A RARE CHINESE IMPERIAL GOLD-GROUND SILK 'FIVE DRAGON' RUG LATE QING DYNASTY Decorated with a central medallion enclosing a blue confronting dragon in pursuit of a flaming pearl, with four further sinuous dragons to the corners, the beasts surrounded by stylised lotus scrolls, with a band of key fret encircling the design, all bordered by flowerheads and auspicious Buddhist emblems, woven to one end with the five characters Jingren Gong bei yong, 2.7m x 1.8m. Provenance: purchased at auction in the 1980s or 1990s. Jingren Gong, or 'The Palace of Great Benevolence', is one of the palaces in the Forbidden City. Jingren Gong was built in 1420 and it was used as the residence of Imperial concubines during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Kangxi Emperor was born in this palace. Cf. Sotheby's Paris, 18th June 2020, lot 28 for a very similar carpet inscribed Taihe Dian bei yong.

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