Arts d'Asie

Arts d'Asie

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 132. An impressive probably Ningxia yellow-ground 'dragon' hall carpet, Qing dynasty, 17th - 18th century | 清十七至十八世紀 或寧夏 黃地五龍紋地毯.


An impressive probably Ningxia yellow-ground 'dragon' hall carpet, Qing dynasty, 17th - 18th century | 清十七至十八世紀 或寧夏 黃地五龍紋地毯

Auction Closed

June 14, 03:20 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 EUR

Lot Details


Property from a European Private Collection

An impressive probably Ningxia yellow-ground 'dragon' hall carpet

Qing dynasty, 17th - 18th century

centred with a large five-clawed dragon surrounded by four other dragons, all writhing amidst clouds on a light yellow ground and framed by three archaistic borders

Length 668 cm, 263 in.; Width 638 cm, 251 1/8 in.


Collection particulière européenne

Grand tapis probablement de Ningxia à décor de dragon sur fond jaune, dynastie Qing, XVIIe - XVIIIe siècle



清十七至十八世紀 或寧夏 黃地五龍紋地毯

Please note that the measurement of this lot should be Length 668 cm, 263 in.; Width 638 cm, 251 1/8 in., and not as indicated in the printed catalogue. / Veuillez noter que les dimensions doivent être Longueur 668 cm, 263 in.; Largeur 638 cm, 251 1/8 in., et non comme indiqué dans le catalogue imprimé. / 敬請注意,此拍品的尺寸為長度 668公分,263英吋;寬度 638公分,251 1/8英吋,與印刷圖錄所示不同。

Acquired on 25th November 1996.



This enormous carpet belongs to an important group of carpets that feature imperial five-clawed dragons. Swirling gracefully among a field of clouds, five dragons are rendered in a remarkable curvilinear manner rarely seen on carpets of this size. This imposing symbol of might and good fortune is found exclusively on carpets from the imperial palaces. In the centre, a frontal dragon is pictured coiled around a flaming pearl: a combination found as far back as the Tang dynasty, which symbolises the attainment of good-fortune and power. 

Typical of the famed carpets of Ningxia, the piece employs a glorious range of varied pink, red, yellow and blue hues which lend a vitality to the design. Even now, centuries after its initial weaving, the vibrant design retains an air of opulence and grandeur. 

The remarkable size and design of this carpet give important clues as to its origins. As early images of the Forbidden City show, the enormous halls of the imperial court were adorned with grand carpets featuring similar dragon designs; nowhere more so than around the emperor’s throne and dais. Recreated to this day in the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihedian) in Beijing, the throne of the emperor was positioned at the very centre of the dais, at the apex of symbolic power, directly above a flaming pearl on the enormous carpet below. A related large dais carpet attributed to the 16th century, also featuring dragons around a central flaming pearl, was sold at Christie’s Paris, 23rd November 2021, lot 224. Also compare smaller carpets, of similar five-dragon design, with inscriptions placing them in specific imperial halls sold in these rooms, including one from the Qianqinggong (‘Palace of Heavenly Purity’), sold 18th April 2023, lot 53; and another from the Tihedian (Hall of Embodied Harmony), sold 16th June 2022, lot 33.