Walter Nichols Chinese Art Deco rug with circle motif c. 1935
Walter Nichols Chinese Art Deco rug c. 1935
WALTER NICHOLS China
Chinese Art Deco rug c. 1935
Walter Abner Burns Nichols was one of the most colorful of the American adventurer/entrepreneurs in 1920s China. The Nichols name has come to be used almost synonymously with the ‘Chinese deco’ rugs manufactured in Tientsin, China in the 1920s and 1930s. Nichols did not originate the Chinese deco style, but he did a great deal to popularize it and to maintain its high standards of manufacture.
Nichols began in his youth as a first-class wool grader who went to Tientsin around 1920 to work for the Elbrook family of wool merchants. Nichols started his own business a couple of years later. In a brochure he produced in the late ’20s, with the assistance of Pande-Cameron, he announced: “In 1924 W.A.B. Nichols of Tientsin, North China, introduced the Super Chinese Rug which has become world famous. It is known in every market as the most durable and beautiful product of the modern Chinese weavers art and adorns the homes of people all over the earth.”