Silk fragments with lion pattern

Silk fragments with lion pattern

Silk fragments with lion pattern(Textiles - Room 98, Case 3)
China
Late Tang to Five dynasties, 9th-10th centuries
Liao samite in silk
Width 23.5 cm x length 1.6 cm (longest piece)
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.326 (Ch.00179)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

Thirty-nine fragments of this pattern woven silk have survived. They show the remains of a small roundel design, arranged in bands on a red ground. The white roundels are outlined in blue with details in green and yellow depicting two lions with biting jaws and extended claws, each chasing the other's tail. Nine fragments shows a different colour scheme with a yellow roundel, outlined in blue with details in green and white, but still on red ground. The motif of chasing lions is characteristically Chinese, but is reproduced here differently from earlier periods when the pattern was executed in an axial symmetry. The lions here are arranged in rotating symmetry which did not appear earlier than the late Tang dynasty.