April 24, 2018
1,000-year-old silk shirt expected to fetch £500,000 at auction
Above, a detail from a silk samite shirt made by the nomadic Sogdian people of central Asia.
From The Guardian:
A golden silk shirt woven more than 1,000 years ago, which was among the greatest treasures of the nomadic Sogdian people, is coming up for auction tomorrow valued at up to £500,000.
The garment features a pattern of ducks wearing fluttering scarves — a sign, with the jeweled necklaces they carry in their beaks, that they belonged to the royal household.
"There are hardly any of these garments outside museums, and the condition of this one is extraordinary — they were known and coveted as cloth of gold and although it is entirely woven of silk, after 1,000 years it still really does look as if it was made of real gold," said Alexandra Roy, the deputy director of the Middle East department at Sotheby's.
The shirt, which could have been traded or a gift of the highest status, was clearly once worn by somebody, since despite the condition of the silk there is some wear at the armpits and belt level.
The Sogdians, centered on modern Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, were known for their magnificent textiles — ideal portable wealth for a nomadic people — and their prowess as traders in everything from slaves to perfumes along the ancient Silk Road and across a region stretching from Constantinople to India.
The Chinese wanted their splendid horses, and in return the Sogdians got silk of exceptional quality.
Some of their surviving textiles include three-meter silk panels used as tent hangings.
Their empire died out in the 10th century, and the shirt is dated to between the seventh and ninth centuries A.D. The shirt, which was previously owned by a French collector, will be auctioned in the Arts of the Islamic world sale at Sotheby's in London on 25 April.
Excellent in-depth interactive New York Times story here.
Submit your bid here.
Kimchi Master Jennifer Naylor Dishes
YouTube caption: "At Charlottesville's City Market on a nice spring Saturday in April, Jennifer — who leads Sussex Farm's presence there along with her day job making at least a dozen varieties of kimchi in artisanal fashion — spills the cabbage on the secret of her exquisite winter pogi napa."
Below, what it looked like going in last fall.
Below, how it looked coming out last week.
I've got 4+ pounds in my fridge from my market visit Saturday — that's all, folks!
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
Hint: smaller than a bread box.
Another: single use.
A third: plastic.