Antique Ningxia Rugs and Chinese Ningsia Carpets – China, one of the oldest continuous civilizations on Earth, also boasts one of the most ancient and most important rug-making traditions. Due to the immense size, diversity, and age of China, there are a tremendous amount of different types of antique rugs that are unique to China, some of which are unique to a specific period, some of which are traditionally woven in a particular part of the country, and some of which are only made by certain groups of people. Among the great variety of Chinese rugs is the Ningxia style.
Ningxia rugs are among the very oldest antique rugs from China, as their style has remained consistently popular since at least the eighteenth century – and possibly quite a bit earlier. Ningxia rugs are typically characterized by their qualities of reservation, understatement, and formality. Indeed, many Ningxia carpets are downright austere, lacking elaborate decoration and preferring instead soft and subdued fields of color, especially saffron yellows, ivories, and a range of contrasting blues. The composition of these carpets is very much classically Chinese – open, balanced, and stately.
When these rugs do feature decorative elements outside of contrasting colors, one can find traditional symbols. Such as dragons, cloudbands, and fretwork motifs. Because of their fine technique, restraint, and classic character, Ningxia carpets have often been held to products of imperial Chinese workshops. Consistently among the most popular and desirable of all Chinese rugs, Ningxia rugs are truly remarkable.