Khotan rug

Khotan rug

from East Turkestan, Xinjiang Province, Western China

mid 19th century

Size: 266 x 133 cm

The antique carpets of Khotan, Yarkand and Kashgar, townships on the western and southern rim of the Taklamakan desert in western China, rarely appear on the market. 

The area was formerly referred as East Turkestan. These oasis towns are populated traditionally by Turkic speaking Uighurs but have always had a tumultuous history of occupation and uprisings. 

Designs in the rugs are quite idiosyncratic and three medallion compositions like this are seemingly more akin to the rugs of the neighbouring Chinese provinces of Mongolia and Gansu than to the rugs of western Turkestan. 

The pomegranate motif is prominent and the border features stylised sea and mountain designs found in old Chinese rugs from Ningxia.