Silk Embroidery

Item #: 3203

Date: 6th – 8th Century

Medium: Silk

Size: 14 ¾” W x 21” H

Description: Sassanian and Sogdian textiles often depicted confronted pairs of animals, framed within a pearl rondelle. In addition to the highly prized textile fragments which have survived the long centuries, these patterns can also be seen on the clothing of foreigners portrayed in paintings from the Chinese Tang Dynasty. One of the textiles seen here illustrates a rearing tiger, while the other is adorned with a winged feline which appears to be a maned lion. The tiger image is quite similar to one on a 7th century Iranian silver plate, in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum. Similar treatment of the tiger stripes can be seen on a 7th – 8th c. CE textile in the Abegg-Stiftung collection, from Central Asia or Western China. On both artifacts, highly stylized zigzagging stripes identify the beast. The winged lion can be found in the art of numerous cultures throughout ancient Eurasia, particularly those in Iran.

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