This Ningxia Chinese Oriental rug measures 6’3” x 9’2”. It has 9 five toed dragons in blue on an orange gold ground. Sacred mountain meditation points quarter the rug and are in every corner, for a total of eight. The minor border consists of blue waves encompassed by a a second minor border with various colored cartouches with various cloud motifs all enclosed with a major border in the wave motif. The color palette consists of three shades of blue, to shades of green, silver, orange, and a very pale aubergine. At the top of the rug is a blue cartouche consisting of three Chinese characters which say ‘Pavilion of Infinite Light’ which refers to a room in the Golden Pavilion in Yellow Monastery in the Forbidden City which was built to hold the remains of the sixth Panchen Erdeni who died on the second day of the 11th month of the 45th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong which relates to the year 1780.
The following is some information relating to this rug and how it came to be: In the 45th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong the 6th Panchen Erdeni made a pilgrimage from Tibet to Beijing to celebrate the Emperor’s 70th birthday. This was a very big deal as shown by the list of gifts brought by the 6th Panchen Erdeni to the Emperor including 1000 horses with saddles and one golden saddle.
(as copied from the China Tibet information center ):
These saddles were cast in iron and covered with patterns of dragons and others. Inlaid with gold, it shines in the sunshine. The saddle cushion was made of yellow satin embroidered with patterns of clouds and dragons. Tied to the saddle is a yellow piece of paper left behind, reading horse saddle adopted by the Panchen Erdeni on the 26th day of the seventh month of the 45th year of the reign to Emperor Jiaqing for collection. Another piece of paper tied to the saddle telling the historical fact.
On the 28th day of the 10th lunar month of the 45th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the 6th Panchen Erdeni contracted smallpox. When this was reported to Emperor Qianlong, he rushed to the place and ordered Imperial medical workers to treat the master carefully, but the latter passed away on the second day of the 11th lunar month. Hit by the unexpected death of the master, the emperor cried and fainted. In his edict issued the next day he said ‘For my 70th birthday, the Panchen Erdeni left Tashilhingpo Monastery last year… spent his winter in Tar Monastery… reached Rehe in the seventh month…. When he arrived in Beijing in the ninth month, lamas and thousands of monks greeted him by kowtowing to him… I was told he had a fever on the 29th day of the 10thmonth, and medical doctors sent to treat him reported he had smallpox. I went to see him on the first day of the 11th month, and he was very happy to see me and loved to talk to me. His situation worsened on the 2nd and he died late at night…. I was shocked by his death… a gold pagoda is to be built for his remains… and lamas with various monasteries shall be summoned to recite Buddhist scriptures for 100 days’
The gold shrine containing the relics of the late 6th Panchen Erdeni was to be brought back to Tibet on the 23rd day of the second lunar month of the 46 year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong. Emperor Qianlong burnt incense at Huangsi Temple for him.
To remember the late 6th Panchen Erdeni , Emperor Qianlong ordered the building of Jinhuachen Pagoda at Huangsi Monastery. What is not known by most people is the Memorial Hall Emperor Qianlong set up in the Palace Museum for the late 6th Panchen Erdeni. Housed in the west wing of the Yuhua Pavilion, a two-story building facing east. It housed the silver statue and a portrait of the master, and some of his belongings. The memorial hall was well preserved for more than 130 years from the 46 year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong to the end of the Qing Dynasty.
And according to the inscription on the rug, there is no reason not to believe that this rug originally came from the Pavilion of Infinite Light (this relates in Western architecture to a man’s den where he’d keep his books and favorite things) in the Golden Pagoda (built to hold his remains) in the Yellow Monastery which was built to house the 5th Dali Lama.
This rug is full pile, the ends and sides are complete, it is clean and ready to go. The buyer pays the shipping with insurance of $95.