A fine woven silk Textile Fragment depicting lions Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
Lot 7
A fine woven silk Textile Fragment depicting lions Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
£80,000 - 120,000
US$ 140,000 - 200,000
Auction Details
A fine woven silk Textile Fragment depicting lions Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
Lot Details
A fine woven silk Textile Fragment depicting lions
Sogdiana, Central Asia, circa 8th Century
of irregular rectangular form, woven in red, blue and cream silks, depicting a large scale roundel enclosing two confronted lions standing on the back of two paired horses, between the lions a lotus, the roundel composed of a foliate and palmette bands, the corners with part-roundels containing paired deer standing on a stylised winged palmette, mounted
85 x 73.5 cm. max.

Footnotes

  • By the 8th Century in Central Asia, the imagery of paired lions had a long-established association with power, kingship and protection in the ancient world. Such iconographical devices were employed extensively in luxury textiles of the period as part of the vocabulary of trade and diplomacy, intended to reflect the wealth and status of the owner or recipient.

    This particular fragment is remarkable for the size of the central roundel, a feature which sets it apart from most other known comparables, and the overall effect of the repeat pattern must have been arresting.

    A silk robe with roundels depicting similar lions was sold at Sotheby's (Arts of the Islamic World, London, 25th April 2012, lot 499); and also a fragment with paired lions (Sotheby's, Arts of the Islamic World, 3rd October 2012, lot 134. For a full discussion on the luxury silk weaving under the Sogdians in Central Asia, see Watt, J. and A. Wardwell, When Silk was Gold: Central Asian and Chinese Textiles, Exhibition Catalogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 26th October 1997 – 4th January 1998, pp. 21-37).
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