The Stein Collection

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artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
Wilson, Verity. 'Early Textiles from Central Asia: Approaches to Study with reference to the Stein Loan Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London', Textile History 26 (1) . Devon: David & Charles/Pasold Research Fund Ltd, 1995, pp.23-52.ill. Stein, Aurel, Serindia: Detailed Report of Exploration in Central Asia and Westernmost China Carried Out and Described Under the Orders of H.M Indian Government , 5 vols (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1921), vol. I, p. 448.
collection_code
EAS
credit
Stein Textile Loan Collection. On loan from the Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India. Copyright: Government of India.
date_end
0400-12-31
date_start
0200-01-01
date_text
200-400 (made)
descriptive_line
Leather fragment with impressed circular shape
dimensions
Diameter: 17 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
historical_context_note
Loulan was once an important garrison town which lay between the Pei shan and Taklamakan deserts on the Silk Road. The city was also a centre of Buddhist worship. When Sven Hedin explored the site in 1900, he discovered remains of a stupa, reliefs depicting Buddhas among lotuses, and statues of deities. This strategically important city is mentioned in Chinese records for the first time in 176 BC with the conquest by the Xiongnu, but the area fell under Chinese control around 100 BC. Located in the middle of the Silk Road, Loulan had contacts with many cultures, represented by hundreds of documents in Chinese, Indian Kharosthi, and Sogdian scripts which were unearthed by Hedin and Stein. A woollen cloth, which Stein found in a tomb, depicted the head of Hermes and his caduceus, or staff, in the classical style of western Asia. He also unearthed a number of mummies with feathered felt caps and arrow shafts by their sides; which indicated that a community of herdsmen and hunters had inhabited the region long before various imperial conquests. Loulan flourished until the fourth century AD, when it was abandoned, due to the desiccation of a nearby lake, Lop Nor. The V&A holds, on loan, a large number of textiles from Loulan, including cotton, wool and figured silks, carpet and tapestry fragments.
historical_significance
history_note
Attached to fragment is a rectangular metal-rimmed label showing Stein number possibly in Stein's handwriting or that of his assistant, Miss F M G Lorimer.
id
65
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T19:17:47.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T19:17:47.000Z
latitude
42.184158
location
In Storage
longitude
84.964111
marks
materials
leather
materials_techniques
Tanned leather
museum_number
LOAN:STEIN.74
museum_number_token
loanstein74
object_number
O94250
object_type
Fragment
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
One irregularly-shaped fragment of leather, light-red in colour on one side. Impressed circular shape reveals last use as cover tied over top of pot or similar.
place
Loulan
primary_image_id
production_note
production_type
public_access_description
This irregularly-shaped fragment of leather has an impressed circular shape which reveals its last use as cover tied over a pot or similar. It was recovered from the site of Loulan, which dates from the 3rd to the 4th century AD. The site of Loulan is remarkable for the carved wooden capitals, beams and balustrades that show clear affinities with western Classical decoration that filtered through Iran and Northwest India. The site is also part of an area of Central Asia we now call the Silk Road, a series of overland trade routes that crossed Asia from China to Europe. The most notable item traded was silk. Camels and horses were used as pack animals and merchants passed the goods from oasis to oasis. The Silk Road was also important for the exchange of ideas. Whilst silk textiles travelled west from China, Buddhism entered China from India in this way. This textile was brought back from Central Asia by the explorer and archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943). The V&A has around 650 ancient and medieval textiles recovered from the Silk Road by Stein at the beginning of the20th century. Some are silk while others are made from the wool of a variety of different animals
related_museum_numbers
rights
2
shape
site_code
slug
the-stein-collection-fragment-unknown
sys_updated
2014-07-31T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
tanning
title
The Stein Collection
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
400
year_start
200