- Museum number
This rectangular fragment was originally used as suspension loop but has at some time been opened out. The plain woven silk was clamp-resist dyed in blue, leaving crescent-shaped spots in the natural colour of the silk. There are two similar pieces from Dunhuang, one in the V&A museum collection and the other, dating to the Tianbao reign (742-756), also found at the Mogao Grottoes, and now in the collection of the Dunhuang Academy.
The fabric has been folded both horizontally and vertically and then diagonally to obtain mirror images of the design on either side of each fold. The textile specialist Wang Xu believes the pattern was made with two simple symmetrical blocks in one set using a special method. These textiles are from the early stages of clamp-resist dyeing, and the technique shown is akin to tie-dying. These textiles can therefore be considered as a transitional stage between tie-dyeing and clamp-resist dyeing.
Warp: silk, untwisted, single, 52 ends/cm; Weft: silk, untwisted, 36 lats/cm. Weave structure: 1/1 plain weave.
- Production date
Length: 16.70 centimetres
Width: 5.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This piece was originally folded to form the hanging loop of a banner.
- 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.00510.a (Stein no.)