An imperial carpet that once lay in the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty sold for $324,500.
The rug, which depicts a large dragon surrounding a flaming pearl believed to be a symbol of prosperity, was sold at a Skinner auction in Boston.
The price contrasts with another carpet from the palace, which sold for $7.16 million, as it was more intact because it had a border.
The Ming dynasty lasted from 1368 to 1644 and the dragon motif allowed experts to identify it as royal since only goods intended for the emperor were allowed to have five-clawed dragons.
Describing the imagery on the rug, Skinner’s director of carpets and rugs, Benjamin Mini, said: “In the context of Daoist beliefs, dragons atop floating clouds may represent the wanderings of the soul or the attainment of dreams in reality.
“Dragons also often signify auspicious powers, particularly control over the weather or the seasons.”
The longest reigning emperor of the Ming dynasty was Emperor Wanli (1563–1620), with a reign of 48 years between 1572 and 1620.
The rug belonged to a collector named Jim Dixon, who was particularly interested in rugs and other textiles. Dixon died two years ago at the age of 77.
Although he had been more interested in design and techniques, he eventually had at least three Ming period carpets or fragments of carpets in his collection.
Expert Murray Eiland posits that the repairs made to the carpet were probably carried out in the same place where it was originally made and probably during the Ming dynasty.
The Ming Dynasty rug, which sold for $7.16 million at Christie’s auction house, is believed to have once sat under the emperor’s throne.
It was apparently the most expensive carpet the auction house has ever sold. The price was also well above the expected valuation.
Woven in the 16th century towards the end of the Ming Dynasty, it features two five-clawed dragons adorning the lower third of the piece; again with the five claws indicating it was used in the emperor’s household.
There was also a cloudy sky scene in the top half of the image, which morphs into a scene of cities and hills at the bottom. And again a pearl adorns the middle of the carpet.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.
https://www.newsweek.com/royal-ming-dynasty-chinese-carpet-sold-boston-324500-1710654 Ming Dynasty Royal Chinese Carpet Sold in Boston for $324,500