RUG, KHOTAN, EAST TURKESTAN (NOW XINJIANG), 1920 â€“ 1950, KNOTTED PILE, WOOL/COTTON. COLLECTION: POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, SYDNEY. PHOTO: SOTHA BOURN – TAASA Review December 2013
Although some rug historians continue to debate the attribution of rugs from the Xinjiang region, the other main candidates being Yarkand and Kashgar, Khotan is generally thought to be the source of most East Turkestan medallion rugs like this example.
Other design types or elements, which are often combined, include coffered gul, vase-pomegranate, and designs imported from other areas.
Both Khotan and Yarkand are located on the southern route round the Tarim basin and Taklamakan desert, where they were important staging posts on the Silk Road, while Kashgar is further to the west, at the point where the trade routes going north and south of the Taklamakan rejoined before proceeding on to Tashkent and Samarkand. The design of this rug, which is bright with synthetic dyes, is unusually cosmopolitan, revealing a cross-pollination of Chinese and Central Asian decorative motifs...