An impressive woven silk Textile Fragment depicting winged horses Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
Lot 6
An impressive woven silk Textile Fragment depicting winged horses Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
£60,000 - 80,000
US$ 100,000 - 140,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
An impressive woven silk Textile Fragment depicting winged horses
Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
woven in red, blue, green and cream silks with a large scale pearl roundel, enclosing two confronted winged horses standing on a winged split palmette, standing with front legs raised, the bodies with geometric and heart-shaped motifs, pearl bands around their necks, joined to a part roundel above by a rosette plaque, the interstices with stylised lotus flowers, attached to a golden colour silk textile with lozenge design, mounted
65 x 39.4 cm. max.

Footnotes

  • Medallion silks are first seen in Sassanian art on the robe of Khusraw II 'Parviz' (r. AD 590-628) on the rock relief at Taq-I Bustan in western Iran. A wall fresco at Afrasiyab (a suburb of Bokhara) depicts three ambassadors wearing tailored silk robes with bold designs of pearl roundels and ogival forms bearing animal motifs (Sumner, Christina and Guy Petherbridge, Bright Flowers. Textiles and Ceramics of Central Asia, Sydney, 2004, p. 19).

    The exact place textiles of this type were woven is not recorded. However, given the high cost of thread, probably imported from China, and the obvious skilled workmanship in the weaving, it seems likely that the manufacture would have been limited to court workshops.

    A textile with medallions depicting paired horses drinking from a stream, attributed to Persia or Central Asia, 7th/ 8th Century can be seen in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection (Rogers, J.M., The Arts of Islam. Treasures from the Nasser D. Khalili Collection, Exhibition Catalogue, Abu Dhabi, 2007, p. 55, no. 44); three other textiles with related imagery, but with a single winged horse are in the Musee Guimet and the Musee des Tissus, Lyon (Pope, Arthur Upham, A Survey of Persian Art, reprint, Ashiya, 1981, Vol. VII, Pl. 202B; and Tuchscherer, Jean-Michel, Etoffes Merveilleuses du Musee Historique des Tissus, Lyons, 1976, cat. No. 29); and a fragment also with a single horse was sold at Christie's (Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, 6th October 2011, lot 6).
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