Song dynasty (960–1279)
Silk and metallic thread tapestry (kesi) with a pattern of birds and flowers
Overall: 8 11/16 x 13 3/8 in. (22 x 34 cm)
Purchase, Bequest of Dorothy Graham Bennett, 1966
Not on view
This piece was originally the wrapper (external cover) for the Museum's handscroll painting Dragon Boat Regatta on Jinming Lake after Wang Zhenpeng (ca. 1280–1329). Although its pattern and technique are similar to those of Central Asian tapestries, its imagery, notably the phoenix-like birds holding lingzhi fungus in their beaks, and the balanced and static design are unmistakably Chinese. The use of such a precious fabric on the exterior of a scroll was another way in which collectors enhanced the viewing experience and highlighted the importance of the painting rolled up inside.
Object Type / Material