Lot n° 11
25000 - 30000
Partie du dos d'une tunique en soie bleu et or
Eastern Iran or China, 10th-11th century
Woven with blue and green silk threads and golden threads, diamond decoration, alternating with birds unfolding their plumage, linked to lotus flowers nestled between the diamonds. Mounted on a wild silk support, on a wooden frame.
Textile : 121.2 x 55.6 cm ; Panel : 130.5 x 61.5 cm
Private collection, Paris, acquired from an antique dealer in Paris in a set of fragments of ancient textiles.
This multicolored fragment of a samite silk textile bears Buddhist symbols including lotus flowers, cloud forms, and birds with spread wings. Birds were a common decoration in Tang art (618-907). The birds spreading their wings, with beaks slightly flaring upward, are similar to those found on another fragment in the al-Sabah Collection (inv. no. LNS 589 T b), attributed to the Iranian world. The particular decoration, with the repetition of a square within a rhombus, is similar to an example found in one of the many Buddhist caves in Samangan, also in the al-Sabah Collection (inv. no. LNS 1168 T). The latter features quadrupeds running in a square and is believed to be from a hanging. Our tunic shows the same type of square in a rhombus which may represent an abstraction of a mandala. Both fragments are published in: Spuhler, Friedrich, Early Islamic Textiles from along the Silk Road. Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah. The al-Sabah Collection Kuwait. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2020, p. 159, cat. 117 and p. 371, cat. 321. In addition, a similar double-nuage design is found on a pair of pants with attached straps bearing Arabic inscriptions and attributed to the 11th-12th centuries (Sotheby's, Arts of the Islamic World, London, April 24, 2013, lot 127).
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