Textile Fragment thumbnail 1
Textile Fragment thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Textile Fragment

4th Century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This fragment of a wall hanging or curtain is from a Christian burial. It has no woven edges, but the weave shows that there was a selvedge a little way above the present upper edge and the organisation of the borders suggests that the fragment comes from the top right of the decorated area. The larger textile was divided into horizontal registers by borders and into individual scenes by twisted columns.

In this fragment the main scene is the Annunciation. The angel appears before the seated Virgin, identified by the inscription Maria. Mary is shown in the fragment preparing a rove, the stage of yarn production that preceded spinning. In her left hand she holds up the mass of combed purple wool fleece. With her right hand she draws this out into a continuous rove that drops into the wool basket at her feet.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Resist painted and dyed linen
Brief Description
Fragment of a curtain or hanging, resist dyed and painted linen, Akhmim, Egypt, possibly 4th Century
Physical Description
Fragment from a linen curtain or wall hanging, resist painted and dyed in blue, representing the Annunciation. Between the Virgin and the Archangel is the word MAPIA (Maria). Along the top is a straight band with a row of circles enclosing conventional blossoms.
Dimensions
  • Height: 55cm
  • Width: 68cm
  • Height: 71cm (Height of frame)
  • Width: 84cm (Width of frame)
  • Depth: 5.5cm (Depth of frame)
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
Object history
721-1897 to 723-1897 purchased together for £36 from Dr. Reinhardt, German consul general, Cairo.
Production
V&A items 1103-1900 and 722-1897 seem to come from the same textile also.
Summary
This fragment of a wall hanging or curtain is from a Christian burial. It has no woven edges, but the weave shows that there was a selvedge a little way above the present upper edge and the organisation of the borders suggests that the fragment comes from the top right of the decorated area. The larger textile was divided into horizontal registers by borders and into individual scenes by twisted columns.



In this fragment the main scene is the Annunciation. The angel appears before the seated Virgin, identified by the inscription Maria. Mary is shown in the fragment preparing a rove, the stage of yarn production that preceded spinning. In her left hand she holds up the mass of combed purple wool fleece. With her right hand she draws this out into a continuous rove that drops into the wool basket at her feet.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • E. Hartley, J. Hawkes, M. Henig with F. Mee, Constantine The Great: York's Roman Emperor (York, 2006): 191-2 No. 173
Collection
Accession Number
723-1897

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record createdDecember 10, 2007
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