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Virtual Show and Tell Just what the title says it is.

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Old August 8th, 2018, 02:48 PM   #1
Kay Dee
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Default Of changing / aging colours

Just thought I'd post the following two examples of recently acquired rugs just to show how various colours fare with age in Chinese / Tibetan rugs. Both pieces from my modest collection, and due for a good wash, which is just around the corner, literally.

The first (top one below), an attractive IMO, village Ningxia piece, possibly a 'saddle top' - made for the Tibetan market - given the wear in certain parts. Circa 1900, or possibly before, with natural dyes. 52 x 82cms.

And lower, and again, IMO, a nice little Tibetan checker piece (mixture of natural and chemical dyes) but only when faded with age. I wouldn't even dream of buying the garish little beast it must have once been, as it looks like it must have looked (from looking at the non faded bottom of the rug) circa when it was made in about the 1920's. 58 x 65cms. (But those Tibetans sure liked / like bright colours to 'spice up' their arid environment, so who am I to say.)

Just goes to show what age can do though, and that you like what you like and you leave the rest.

And although it goes without saying, especially in the checker rug, pile side is at top in both sets of images. Enjoy, or not as the case may be.




Last edited by Kay Dee; August 8th, 2018 at 08:58 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2018, 03:22 PM   #2
Rich Larkin
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Hi Kay,

Nice pieces. I get your point on the dyes. I actually have a few items sporting colors that started life looking a bit different than what we can see now. I can accept it to a point, though the knowledge never goes away. I realize it is an affliction.

You being a guy who has seen a good deal of Chinese/Tibetan material, I thought I would post this mat I have owned for about 45 years or so. I acquired it in the USA.



It measures about 2' X 4'. It has a thick, meaty feel and a very flexible handle. All foundations are cotton. The foundation materials are relatively light and fine, whereas the pile yarn is on the more substantial side, a combination that usually renders a very pliable fabric. Of course, it uses the familiar monochromatic approach with selected colors, in this instance, the blues and reds.

I have always thought the reds were obviously synthetic, resembling certain penny candies we used to buy around the corner from school a l-o-n-g time ago, when a penny actually had financial standing. These two images give a good impression of them. I wouldn't say they have suffered tip-fade, but there is definitely a 'relaxation of intensity' on the pile side. I have never soaked them, and would be afraid to try it.





This item presently sits on top of a piece of furniture in the house that I visit frequently, but I must say I hadn't taken note of the extent the appearance of the light blue on the surface had moved away from its appearance on the back. In truth, there is a certain heathered look to the pile surface that the rug had when I bought it, which inspired a few non-ruggie acquaintances to covet the thing at the time on purely decorative grounds. What that particular color change means in technical terms, I can't say. I doubt the dye was a low-grade synthetic.

Anyway, getting back to the reds, I wonder whether you recognize them as familiar in material you have encountered in the market. For example, how do they relate to the reds in the little mat you posted?

I have handled many Chinese rugs over the years, and quite a few Tibetan as well, and this piece, though obviously in the same club, doesn't fall neatly and precisely into any of the usual categories with which I am familiar. Part of the special effect of this piece in comparison with others may be due to its very good condition. It shows virtually no wear. BTW, the pale camel colored wool is a candidate for possibly being from an animal other than a sheep. I often think it has a slightly different texture from the rest, though I may be imagining it. Here is a good surface view of that color.



I would be interested to have any comments that occur to you. I would also appreciate hearing from other Sinophiles, such as the well-traveled Jeff Sun!

Rich
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Old August 11th, 2018, 06:32 PM   #3
Kay Dee
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Nice decorative piece. From Batou (Patou) as I asume you know (or a very good Peking copy, which I doubt). I think a possibly a mix of maybe some nat but more chem dyes. Cotton base description gives rise to thinking possibly machine spun cotton. If no tip fade in red could it be Brazilwood - although it looks 'still' too red as it were (i.e. not enough fade), or maybe a mix of something. Depends on when made, but from pic assume circa 1920's or so (but without in hand can't say for sure as could be as late as 40's / 50's). As for yellow wool in pile, hard to say exactly, but could be camel?

Re blue, before commenting, small photo pile colour looks very different colour / shade (i.e. greyish) than nice blue of pile on full rug pic. Which is more accurate?

Thanks for posting (although I am surprised a Turkophile such as yourself would let a foreigner such as this contaminate you more westerly collection!)

Cheers.

