Four Chinese Manufacturers' Sample Rugs - 1920's

Katherine Down’s newly married Russian grandparents, Vasily Dmitrievich Lachinoff and his young wife Vera left St. Petersburg for the Russian enclave of Harbin in Manchuria, where they lived from 1903/4 to the late 1920s. Her grandfather travelled extensively as a senior Executive for the Eastern China Railway Company at that time. These samples were sent from Peking for her grandmother to choose the design and colours of a carpet that was then made especially for them and sent to Harbin. The carpet travelled with the family to Shanghai and thence to Singapore and is still in Katherine’s keeping, though much worn and badly damaged by termites in Singapore where the family spent twenty years before eventually settling in England.

Such samples would have enabled the client to select individual coulour way and design for any particular order. In the trade this quality of Chinese carpet from 1920s is described variously as ‘Peking’ or ‘Continental’, since they were particularly favoured in France.

Persian 'Wagirehs' (sample rugs) are occasionally seen in the market. There should be no reason to suppose that Chinese manufacturers should not have produced similar samples for the same purpose, however, presently we are unaware of similar examples.