The bold confronted ibexes contained within the pearl borders on this silk textile also feature on an example in the Cathedral Treasury of Huy in Belgium (Feng Zhao, Treasures in Silk, Hong Kong, 1999, no. 03.07b, pp.111-12). The Huy textile has a Sogdian inscription giving the name 'Zandaniji'. Another, similarly decorated, is in the Abegg-Stiftung in Switzerland; it was also attributed by Dorothy Shepherd to Sogdinia although Zhao notes that recent finds in Qinghai raise questions on the place of production (Zhao, op.cit., p.111). Textiles such as these were a form of portable wealth, and have been found all along Silk Road along which the Sogdians traded (Zhao Feng, 'Silk Roundels from the Sui to the Tang', Hali, issue 92, May 1997, pp.80-85). This makes precise attribution a difficult task.
The ibex, as well as many of the animal motifs that are found decorating this group of textiles, are notably Sasanian and probably more specifically Zoroastrian in inspiration. Depictions often represent known deities - the boar for instance, found on a robe in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, is the embodiment of Verethragna (Zhao, op.cit., no. 03.06b, p.110). As here, animals are often depicted on raised palmettes or sometimes on pearl bordered platforms, illustrating the reference for these symbolic creatures. For a discussion on the pearl borders see the note to the following lot.
The Cleveland robe, mentioned above (which is catalogued as Central Asia, 8th century) shares with ours strikingly well-preserved colours.