Antique 18th Century Chinese Ningxia Chinese Foo Dog Design Rug 48886
True to the traditional style of many other Chinese rugs, this Ningxia masterpiece uses two primary colors to stand against each other and make the contrasting motifs even better defined.
Antique 18th Century Chinese Ningxia Foo Dog Design Rug, Country of Origin / Rug Type: Chinese Rugs, Circa Date: Late 18th Century – This spectacular foo dog / Chinese guardian lion design rug from Ningxia, China, was created in the late 18th century. Few area rugs of this age are still in existence, and this one tells a unique story. This is a gorgeous piece in ivory and blues. Perhaps more important than its beauty are the clues that it gives us as to its meaning and purpose.
This is a large rug, and it is apparent that it was meant to occupy a large, architectural space. Many times, carpets such as this were created for use in the Imperial courts, or for noblemen. Ningxia rugs were known for their unique blend of Persian and Chinese designs. Their carpets were considered to be of the finest quality, and they were often used in public buildings and for special purposes.
Many of the rugs created in Ningxia were influenced by Persian designs. This rug is based on a medallion design with blue lions guarding the center motif. It has formal corners and a border that is similar to Persian rugs. However, the design elements themselves are uniquely of Chinese origin.
The center medallion is divided into four quadrants that represent the four winds, or four heavenly directions. The blue foo dogs / Chinese lions represent guardians of the four directions. They are formally known as “Shishi” and are thought to protect a building from harmful spiritual influences or people that might be a threat. Often, they were used as symbols of protection over a certain city, province, or region. They were often used in architecture, and their inclusion in this rug makes it a significant piece that shows it was used for a specific purpose.
This antique rug is woven with symbols of good luck and fortune. It is a gorgeous piece and a rare antique. We will never know for whom this rug was created or for what purpose, but we do know that it is a captivating piece for its beautiful design and the symbolism that it portrays. It is an exceptional piece for any collection.