Tibetan Saddle Carpet with Floral Medallions

c. 1930
$4,380 USD
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Dimensions
W: 46.0" D: 26.5" H: 0.25"
Materials
Wool
Fabric
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CFC318
Estimated Shipping
$75

This unusually-shaped carpet is known as a "makden" and was originally used by a nomadic traveler as an artful covering for his horse. Placed between the saddle and the horse, the makden cushioned the rigid saddle and kept the horse warm in cold climates. Most under-saddle carpets include two to four holes near the center, through which the girth straps of the saddle were threaded.

Dated to the early 20th century, this saddle carpet follows the conventional 'notched' shape, a rectangular form with stepped corners. The carpet has a symmetrical design of floral medallions enclosed by dense fret patterns. The main border features an s-form meander known as the ancient thunder pattern (Lei wen), believed to signify happiness and longevity. Hand-knotted in a palette of orange, red, and blue, the small carpet continues to enrich its surroundings with bright color and rich texture.

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