- Museum number
This body panel from a banner consists of two rectangular pieces of complete loom widths. The main piece (a) is of a clamp-resist dyed plain weave silk showing confronting horses backed with piece (b) of plain weave silk. The horses are similar in style to the relief with six horses in the tomb of Li Shiming (599-649), the first emperor of the Tang dynasty, and also the stone horses in the tomb of Empress Wu Zetian (624-705). The bodies of the lower pair of horses are decorated with a swastika motif, but the uppermost pair of horses also have spots. At the bottom of the panel, another pair of horse's legs are visible, showing where the plain weave silk was folded during the process of clamp-resist dyeing. The block used for the pattern probably measured about 76 cm in length.
The lining (b) is almost the same size as the top piece (a), but has a small tape, 5 cm wide and 15 cm long, of plain woven silk attached to one corner. Studies by Stein and Roderick Whitfield indicate that this tape could be the border for the head at the top of a banner. If so, the full-length banner would have been similar in size to the banner with a standing Bodhisattva (Stein Painting 217 [Ch.xxviii.007] in the British Museum).
Stein believed the pattern showed Persian influences, however the horses have the short stubby legs that are characteristic of Mongolian ponies.
b: Panel b
Warp: silk, untwisted, single, 44 ends/cm; Weft: silk, untwisted, 26 lats/cm. Weave structure: 1/1 plain weave.
Warp: silk, untwisted, single, 38 ends/cm; Weft: silk, untwisted, 28 lats/cm. Weave structure: 1/1 plain weave.
- Production date
Length: 66 centimetres
Width: 55 centimetres
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The 1917-11-28 group (with MAS numbering) refers to objects from Stein's Second Central Asian Expedition, 1906-08. As the expedition was financed 3/ 5 by the Government of India and 2/5 by the British Museum, it was agreed that the finds from the expedition should be allocated in these proportions. All the finds were shipped to London for sorting, research and publication, and subsequent distribution. The distribution of the finds between London and India was determined by specialists, appointed by the Government of India (through the India Office, London) and the British Museum, who drew up lists of the objects for approval by both sides. The specialists included: Raphael Petrucci, under supervision of Dr E Denison Ross (nominated by India Office) and Laurence Binyon (British Museum) on paintings; Dr F W Thomas, Dr E Denison Ross (both nominated by India Office) and Dr L D Barnett (British Museum) on manuscripts and written documents; Dr E Denison Ross (nominated by India Office) and Laurence Binyon (British Museum) on archaeological/other finds. Although the lists were drawn up and approved in 1915, the Government of India asked the British Museum to look after the entire collection during the First World War, and those allocated to India were eventually shipped in 1919.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Ch.00357 (Stein no.)