77367 Antique Chinese Art Deco Rug with Dragons and Ming Dynasty Style 07'08 x 08'09. This hand-knotted wool antique Chinese Art Deco rug features a variety of pictorial images overlaid upon an abrashed color-blocked field and border scheme. An array of auspicious symbols are scattered throughout the field, while representations of dragons and floral motifs break from the border into the center of the composition. The interplay between the piece’s various decorative elements gives the composition a great deal of movement and visual interest while also creating a strong sense of story. Perhaps the most arresting images are the two dragons that anchor either end of the piece. Seen as possessing unrivaled power, strength, and nobility, the dragon, known in Mandarin Chinese as “Kuilong,” is amongst the most beloved symbols in Chinese culture. The mythical beast was once thought to have the power to control the elements and climactic changes such as floods, drought, rain, thunder and lightning. In this particular antique Chinese rug, the two serpentine dragons coil around the inner border with their heads and long whiskers aimed towards the center of the piece. As the dragon is seen to reside in the heavens, several ruyi clouds and ribbon-like cloud bands are scattered throughout the composition. Dragons are often depicted as chasing after luminous flaming pearls, which are thought to represent wisdom and enlightenment. Two flaming pearls decorate the field amongst the clouds and two prominent vase motifs. Each of the vases is potted with blooming lotuses with a paradise flycatcher, thought to represent long life, perched in the branches. Large lotus motifs adorn each corner of the piece, shown blooming both from mounds of soil and from vases. Traditionally, the lotus symbolizes purity and perfection, since its clean vibrant blooms emerge from the mud of swamps and marshes. Completing the composition, two pictorial rebus motifs adorn each side of the piece, extending from the border into the field. The use of sound rebuses is prevalent in Chinese symbolism, in which certain words or phrases have lucky homophonic images associated with them. In this particular piece, an arrangement with a large vase sitting on a table containing Lingzhi fungus and gracefully adorns one side. Sometimes referred to as the “plant of immortality,” according to Chinese legend, the fungus is believed to have magical properties, and its ingestion is said to grant immortality to those who consume it. The classic symbol a vase containing fungus that is set upon a table has a unique meaning related to its pronunciation in Chinese language. The phrase for “fungus in a vase on a table” is read in Chinese as “ping’an ruyi,” which, when pronounced, is homophonic for a phrase meaning “safe and secure as you wish it.” Directly opposite on the other side of the piece, another vase holds three Ji, an ancient iron weapon similar to a trident or halberd. When appearing as a group of three inside a vase, the composite image is associated with another sound rebus. The phrase for “three Ji in a vase” is read in Chinese as “ping sheng san ji,” which, when pronounced, is a homophone for a phrase meaning “to be promoted by three ranks,” and is thus a symbolic good omen. Aside from the rich cultural symbolism attached to each image, the array of flowers, creatures and objects are all beautifully rendered in a marvelous color palette sumptuous pastels and golden hues set against a gorgeous Ming green backdrop. The expert use of shading gives a great deal of dimension and a naturalistic appearance to the fantastic motifs, creating a truly outstanding design with undeniable beauty. With its depth of meaning, lush color palette, and well-harmonized composition, this lavish antique Chinese Art Deco rug would be a truly stunning addition to any interior. Rendered in variegated shads of asparagus, sage, olive, hunter green, celadon, cerulean, camel, tan, ecru, sand, beige, raspberry pink, rose, mauve, lavender, flaxen, wheat, straw, gray, and light gray with other accent colors. Perfect for a living room, front room, bedroom, study, private library, home office, den, family room, large sitting area, studio, theatre room, private Chambers, state room, great room, music room, or lounge area. Well-suited for a wide range of interior styles: Art Deco, Asian Antique, Asian Modern, Chinese, chinoiserie, Japanese, Ming, Qing Traditional, Eclectic, Modern, Contemporary, Manor House, Neoclassical, Mid-Century Modern, Hollywood Regency, and Jazz Age. Some age wear. Abrash. Hand knotted wool. Made in China. Measures: 07'08 x 08'09.