An Imperial throne carpet with double dragon and seed pearl motif, Ming Dynasty, 16th Century, 16ft.7in. x 14ft.7in. (507cm. x 451 cm). Estimate: €3,500,000-4,500,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.
There are only 39 complete carpets in existence today out of the hundreds that were originally woven, 16 carry the highly-prized Imperial dragon, nine of which are in the Beijing Palace Museum with just seven remaining in private hands.
Louise Broadhurst, Christie’s Rug and Carpet specialist, said: “Standing before such a carpet one cannot help but be transported back to the impressive palace interiors of the Ming Emperors. For this carpet to have survived in such remarkable condition is in itself a rare feet and we are honored to have the opportunity to offer this eminent work of art for sale.”
The carpet was said to have been bought in 1920 by a couple from Iowa on their honeymoon in China. They brought it back to America, loaned it to the Cleveland Museum of Art and then sold it from their collection in 1987 to a private collector in Switzerland, the current vendor.