Learn more about the Chinese carpets that smashed estimates in March 30th's sale.
March 30’s sale of rugs from the collection of industry legend Jim Dixon was ripe with exciting bids: not only was every lot sold, making this a rare white glove sale, but the majority of lots hammered for prices that well surpassed their estimates.
A selection of Chinese carpets and fragments generated particularly fervent enthusiasm. Many of the rugs are over 200 years old, some dating to as early as the 18th century. The impeccable skill and passion with which these rugs were created is evident upon viewing them. Intricately designed and beautifully woven, these textiles are fragments of a rich and important history.
The city of Ningxia, located in China’s Kansu province, was a major hub for carpet weaving in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, hundreds of years later, their popularity remains intact. This rug-making tradition boasts a certain aesthetic asceticism: on soft fields of gold and blue, the designs are quiet and balanced in their composition. Often absent of elaborate or figural elements, Ningxia rugs communicate a certain stateliness that makes them feel quite unique.
The objects from Ningxia sold in yesterday’s sale each brought zealous bidding, many selling for over twenty times their original estimates. Although they range in size, pattern, and age, they each represent Ningxia’s signature understated elegance.
Chinese saddle rugs also made for exciting bids, smashing their estimates to realize impressive prices. With sophisticated geometric borders and symmetrical compositions, the two rugs pictured above are beautiful examples of such textiles.
Woven around the year 1900, this Chinese rug fragment realized a price of $2,860, smashing its estimate. The design here is much more complex than the previously discussed objects, showcasing the diversity of the landscape of rug weaving traditions that stretch across China. In rich reds, blues, and golds, this piece made for one of the sale’s boldest and most intricate designs.
The carpets represent just a few of the myriad beautiful rugs sold on the 30th, which also included rugs from Persia, Nepal, Turkestan, and Anatolia. A testament to the breadth and depth of Jim Dixon’s collection, the sale’s top lot proved to be a Native American blanket, created in the United States during the early 20th century.