Last edited by Kay Dee; August 11th, 2018 at 09:39 PM.
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Old August 12th, 2018, 09:34 PM   #4
Rich Larkin
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Hi Kay,

Thanks for the reply. Paotou (as I would call it), eh? I don't doubt you are right. It is significantly meatier and more substantial in a grabbed handful than Paotous I have known, but I realize there is some range that goes into these provenance attributions. BTW, I wouldn't think it is Peking; at least, it is unlike my idea of Peking feel and structure.

Here is another image showing back and front in the same shot, along with (for comparison) my original shots of the center detail and the whole rug. As you can see, any difference in the appearance of the sky blue is much less pronounced than might seem the case from the two original images I posted (back and front) of the center piece.







The full shot is pretty much what the rug looks like in real life.

There is very slight tip fade in the lighter of the two reds, or at least a lighter appearance on the surface of the rug. If you compare the lighter red in the checkerboard device in the first image, above, with the pale red surrounding the reds in the central roundel (same dye), you get the idea. As I suggested earlier, both of those reds at their respective bases remind me of a cheap piece of candy, and I have not really encountered them in other rugs of any provenance.

Regarding whether the cotton foundations are machine spun, I am not sure what to say. They (both warp and weft) consist of a fine strand made up of a few finer strands, twisted together. The component strands seem evenly fine. There isn't really much to get a firm grip on or view of. Meanwhile, I have a companion Ningshia tiger stripe mat of similar size (which I have posted here in the past, purchased with this one a good long time ago) which I am sure is much older than this piece that has cotton foundations that are very similar.

BTW, I was a fan of Chinese from the get-go. I bumped into a few of the ones with the warm apricot field, and I wish I had picked one up. My guiding principle in rugs has always been, "Buy what you like...cheap!"

Rich
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Old August 14th, 2018, 04:05 AM   #5
Kay Dee
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QUOTE=Rich Larkin

Thanks for the reply. Paotou (as I would call it), eh?

Actually, correcto! My bad.

I don't doubt you are right. It is significantly meatier and more substantial in a grabbed handful than Paotous I have known, but I realize there is some range that goes into these provenance attributions. BTW, I wouldn't think it is Peking; at least, it is unlike my idea of Peking feel and structure.

No I dont think Peking either, just threw that in as a real 'maybe', if you really felt it was not Paotou. And when I said 'Peking copy', I meant a copy made to look like a Paotou, not a Peking rug per se. But I think it is Paotou, given design elements / layout, etc. How old actually is another matter (although not saying it is not 'oldish'. But whatever, if you like it, well, you said the rest in last line of your post.

Here is another image showing back and front in the same shot, along with (for comparison) my original shots of the center detail and the whole rug. As you can see, any difference in the appearance of the sky blue is much less pronounced than might seem the case from the two original images I posted (back and front) of the center piece.

The full shot is pretty much what the rug looks like in real life.

I like the greyish blue main field, but can't say what it is dyed with. Maybe one of the experts can take a stab at that.

As I suggested earlier, both of those reds at their respective bases remind me of a cheap piece of candy, and I have not really encountered them in other rugs of any provenance.

Hmmmmm, interesting

Regarding whether the cotton foundations are machine spun, I am not sure what to say. They (both warp and weft) consist of a fine strand made up of a few finer strands, twisted together. The component strands seem evenly fine................ .............Ningshi a tiger stripe mat of similar size................ ...............which I am sure is much older than this piece that has cotton foundations that are very similar.

I cant recall off the top of my head when machine spun cotton was first introduced in China, but quite some time ago, so some beautiful rather oldish Ningxia's have machine spun cotton warp and wefts also. No harm / shame there!

There isn't really much to get a firm grip on or view of. Meanwhile, I have a companion Ningshia tiger stripe mat of similar size (which I have posted here in the past................ .............

Must / may have missed that, can't recall. Would you be kind enough to repost please?

My guiding principle in rugs has always been, "Buy what you like...cheap!"

There you go................ couldn't agree more! But oft hard to apply that 'rule', as often what one likes doesn't come cheap, and when ya just gotta' have somethin', well, you know the rest.

Last edited by Kay Dee; August 14th, 2018 at 08:51 AM.
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Old August 14th, 2018, 11:01 AM   #6
Kay Dee
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Default 'Similar' piece

Rich, here is a (damaged) Baotou piece with a 'similar' blue/grey colour border as your main field / border.

And you know, I have am wondering if the other brighter colours in yours may denote a more Suiyuan provenance (although much of a muchness / interchangeable as it were in many cases to Paotou), but................. ...........just a thought.

Lets hope blue/grey colour shows up on your screen as on mine.

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