Antique art deco Chinese rugs were produced from the 1910’s to the 1940’s. Prior to the 1920’s, during the experimental stages of production, the design and color remained similar to classical antique carpets from China. After the 1920’s began the experimentation with vibrant colors and drifting away from the characteristic two-toned contrasting colors.
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These rugs were made in China during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The most recognizable rugs were made by Walter Nichols, an American who set up factories in China. The most prolific weaving center was in Tientsin where the designs tended to be more open and spacious than Oriental rugs. Nichols’ rugs are usually made of wool and silk and have a thick plushy and luxurious feel. Chinese art deco rugs are designed with both medallion as well as all-over formats. Frequently design elements include pictorial scenes, trees, clouds, mountains, dragons, birds and exotic flowers. Colors are very lively and energetic, rich jewel tones of magenta, turquoise, emerald, ruby and violet are common.
Rare and Beautiful Chinese Art Deco Rugs
Rugs of all kinds have been produced in China for centuries. Indeed, China is the among the first places people typically think of when they hear a term like “antique Oriental rugs.” Boasting one of the longest and most illustrious rug making traditions anywhere across the globe, China has been responsible for inspiring some of the most important trends and advances in the Oriental rug world, and has also been receptive to changes in the market – especially Chinese Art Deco rugs.
While antique Chinese rugs that were manufactured before the turn of the twentieth century tend to express a traditionally “Chinese” aesthetic, often being characterized by a composition featuring two tones of contrasting colors and straightforward compositions, Chinese Deco rugs exhibit a totally different set of aesthetic and design preferences.
Beginning in the 1920’s and continuing onward until the 1940’s, rug makers in China took to producing distinctly “Art Deco” style pieces, in an attempt to capitalize on prevailing tastes and trends in the rug market.
The most immediately recognizable examples of these rugs were made by an individual by the name of Walter Nichols – an American citizen who relocated China in order to set up manufactures in that country.
Nichols’ rugs often feature traditionally Chinese design elements, but presented in an Art Deco idiom. Chinese Deco carpets by Nichols will often include trees, clouds, dragons, exotic flowers, and mountaintops. Colors tend to stray toward the vibrant, especially rich shades of blue, emerald, and ruby.
A great many Chinese Deco rugs were woven in the great weaving center of Tientsin, an area with a particular aesthetic which favored wide open, spacious designs was dominant.