Tibetan Saddle Carpet with Wheel of Life Medallions

c. 1900
$4,280 USD
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Dimensions
W: 54.0" D: 25.0" H: 0.25"
Materials
Wool
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CFC321
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 late 19th century, this Tibetan saddle carpet follows the conventional 'notched' shape, a rectangular form with stepped corners. The symmetrical design features round central medallions in the form of the Wheel of Life, a potent Buddhist symbol of the universe, creation, and eternity. The field is enclosed by a minor border of striped waves and a main border of floral diamond-work. Knotted in a palette of oranges, pinks, and blues, the small carpet continues to enrich its surroundings with bright color and rich texture.

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