Antique Ningshia, China, late nineteenth centuryThis lovely antique Ninghsia epitomizes the consummate elegance and restraint of classic Chinese rug design. At the center and openwork medallion floats gracefully amidst sprays of flowering branches on a pale tan ground. The entire composition treads the fine line between ornament and figural representation. The inner medallion itself is a scene of sorts, while the life-like branches of the field are arranged in a balanced array, but not symmetrically as a design. It is only in the precisely drawn meander and vinescroll borders that we return to the world of ornamental pattern, which provides a perfect contrast to the organic realism of the field.
Size: 14 ft 08 in x 15 ft 04 in (4.47 m x 4.67 m)