This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English.
Silk lampas robe
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Hegira 1st-2nd century/ AD 7th-8th century
Stitched and woven with fine red, green, blue and cream silk threads
143 x 263cm
This monumental silk lampas robe from Sogdiana, carbon dated to the seventh to eighth century, has raised theories regarding its role and function. In religious context, this silk fabric was known to wrap religious text or relics, and bodies for burial purposes. In diplomatic relation, the weft fabric functioned as diplomatic gifts, or tailored into costumes for government officials. This silk robe presents us an image of the luxurious textiles traded between China, Central Asia and Persia.
The Sassanians used to weave their own designs on silk - elaborate repeating motifs of heraldic animal and human elements with interlocking plant enclosed within a pearl-like roundel - which achieved popularity in Central Asia. The Sogdians are known to weave motifs specific to their target market by appealing to ethnic and culture, religious purposes or the ruling elite. By the eighth century, Sassanian motifs were brought into being as both imported goods and locally-produced reproduction especially from Sogdiana.
Watt, J. C. Y., When Silk Was Gold : Central Asian and Chinese Textiles, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art in cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1997. Kadoi, Y., Islamic Chinoiserie: the Art of Mongol Iran, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Rees, B.R., Jervis, M.E., Lampas: a new approach to Greek, Oxford: Blackwell, 1970.
"Silk lampas robe" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;my;Mus21;5;en
MWNF Working Number: MY1 05