Brocade with Phoenixes

Brocade with Phoenixes


Tabby, brocaded; silk and gold thread

Overall: 82 x 29.7 cm (32 5/16 x 11 11/16 in.)

Gift of The Textile Art Alliance 1994.27



This elegant brocade of phoenixes, seen almost frontally, is woven with gold thread made from flat strips of gilded paper instead of the usual strips of gilded parchment. This suggests that the textile was woven in the southern part of the Jin state that had been annexed from the Chinese. Although probably intended to serve as secular clothing, this textile ended up in a Buddhist institution. The end was folded and stamped in red ink with a seated Buddha flanked by two Bodhisattvas (now faint and upside down). Two Tibetan inscriptions were also stamped (translation: "The Bhagavan, the Tathagata, the Arhat, the completely perfect Buddha," and "Salutations to Blo gnas.") Above, an isolated letter ka indicates that the textile was used to cover the first volume of a set of books.

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