THE DRAGON AND THE FLAMING PERAL

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Location

Imperial Workshops of Inner Mongolia
China

Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Qianlong period (1736-1795)

135 x 230 cm

Asymmetrical knot
Silk pile, gilded copper threads
Cotton warp and weft

Good condition, some low pile areas,
some reknotted areas

The inscription reads:
Taihedian
The Hall of Supreme Harmony

Published:
The Flower of Buddha, Silk and Metal Carpets from the Forbidden City, Textilia, 2006, p. 68 catalogue n°14

Exhibited:
Mar 19 – Jun 15, 2007 – Danon Gallery, New York
THE FLOWER OF BUDDHA
Silk and Metal Carpets from the Forbidden City
Sep 19, 2007 – Feb 1, 2008 – Danon Gallery, New York
IMPERIAL COURT CARPETS FROM THE QING DAYNASTY (1644/1911)

Provenance:
Christie’s New York

IMPERIAL CARPETS – THE MEANING OF FIVE AND NINE

The main symbol on a carpet usually only occurs five or nine times, like five or nine dragons, five lions, nine phoenixes. Five and nine are two very important numbers within the ancient Chinese numerical description of the world.

Five (Wu) connotes the four cardinal points plus the center, and reflects the Five Agents - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each Agent corresponds a spatial direction, a season, a quadrant of the sky symbolized by an animal, a color and, by extension, any element in life that may be arranged within a quinary system.

Representing the fullest expression of yang, Nine (Jiu) is closely associated with heaven in that it evoked infinity, partly because it was the product of three times three, the most basic unit of three being heaven, earth and man, and partly because the number nine was homophone with the word Jiu meaning eternity.

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