Mongol taste for luxury was equated with gold, symbol of imperial authority, power, and legitimacy. This splendid cloth of gold-exceptionally large and luxurious-may have enriched the interior of a palace or a majestic tent. The golden pattern, although tarnished on the faded red silk ground, features scalloped medallions with felines whose long tails terminate in dragons’ heads amid elegant floral vines. Double-headed eagles form interstitial motifs on the floral ground. A radiant gold-on-gold band of pseudo-Arabic script enriches the top, woven with gold strips wrapped around a silk core on a ground of flat strips of gold, immediately beneath the pattern testing area.

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  • Title: Cloth of gold with felines and eagles
  • Date Created: 1225-75
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 170.5 x 109 cm (67 1/8 x 42 15/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Thupten Zong Lo, Hong Kong, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Textile
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1990.2
  • Medium: Silk and gold thread: lampas
  • Fun Fact: Mongol cloths of gold, called <em>nasji</em>, incorporate Iranian, Central Asian, and Chinese features, reflecting the effects of gift exchanges and international commerce.
  • Department: Textiles
  • Culture: Northeast Iran
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: T - Islamic
  • Accession Number: 1990.2

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