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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (Possibly, made)
    Byzantine (Possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. AD400-600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Robert Taylor in 1900.

  • Museum number:

    2186-1900

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Two-toned woven silk fragment, compound twill, samite. Egypt or Byzantine, ca. AD500-700. Cream/buff motifs on a red background. The piece is approximately one quarter of a circular medallion. It has a border (approx. 32mm wide) with central floral motifs; an interlaced guilloche pattern runs around the outside; small heart shaped leaves run around the inside. The border is cut by another circular border at the top of the piece and again at the side. The central figure appears to be a huntsman holding a bow and arrow. Similar to 2185-1900, 2185A-1900, 2185B-1900, 292-1889 and 817-1903.

Samite (twill 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

Two-toned woven silk fragment, compound twill, samite. Cream/buff motifs on a red background. The piece is approximately one quarter of a circular medallion. It has a border (approx. 32mm wide) with central floral motifs; an interlaced guilloche pattern runs around the outside; small heart shaped leaves run around the inside. The border is cut by another circular border at the top of the piece (12 o'clock) and again at the side (9 o'clock). The central figure appears to be a huntsman holding a bow and arrow.
Similar to 2185-1900, 2185A-1900, 2185B-1900, 292-1889 and 817-1903.

Place of Origin

Egypt (Possibly, made)
Byzantine (Possibly, made)

Date

ca. AD400-600 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dimensions

Height: 180 mm, Width: 126 mm

Descriptive line

Two toned woven samite fragment. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD500-700. Huntsman within a floral bordered medallion.

Labels and date

[]

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Categories

Textiles; Africa; Archaeology; Death

Collection

Middle East Section

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