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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

    Byzantine (Possibly, made)
    Spain (Possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. AD900-1300 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Museum number:

    1237-1864

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Woven silk, compound twill (samite). Brown, double warps and purple wefts. Possibly Byzantine or Spanish, ca. AD900-1300. The piece is covered with rows of diamonds each containing a central flower. One edge has a single row of whip stitching with a cream, double thread, probably of wool. There is some dirt on the piece and there are holes across the fabric.

Samite (woven silk) was thought to originate from Persia under Sassanian rule (AD224-651). It was commonly decorated with pairs of animals and birds and set in pearled lotus roundels. It is often found in Western burials, within church possessions and along the Silk Road. Byzantine weaving workshops took on the samite technique to make it an essential weave of the period. It was a luxury textile of the Middle Ages brought to Europe when the Crusades opened up direct contact with the East. It was forbidden to the middle classes of France under the sumptuary rules c. 1470.

Physical description

Woven silk, compound twill (samite). Brown, double warps and purple wefts. The piece is covered with rows of diamonds each containing a central flower. One edge has a single row of whip stitching with a cream, double thread, probably of wool. There is some dirt on the piece and there are holes across the fabric.

Place of Origin

Byzantine (Possibly, made)
Spain (Possibly, made)

Date

ca. AD900-1300 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dimensions

Height: 140 mm, Width: 162 mm

Descriptive line

Woven silk, compound twill. Possibly Spanish or Byzantine, ca. AD900-1300. Purple.

Labels and date

[]

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Categories

Archaeology; Textiles; Death

Collection

Middle East Section

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