Archeological excavations have produced rugs from the Han Dynasty China, and carpets have been woven continually in China proper since the Ming Dynasty. Antique carpets available today are principally from three sources.
NingXia, in Western China, wove softly textured, loosely woven pieces with corrosive plain brown outer borders in the early examples, often in large square sizes, with foo dog medallions, cloud wreaths, paeonies, and ornamental patterns of bats or butterflies. Dragon pillar carpets were created especially for monasteries, as were runners in panel designs.
In the later 19th Century, workshops were established in Peking weaving the ever popular blue-and-white color scheme with Chinese motifs including precious objects, complex fretwork, or floral borders and elaborate medallions.
In the 1920s Tientsin on the Pacific Coast wove Art Deco style pieces with strong colors, minimal Chinese elements, and heavy textures. Prices for antique rugs vary immensely.
Production today remains sizeable in China and any size and style may be ordered, including copies of very fine Persian silks.
To view these rugs on our website, please see the following links:
*research and writing by Peter Saunders, edited by Katrina Mauro.