Antique Saddle Carpet with Peonies

c. 1920
$2,480 USD
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W: 43.0" D: 26.0" H: 0.25"
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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 from East Turkestan follows the conventional 'notched' shape, a rectangular form with stepped corners. Designed in the style of Samarkand and Khotan area rugs, the carpet features a central motif of pink peonies growing from a rocky outcropping, surmounted by swirling clouds. The central field is enclosed by a border of flowered diamond-work, interlocking coins, and pomegranates. Knotted in a palette of pink, orange, and blue on a creme ground, the small carpet continues to enrich its surroundings with bright color and rich texture.

From the collection of Frances and Gary Comer.

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Woven History

Originally used by nomadic travelers in the 19th & early 20th-centuries as artful coverings for their horses, these unusual Tibetan carpets cushioned rigid saddles & kept horses warm in cold climates. 



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