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Lampas silk

Lampas silk

  • Place of origin:

    Spain (made)

  • Date:

    14th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk thread in lampas weave

  • Museum number:

    1312-1864

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The pattern, which appears continuous, has been adapted to the system of ‘repeats’
needed to produce a textile. Each design unit contains an eight-pointed star, a quatrefoil
and two roundels. The compartments they form are filled with a variety of smaller motifs, from interlace patterns in green or blue to tiny knots and fleurs-de-lis.

Textiles with geometrical interlace of this type were mainly produced in southern Spain and North Africa. This example was probably made in south-west Spain in the 14th century, perhaps in Granada, which was the capital of the Muslim Nasrid dynasty from about 1232 to 1492.

Such silks were not only used in Spain. They seem also to have been popular in Italy. This piece formed part of a hanging behind a large wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in Florence. It was bought there in the 19th century.

Physical description

An intricately designed geometric pattern predominately in red and yellow.

Place of Origin

Spain (made)

Date

14th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk thread in lampas weave

Dimensions

Height: 56 cm, Width: 47.5 cm, Weight: 2.3 kg

Object history note

Previously thought to be from Almeria, Southern Spain.

Historical context note

Samples of coloured threads from this object have been taken and are being analysed as part of a collaboration between the V&A and the Spanish Research project "Caracterización de als producciones textiles de la Antigüedad Tardía y Edad Media temprana: tejidos coptos, sasánidas, bizantinos e hispanomusulmanes en las colecciones públicas españolas" ("Characterization of Late Antique and Early Medieval textile production: Coptic, Sasanian, Byzantine and Spanish Muslim textiles in Spanish national collections") (HAR2008-04161) directed by Dr Laura Rodríguez Peinado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Dpt. de Historia del Arte I (Medieval).

Descriptive line

Middle East, Textile. Silk lampas with a geometric pattern, south-east Spain (perhaps Granada), 1300-1400.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Arts of Islam, Catalogue of the exhibition held at Hayward Gallery 8 April- 4 July, 1976, The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1976. 396p., ill. ISBN 0 7287 0081 6 paper bound, 07287 0080 8 cloth bound. Catalogue entry 18, p81

Labels and date

Jameel Gallery

Silk with Geometric Design
South-east Spain, possibly Granada
1300-1400

The pattern, which appears continuous, has been adapted to the system of 'repeats' needed to produce a textile. Each design unit contains an eight-pointed star, a quatrefoil and two roundels. The compartments they form are filled with a variety of smaller motifs, from interlace patterns in green or blue to tiny knots and fleurs-de-lis. This pattern of interlaced geometric motifs is typical of the Hispano-Moresque silks produced in Spain during the period of Muslim role. Such silks were imported into other parts of Europe and used for both dress and furnishings.

Silk thread in lampas weave

Museum no. 1312-1864 [2006-2012]
Heavy silk woven material on a red satin ground in expressive moorish style. [...] One can find such moorisch ornaments in Andalusian architectural tilework from the moorish period, especially in the Alhambra. The star shapes with the Fleur de Lis are characteristic for the Spanish moorish silk industry by the end of the 13th century. This piece was bought in Florence as a 'Dorsal bekleidung' (presumably a piece of cloth to cover the back) from a large wooden Maria statue.
Translation from German of Dr. Bock's Revise, 1883 - by N. Swaep. For the German text, see the registers. []

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Woven

Categories

Textiles; Islam

Collection

Middle East Section

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