Fragments with dragon design

Fragments with dragon design

Fragments with dragon design
China
Five dynasties, 900-1000 AD
Complex gauze and plain weave in silk, satin and couching stitch embroidery
Width 6.5 cm x length 10.5 cm (largest)
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.528 (Ch.00332)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

These are from a group of ten rectangular fragments of purple gauze, at first apparently undecorated. However, three fragments show traces of four-clawed paws and what are possibly the curved backs of embroidered dragons. The dragons most likely once whirled around in a circle. The satin stitch embroidery in colourful silk threads of red, pink and white is outlined with paper strips covered in gold leaf. The gilded strips are couched with red thread, and the stitches have been worked through to the plain woven purple silk backing.