Silk played a major role in trade, diplomacy, and court life under the Jin dynasty, founded by the Jurchen, a Tatar people, and the Yuan, founded by the Mongols, both nonChinese ruling houses. Jin and Yuan brocades, notable for rich patterning with gilt wefts of leather or paper substrate, have been a focus of recent exhibitions. Due to the open trade connections encouraged by the Mongol con quests, these silks spread widely. Examples reached the pope through trade and diplomatic gifts. Thus, the cloth of gold favored by Mongol leaders had its counterpart in the panno tartarico of fourteenth-century Europe.
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