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

Textile Fragment

1200-1500 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This fragment is part of a group of Chinese silks in the V&A collection , broadly dated between the late thirteenth century and the mid-fifteenth century. The weaving may have been carried out in China and the silks then exported westwards, or it could have been done outside China by Islamic craftsmen familiar with Chinese patterning.
The staining may be due to their having been buried, although no archeological report exist.
Similar textiles have not been found in China and it is possible that these silks were made specially for the Mamluk empire (1250-1517). From surviving Mamluk textiles, it seems that blue was a favoured colour. Mamluk and other textiles from the Islamic world are known to incorporate scripts into their designs.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Silk damask
Brief description
Blue and yellow silk damask, full width, foliage pattern and pseudo-Chinese characters, China or Egypt, 1200-1500
Physical description
Length of full-width (selvedges intact on both sides) blue and yellow silk damask with large foliage pattern, conventional floral devices and pseudo-Chinese characters within ogee-shaped compartments outlined by leafe stems. Remains of stitch holes along top and bottom edge. Lots of discolouration all over the length, probably body fluids.
Dimensions
  • Width: 68cm
  • Length: 30.7cm
Object history
This fragment, together with two pieces of North Italian brocade, was bought by the Museum from Herr Paul Schulze, Crefeld in Germany in 1898.
Production
Probably by non-Chinese (Islamic?) weavers
Summary
This fragment is part of a group of Chinese silks in the V&A collection , broadly dated between the late thirteenth century and the mid-fifteenth century. The weaving may have been carried out in China and the silks then exported westwards, or it could have been done outside China by Islamic craftsmen familiar with Chinese patterning.

The staining may be due to their having been buried, although no archeological report exist.

Similar textiles have not been found in China and it is possible that these silks were made specially for the Mamluk empire (1250-1517). From surviving Mamluk textiles, it seems that blue was a favoured colour. Mamluk and other textiles from the Islamic world are known to incorporate scripts into their designs.
Collection
Accession number
314-1898

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Record createdDecember 15, 2008
Record URL
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