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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    ca. AD600-900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir C. Purdon Clarke, C.V.O., C.I.E.

  • Museum number:

    338-1887

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Compound woven silk, samite. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD600-900. The piece has been attached to cardboard. The background is of small cheques in brown and white. Circles (10mm diameter) lie evenly across the fabric and contain either a trefoil/club motif or a geometric motif of a central dot with four arrow heads pointing in towards the dot.

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

Compound woven silk, samite. The piece has been attached to cardboard. The background is of small cheques in brown and white. Circles (10mm diameter) lie evenly across the fabric and contain either a trefoil/club motif or a geometric motif of a central dot with four arrow heads pointing in towards the dot.

Place of Origin

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

Date

ca. AD600-900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dimensions

Height: 125 mm, Width: 85 mm

Descriptive line

Samite. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD600-900. Small checked background and circular motifs.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Categories

Textiles; Archaeology; Africa; Death

Collection

Middle East Section

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