Tang dynasty, 600-800 AD
Silk thread and metal
Width 5 cm x height 11 cm
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.482 (Ch.0032)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India
This tassel is made of thick spun silk thread set in a metal alloy holders which is attached to a hanging loop of red and yellow silk wrapped around a cotton core in a knot.
A valance found in the Mogao Grottoes (now in the British Museum) has silk tufts fastened to the triangles, so silk tassels might have decorated valances. However, murals in the Mogao Grottoes depict some canopies with tassel-like decorations, for example in Cave 322, and therefore it is also possible that this tassel once hung from a canopy.