The emperors promoted the weaving centres. Trade was active, influences mingled and soon the varieties of styles could no longer define the location of a workshop.
Weaving is one of the earliest arts, essential to interior decoration. Textile materials are degradable and few pieces have been kept in a satisfactory condition. Their inexorable loss prevents an objective view of the history of luxury arts.
On April 21 in London, Christie's sells a hanging carpet woven somewhere in the Mongol empire, lot 100 estimated £ 500K. This fragment 246 x 81 cm is certainly almost complete. The lower border seems to have been deliberately cut off to fit it as a door flap for a large nomad tent.
This piece is a unique example of Mongol flat weave wool carpet, reusing the techniques several thousands of years old of the kilim. Both sides are similar, with a return on the back of the weft which increases the strength and certainly contributes to its remarkable preservation.
It is a synthesis of several older styles, with horizontal colored stripes at the top like a color catalog, and friezes with geometric patterns and trefoils. The central part is figurative, with doves and peonies. The technical refinements and the comparison of patterns with carpets represented in the painted miniatures of the time allow to assess its age at about 700 years.