though no Chinese designs are linked with the ruins of Ninevah, the Persian knot used in weaving most Chinese rugs may have come from there. At first carpets woven in China were used principally for saddle cloths and for the K’ang or brick couch of the North but with the advent of Buddhism they assumed greater artistic importance being used not only for prayer rugs for devotees to kneel upon but also for temple floor coverings and wall hangings. Until the Ch’ing dynasty carpets were made only in Northwest China and were brought into Peking as tribute to the Court. The modern industry was founded by a Llama priest who came to pay tribute to the Court bringing with him examples of the rug weavers art of Northwest China. The rugs were so popular at the Court that the priest set up a weaving school outside the East Gate of the city of Peking, and so taught the art of weaving to the people. It is from the teachings of this Llama priest that the modern Chinese rug has sprung.
In 1924 W. A. B. Nichols of Tientsin, North China, introduced the Super Chinese Rug which has become world famous. It is known in every market as the most durable and beautiful product of the modern Chinese weavers art and adorns the homes of people all over the earth.