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“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal  ...
“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal  ...
“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal  ...
“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal  ...
“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal  ...
“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal  ...
“Khaden”, Central (?) Tibet, late 19th century (circa 1880?), 2' 3" x 4' 7"

The world Tibetan rugs commands a small but very devoted crowd. In no other aspect of antique collectible tribal weavings is the standard by which they are appreciated so loosely applied.

The interest in later pictorial weavings, possibly with a synthetic red and/or light red-pink shades, is alive, if the subject is unusual enough or somehow drawn differently.

Additionally, many square mats have been identified as “meditation” rugs, without any indication in either design or palette to indicate a rug intended for monastic use. "Shangri-la" is, apparently, live and well.

With the older rugs usually featuring bolder designs with natural colors, few of the devotees really have an eye for “high” art when it come to weavings with simple patterning. The abstract relationship of color and space is not foremost in their eye. Instead they focus upon designs familiar to those with an interest in any and/or all aspects of Tibetan culture.

The design in this rug has been seen in the literature and among collections. It is anything but unknown or ‘rare’. But with that said, they are not common. It seems like there are just enough to go around for the collectors but not many more. The bold scale on which this version is drawn surpasses those previously published and ones to be seen in the marketplace or known collections.

Kuloy (“Tibetan Rugs”, Bangkok, 1981) refers to this design as inspired by art from Nepal. It is possible, but the theory is offered with no implicit or explicit evidence, either of which could be convincing. Perhaps he saw the reciprocal pattern in red (in this example, featured upside down as the rug was woven) resembling a Buddhist stupa.

There is a felt in the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia) with a not dissimilar pattern or sense of patterning, ie. a “fish scale” – like design used as a overall pattern extending on into “infinity” as the design disappears under the borders. (see final image) The overall aesthetic seen in this rug may represent a continuum of traditional design over a long period of time.

Aside from the bold drawing, the colors used are unusually saturated and clear (all derived from natural dyes). The depth of the blue and blue/green shades is very well done, indicating the expertise of the dyer, who probably was not the weaver. The red, too, is wonderful.

The condition is excellent, with no holes, no repair and full pile.