Large heavy vintage indigo blue Chinese rug with a flower bouquet motif.
These beautifully balanced Chinese rugs often fall under the rubric of: Peking; Walter Nichols; Helen Fette;, and Art Deco carpets.
The rug displays a large open center of blue surrounded by flowers. There is a very subtle and faint repeating pattern embossed in the blue wool.
The rug is very thick and heavy, and shows only minimal wear on the wool pile. There is a faint color irregularity about the size of a cap in the blue field, which I’ve shown from several angles. (The photos were taken in bright, intense summer sunlight and flaws will be less apparent in indoor lighting.)
Fringes were sewn on but it looks as if this was done originally after the weaving was completed. Small stain on one area of fringe but they are generally in excellent shape.
I think it bears most resemblance to the Art Deco carpets of Helen Fette, but woven 30 years later than her originals — in the 1950s or 1960s.
Natural wool on cotton warp.
Exact size is 12 ft. 3 in. by 9 ft.
This carpet is dense and heavy, and be used in any high foot traffic area or under a dining table and chairs.
Art Deco Carpets
The term Art Deco refers to the style launched at the 1925 Paris World’s Fair Exhibition of Modern and Industrial Decorative Art.
Art Deco rugs introduced a broader color palette into Chinese rugs. A more open field with less cluttered elements became popular.
Because of its low production costs, China became the hub for weaving Art Deco rugs exported to the States. There were hundreds of factories producing rugs but it was two enterprising Americans who dominated: Helen Fette and Walter Nichols. Little did they know their names would become synonymous with the term and virtually all rugs woven during that era, which ran from the mid 1920s to around 1935.
In 1924 Walter Nichols opened the doors of his venture, Nichols Super Yarn and Carpets in Tientsin, North China. Super Yarn because of the machine spun yarn, the strong cotton used for the foundation, and the overall tightly packed weave of the rugs.
Because Fette and Nichols were so closely associated with the Deco period, rugs woven in their trademark style, absent any identification marks, are routinely referred to as Fette or Nichols style.
And they continued to exert an influence on rug production in the People’s Republic of China after 1949.
No other Oriental rugs are as representative of their time as the Chinese Decos. The dynamics of the designs and the colors used are hallmarks of the era. It was a time of experimentation with abstract forms and unrestrained colors.
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