Antique Chinese/Oriental Carpets Overview

Antique Chinese carpets have a very long and distinguished history that is largely independent of rug designs from the Middle East. Often related more to the tradition of silk textiles, Antique Chinese rugs and carpets were produced in medallion as well as allover formats. These tend to be more open and spacious than Oriental carpets from the Middle East . Often they contain prominent pictorial elements – trees, clouds, mountains, dragons and arious animals. Colors are generally soft with emphasis on blues, golds, and ivories.

However, twentieth-century Chinese rugs could at times be quite spare in design, catering to modern western or Art Deco taste, and quite radical in color. The most recongnizable rugs from the 1920s and 1930 were made by Walter Nichols, and American who manufactured deco carpets in Tientsin. They were usually made of wool and the finest silk while depicting exotic asian flowers and birds in very rich, bold colors like magenta, turquoise, emerald and ruby.

There is evidence that decorative oriental rugs and carpets have been a significant art form within the Chinese culture for many centuries, if not for several millennia. Mostly in blues and beiges, with classical symbols of longevity, elaborate lotus blossoms, chrysanthemums, cloud-band motifs, foo-dogs and birds, these antique Chinese carpets and rugs are frequently visible in paintings from as early as the T’ang Period. For the most part, designs of antique Chinese rugs are as indigenous as those of antique Chinese porcelains and silk textiles, featuring the repeating simple design devices of swastikas and fretwork. In the borders of antique Chinese rugs and antique Chinese carpets, mythical animals and scrolling vines impart mystical, cultural and symbolic meanings to the appreciation of this genre.

Decorative oriental rugs and carpets have been a significant art form within the Chinese culture for many centuries, if not for several millennia. Mostly in blues and beiges, with classical symbols of longevity, elaborate lotus blossoms, chrysanthemums, cloud-band motifs, foo-dogs and birds, antique Chinese rugs are frequently visible in paintings from as early as the T’ang Period. In contrast to earlier Chinese antique rugs, twentieth-century Chinese Art Deco rugs can be quite spare in design, catering to modern western or Art Deco taste, and quite radical in color. The most recognizable producer in this genre was Walter Nichols, and American who manufactured art deco carpets in Tientsin.

Rugs produced in Kashgar, Yarkand and Khotan in the Chinese occupied Autonomous Region of Sikiang are collectively known as Samarkands. Typically, long and narrow with simplistic spacious designs rendered in a glossy wool, Samarkand rugs frequently employ colorations of lacquer reds, Chinese yellows, heavily influenced by the neighboring countries of China and Turkey and have been produced in this region since at least the seventeenth century