Embroidered Buddha Figure (China)

Textile fragment with the embroidered figure of a Buddha. Dunhuang, 8th - 9th centuries AD. Textile fragment with the embroidered figure of a Buddha. Dunhuang, 8th - 9th centuries AD. Copyright British Museum, acc. no. MAS.911.

The British Museum in London houses a textile fragment with the embroidered figure of a Buddha standing on a lotus pedestal. The fragment dates to the eighth or ninth century AD, and was recovered between 1906-1908 by Sir Aurel Stein at Dunhuang, in Gansu Province, China. The fragment measures 10.9 x 6.2 cm.

The ground material is a plain woven, dark brown silk; the embroidery is worked with silk threads using split stitch. The threads are in blue, green, brown, and yellow. The outlines were originally made with couched gold threads, but most of these have disappeared. A black substrate underneath the gilded threads may indicate an animal substance used for backing.

The Buddha is holding an alms bowl in his right hand, and with his left he is gathering up his gown.

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 21 August 2016).

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Last modified on Friday, 09 December 2016 18:30