These headpieces are embroidered with butterflies, birds, animals, flowers, leaves, and delicate vine scrolls. In general, the design is related to the theme of the lotus pond, best known from Liao tomb paintings. Paired ducks or geese swimming in water and looking in opposite directions seem to have become popular in the north of China before spreading further south and to Central Asia. On the other hand, recumbent animals looking back are a Central Asian image that migrated to northern China. Headpieces of this shape, intersected by two bands and secured by ties, have a long history in northern China. A gold replica was found in a tomb dating as early as 500–550.

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  • Title: Headpiece
  • Date Created: 907-1125
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 21.8 x 34.9 cm (8 9/16 x 13 3/4 in.)
  • Type: Embroidery
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1995.109.2
  • Medium: embroidery, silk
  • Department: Textiles
  • Culture: China, Liao dynasty (907-1125)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Lisbet Holmes
  • Collection: Textiles
  • Accession Number: 1995.109.2

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