National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0336 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 336 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000187
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



according to Chiang Ssû-yeh's interpretation, by a fourth which figured on the torn portion to the left of the fragment, the whole making up the propitious formula, well known on scrolls, 4 4 Yen nien i shou, i. e. ` may you enjoy long life '.

Birds   Another design of this character is shown by the pieces L.C. i. 06-7 ; iii, 04. c, 12 (?), 17. b,

crossing   18, all fragmentary (P1. XLII). The pattern comprises within a ` vermicular ' cloud scroll a winged

rows of

monsters. dog-like beast springing downwards ; in front of it a plump partridge-like bird standing at right

angles to the general line of beasts ; a striding leopard and a lizard-shaped monster. In the well-preserved piece, L.C. o8 (Pl. XXXIV), executed in a number of still brilliant colours, a rich cloud scroll of ` tree-coral ' appearance meanders across the fabric. In its bends are shown alternately a winged lion striding menacingly to the left with mouth open, and a duck in rapid flight downwards with outstretched neck. Here, too, the effect attained is that of rows of birds crossing rows of monsters at right angles.

Confronting   The same arrangement is typically illustrated also by the fragment of damask, L.C. vii. oq
animals in (Pl. XL), the design of which offers a twofold interest. In it zigzag bands, ornamented with a simple

designs.      fret and ` faulted ' at the corners, provide a near approach to a geometrical ` all-over ' pattern of
the lozenge type. Within the lozenges are placed pairs of confronting animals, a motif frequent in our early Chinese silks and easily accounted for in textiles of whatever period and origin by the convenience which the ` turn-over ' method, by producing symmetrical figures, presents to the designer and weaver. In the centre band shown by the drawing, each lozenge contains a pair of crane-like birds confronting and regardant, with scrolled plumage. In the band of lozenges above, pairs of dog-like animals are placed feet against feet on a line which cuts the line of birds at right angles. In the band below, the lozenges are filled by pairs of winged and horned beasts, rampant, similarly placed.

Simplifica-   Closely allied in its scheme is the design of L.C. v. 027. a (PI. XLIII), found also in another

tion into   fragment, L.C. i. oio. Here pairs of confronting rams, moving as if to butt one another, occupy

patternrical the lozenges of an all-over' geometrical diaper. Variety is introduced by reversing the pair of confronting animals in the vertical direction at each repeat. A striking illustration of simplification of pattern is provided by the fragments described under L.C. v. 023, 027. b (Pl. XLIII), where this design appears transformed into a purely geometrical one. The confronting animals have here degenerated into a stiff kind of cloud scroll, and the rosette at the crossings of the lozenge lines into a plain square. As usual in the geometrical patterns from L.C., the colours are reduced to two only as against three in L.C. v. 027. a.

Reversal   We have, in the design of the polychrome silk L.C. 031. c (Pl. XXXIV, XXXIX), an interesting

of confront- example of the confronting figure scheme produced by reversal. It shows the curious Puck-like

ing figures. figure of a sprite seated in profile within a cloud scroll, and slightly above it, and in front, the figure of a bird, regardant. The reversal of the pattern on a vertical line close to the bird's tail results in a pair of addorsed birds and a pair of confronting sprites. For some observations of interest on details produced by the ` turn-over ' method in this design, reference may be made to Mr. Andrews' paper.1°

Fused   Still more instructive in this respect is Mr. Andrews' analysis of the strangely complex design

design with of L.C. 07. b (Pl. XL). Its successive registers show, above, two birds facing with outstretched tree-like

feature.   necks ; next, a pair of confronting griffins above the grinning heads of two very stylized monsters,

and at the bottom what looks like an arched shrine occupied by a pair of grotesque animals kneeling face to face, and by its side a smaller pair of arches. The upper registers are surrounded by cloud scrolls, portions of which reversed assume a curious resemblance to a tree with stiff symmetrical

10 Cf. Andrews, Chin. Figured Silks, p. 8.