Embroidered banner borders

Embroidered banner borders

Embroidered banner borders (Textiles - Room 98, Case 3)
China
Late Tang to Five dynasties, 800-900 AD
Twill damask in silk, satin and couching embroidery
Width 4.9 cm x height 17.5 cm
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.600 (Ch.00347)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

Four fragments of this embroidered black twill damask were found in Cave 17, of which one is now in the British Museum. The main motifs of half-florets are properly finished and follow the original folding. They are arranged alternately along the sides of the band, those on one side being edged with a 0.1 cm wide paper strip covered with gold leaf. Those on the opposite side are treated similarly, but with silver instead of gold leaf. It is clear that the embroidery was designed for specific use as the motifs form a band, and it is likely that they once formed part of a banner head.