Sunday, 23 July 2017

Follow live British Museum Conservation 8th Century embroidery from Dunhuang cave 17


Banner with Sakayamuni, Tang dynastie,found by Aurel Stein (1862- 1943) in cave 17 in the Mogao caves in Dunhuang

Conserving Vulture Peak | Episode 1: Introduction

Join textile conservators Monique Pullan and Hannah Vickers as they embark on this intricate conservation journey over the course of 11 weeks.

Conserving Vulture Peak | Episode 2: Curatorial introduction

This week we join Jane Portal, Keeper of the Department of Asia at the British Museum, as she explains the history and rediscovery of the Vulture Peak embroidery – one of the most magnificent of all the compositions found in the hidden library at Dunhuang.
This embroidery dates from China’s Tang dynasty (AD 618–907). It depicts the Buddha preaching at Vulture Peak – in Buddhist tradition a favourite retreat of the Buddha and his disciples, located in what is now north-east India. 
It was discovered by archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein (1862–1943) who, while exploring the many caves at Dunhuang, discovered a walled up cave. Behind this wall was a library full of manuscripts paintings and textiles, including this astonishing embroidery.
Watch the rest of the ‘Conserving Vulture Peak’ series here:
The tapestry is part of a collection donated to the British Museum by the archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein (1862–1943).

Conserving Vulture Peak | Episode 3: Conservation assessment

This week Hanna and Monique discuss the specific areas that need to be addressed to conserve this delicate embroidery. 

Conserving Vulture Peak | Ep4: Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

Scientist, Dr Diego Tamburini analyses the dyes used to colour the fibres of the Vulture Peak embroidery. 

He uses a technique known as Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry to find out what was used to colour the embroidery threads. 

to be continued......

In the mean time, also pay a visit to the website of the International Dunhuang Project/ IDP

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