Center: silk, gold; tapestry weave (kesi) Border: silk, gold; lampas
Overall: 87 x 84.5 cm (34 1/4 x 33 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1995.1
This rare silk tapestry in the center, from the Southern Song imperial workshop in Hangzhou, incorporates Central Asian and Chinese influence. The golden dragon on a ground of flowers is Central Asian, as are the dragon’s upturned snout, flaming mane, and antlers. The serpent-like treatment of the dragon’s body, however, is Chinese in style. The fineness of the silk threads, weaving, and flat gold thread gilded on both sides indicates imperial production. The tapestry was sewn at an unknown time to a later Ming dynasty border with tabs in the corners, probably to serve as a canopy.
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