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Thread: What are those?
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Old April 28th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #57
Jeff Sun
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 23

Originally Posted by Pierre Galafassi View Post
Hi Jeff,

Could the vehicles of dragon and phoenix motifs have been China-made rugs? I doubt it, because of the lack of proper Han rug-weaving traditions. ...
I mentioned that in jest mostly, but it is an interesting point.

Generally, I would agree with you about the unlikelihood, but with conditions:

1. It would depend on what era of antiquity you are looking for the connection. if you are looking in the 16th or 17th century...like the Safavid rug you posted, then, yes, I would say that there is probably some chance of a Chinese rug making it's way to Persia with other trade goods. A silk rug, in particular would be very desirable.

It is known that carpet making in China proper was established in the Ming era concurrent with these time frames, albeit existing examples are from the end of that era.

2. If you are looking before that era, than I think, like you, that it becomes unlikely...but "unlikely" is a matter of degree.

- Were Chinese rugs available for trade. Yes. It's generally known that felt carpet making in China goes very far back. Possible examples exist (in Japan) that were made as gifts for royal exchange from the Song era. However, piled weaving probably goes back to the Yuan Dynasty. As a complete aside, one individual in Beijing while I lived there maintained that he had possession of rugs from the Yuan dynasty....which would probably make them the oldest rugs in the world other than the Pazryk. I don't lend much credence to his particular claim...(How would one even recognize a Yuan era rug? You would have to carbon date it at least)...but I am not so bold as to say it is impossible for an example to survive to modern day.

-Could rugs travel from China to Persia? Again, yes. As the post about the "Avar" fragment found in Tibet shows that carpets could indeed travel far from their homes....and Arab and Persian traders were well established in China quite far back in history. It would be no more difficult to transport a Chinese rug to Persia, than any other trade good, such as brocade or porcelain...maybe even easier.

Last edited by Jeff Sun; April 28th, 2012 at 05:32 PM.
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