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A Rare Embroidered Silk Hanging
Yuan Dynasty
Probably a canopy, finely embroidered in satin stitch and couched gold threads with a large contorted five-clawed dragon in the central rectangular field, the dragon surrounded by vaporous clouds and wispy flames and framed within a quatrelobed outline of continuous knobbed scroll, with four gold baluster vases at the four corners from which issue elaborate scrolling foliage incorporating the Eight Buddhist Emblems, the paired fish, the conch, the endless knot and the wheel at one end, and the umbrella, the jar, the lotus and canopy at the other, all framed within an inner border of evenly spaced gold vajra edged with ruyi lappets on either side and an outer border of composite floral scroll, the design executed in delicately shaded tones of green, blue, pale coral and cream within a fine outline of gold couching, all reserved on a salmon silk damask ground
75 x 125in. (194 x 335cm.)
Sale Room Notice
This lot should be dated 14th/15th Century.

Lot Essay

The motif of the vases and scrolling floral vine, as well as the colors and the technique of the embroidery, can be compared to a canopy of Yuan date in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, included in the exhibition, When Silk Was Gold, Central Asian and Chinese Textiles, Cleveland Museum of Art, 26 October 1997 - 4 January 1998 and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3 March - 17 May 1998, no. 60.

The result of Harwell Isotope Measurements Laboratory radiocarbon dating certificate no. HAR-9113 is consistent with the dating of this lot.
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