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0338 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 338 (Color Image)

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240   REMAINS OF ANCIENT LOU-LAN

[Chap. VII

textile style which preceded that shown by the rest of the L.C. animal figures, and in which strict adherence to archaic tradition in subject and treatment was the dominant factor.

Among specimens of the second type of textile decoration mention may be made first of a few fabrics ornamented only with cloud scrolls, such as have already become familiar to us as an accessory feature in the designs discussed above. In the pattern of L.C. iii. 02 (Pl. XXXIV) a rich effect is attained by the graceful grouping of several non-continuous cloud scrolls of the ` tree-coral ' variety, set off by brilliant colours on bronze ground. The same description applies to the pattern shown by the strips of rich figured silk forming the surface of the garment L.C. vii. 07. In L.C. v. 014 the scrolls, of ` stepped ' outline, are too indistinct for the pattern to be made out in detail. But there is a larger number of designs made up of floral motifs, whether worked up into stylized scrolls or naturalistically treated. Of scrolls mainly floral in motif we have two interesting examples. In the polychrome fabric, L.C. 03 (Pl. XXXV, XXXIX), of which there are more fragments in L.C. 07. c, the unit, repeated both horizontally and vertically, is small but amply articulated. It is made up mainly of scrolled stems and lily-like flowers, with a small duck standing regardant between the latter on the top. The single lapidary Chinese character between

the repeats has been read by Chiang Ssii-yeh as    ` k,` happy.'

The fine design shown by L.C. 02 (Pl. XXXV) is too elaborate for detailed analysis here, but can be well studied in Mr. Andrews' drawing (Pl. XLI) with the help of his full description in the List. It is of particular interest because it combines a variety of floral shapes, such as bell flowers, trailing stems and roots ; also geometrical elements, such as lozenge volutes, and even fantastic beast-like forms. Mr. Andrews' artist eye recognizes in the whole a wonderfully ingenious pattern showing perfect mastery of the design of an all-over treatment '.15 M. Goloubew too acknowledges the perfection of the general effect, but is inclined to detect in the details indications of a certain inexperience in the use of stylized plant forms, suggesting the birth of a new style." The fragment L.C. iii. 020 with its fine floral pattern, including a stylized palmette on bell-shaped ground, is too small to afford evidence on this point.

Floral   However this may be, it is important to note that we find the tendency towards the naturalistic

demesign in treatment of floral motifs, which is so marked in Chinese textile work of Tang and later times, bro idery.

attested already by designs of the embroidered silk fabrics from L.C. It is clearly seen in the

decoration of the embroidered comb-case, L.C. 033 (Pl. XLV), and also in the numerous fragments of graceful embroidery described under L.C. vii. 04-5 (Pl. XXXV, XLIII). The piece used as a cover for the badge-like pad L.C. v. 013 (Pl. XLV) is too small to give a definite notion of the ornamental design used for the embroidery from which it was cut. Few as these specimens are,

they suffice to bear out what has been said elsewhere about the greater freedom in the use of naturalistic floral design that is enjoyed by the embroiderer's needle, as compared with the technical limitations imposed by the weaver's loom.17

Among the ` geometric ' designs that form our third type, those showing various kinds of lozenges, made up into an ` all-over ' lattice-work, are by far the most frequent. In some instances the lozenges are diversified by the insertion of small rectangles or other simple geometric devices. With a few exceptions only two colours are used." This restriction to two colours is observed also in the remaining ` geometric ' designs. Among them we find an angular meander, L.C. vii. 02

Cloud scrolls and floral motifs.

Stylized floral shapes.

Geometric designs.

15 See Andrews, Chin. Figured Silks, p. lo.

16 Cf. B.E.F.E.O. xx (192o). pp. 173 sq. M. Goloubew believes that in the curious feature described as a jewelled chain stretching in a curve over the back of a beast-like form may be recognized the emblematic image known as ` the stars ' (hsing then) ; ibid., p. 174, note 2.

17 Cf. Serindia, ii. p. 904:

18 See L.C. or (Pl. XXXV) ; ii. 07. b (Pl. xXXIII), o8. a ; iii. 04. b (PI. XXXVI) ; vi. or (Pl. XLIII), 03. Plain lozenges are found in L.C. 032 (Pl. XLII) ; ii. 04. Four colours are used in L.C. or, three in ii. 07. b.