The delicacy of its silk, combined with the complexity of its design, marks out the present robe as an extremely fine example of Sogdian silk production. It can be paralleled with examples of the magnificent silk textiles of the T’ang dynasty in China (618-907), under which emerged a wealthy cosmopolitan society driven by economic and cultural expansion. Sogdiana, which was located along the main trade routes between China, Byzantium and Persia, developed greatly as a result of this growth.
Decorated with large medallions containing two sinuous dragons in a bilaterally symmetrical design framed by borders containing roundels, offset by vegetal motifs, the present robe strongly demonstrates the Chinese influence on Sogdian design. A silk brocade, attributed to the T’ang dynasty, eighth century, now in the Shoso-in in Japan, has a very similar iconographic composition, indicative of the exchange between these great civilizations as early as the seventh century (illustrated in: Hayashi 1975, pp.24-25, no.13).