Silk caftan dating to the first half of the 14th century. It’s amazing to me that it’s survived this long in such fantastic condition. Arabic with possible Chinese influences. Part of the David Collection, a museum of fine arts in Copenhagen.
While the typical Arab caftan was closed in the front, the Mongol was closed on the side with a row of tapes, which in this caftan are attached to a reinforced piece around the waist. The pattern demonstrates a mixture of Eastern and Western influences. The drop-shaped elements with stylized lions and surrounding swastika shapes point to China, while the stylized border with Kufi pseudo-calligraphy on the shoulders is an Islamic feature that has its origins in Arab tiraz textiles.
These textiles worked with gold were costly, and although a number of smaller parts of the same pattern were used to complete the caftan, an extra piece of another type nonetheless had to be used as well. Most of the gold has been lost, and the areas that were once golden are now brown.