- Museum number
This is a square damask piece, originally a head for a banner which has been folded in half and painted with two Buddhas, each seated on a lotus. The textile is white twill damask showing half of a lion over 40 cm long, with only the head and tail still visible. This design was previously misinterpreted by Stein as a floral pattern, and Roderick Whitfield as phoenixes. The lion may be in a crouching or walking position, as seen in a paper painting found in Cave 17. There is a small pattern to the left of the lion, probably a stone, and another opposite the head, and symmetrically repeated along the warp direction. However, there is no woven pattern where the lion’s body should be, indicating that this is probably the beginning of the fabric. There is a similar banner head in the V&A loan collection: a similar image of the Buddha is painted on a different woven damask image of the lion (LOAN:STEIN.490). On the basis of the style of the painting, Roderick Whitfield dated this piece to the Five Dynasties.
Warp: silk, untwisted, single, 51 ends/cm; Weft: silk, untwisted, single, 28 lats/cm. Weave structure: 1/5S twill pattern on 2/1S twill ground.
- Production date
Height: 58.50 centimetres (Mounted on padded board)
Height: 54 centimetres
Thickness: 2 centimetres (Mounted on padded board)
Width: 58.50 centimetres (Mounted on padded board)
Width: 54 centimetres
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2010, Feb-June, Essen, Ruhrland Museum, The Great Game
2017 Nov 8-tbc, BM G33 Hotung Gallery, 1st rotation
- 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.xxi.003 (Stein no.)