Textile with Coiled Dragons


Jin dynasty (1115–1234)

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This textile represents the tradition of northern China's Jin dynasty, which was known for textiles brocaded in gold with offset asymmetrical motifs on a solid-colored background. The motif here is a coiled dragon with a flaming jewel. The coiled dragon, as a pattern for princes' robes, dates from the Tang dynasty and was also used for garments in the Song and Xixia dynasties. This example is an early instance of a dragon with five claws. It is woven in a variant of the brocading technique first seen in a Jin-dynasty princely tomb of 1162.

Textile with Coiled Dragons, Plain-weave silk brocaded with metallic thread, China

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