Eastern Iran or Central Asia, late 13th–early 14th century
Lampas weave (tabby and twill), silk, gilded strips
The David Collection, Copenhagen (40/1997)
[click images for full object view]
This panel, a superb example of nasij (cloth
of gold), must once have belonged to the interior of a royal Mongol
tent. Here the refined pattern shows vertical rows of large medallions
enclosing confronted roosters separated by a stylized tree, alternating
with pairs of smaller roundels with coiled dragons.
The background is filled with vegetal scrolls, peonies, and lotus
Narrow vertical bands form slender columns for the lobed pointed
arch on the upper part of the textile, separating the rows of medallions
on each panel.
When all the panels were joined together and draped inside a tent
or pavilion it would have created the effect of a continuous arcade;
the original architectural effect of such a richly decorated interior
must have been a spectacular one.