The Sogdians had throughout this long period earned the reputation of being the best traders in the world. Despite the numerous posts along the road where they could be relayed by intermediaries, they managed to control directly the longest trips.
On April 22 in London, Sotheby's sells a robe in silk lampas, lot 176 estimated £ 150K. This textile is dated around 710AD by the radiocarbon with a tolerance of 50 years.
This robe is an open coat with a large collar and very long sleeves, decorated with silk threads of four colors. The many small medallions show alternately pairs of winged horses and horned deer in opposition.
At that time, the secret of silk production had its first leaks but it is likely that the material of the garment came from China. Medallions and animals are in the style of the Sassanid Persians. The intense activity in the Silk road under the Tang makes plausible a Sogdian origin of this very old piece.
The silk robe in Mongol style sold £ 505K including premium by Christie's on October 5, 2010 was made four centuries later.