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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)
    Byzantine (Possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. AD500-700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Robert Taylor Esq. in 1900.

  • Museum number:

    2185B-1900

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A portion of a samite medallion (in two parts) woven in green and cream/buff. Egypt or Byzantine, ca. AD500-700. There are the remains of a border made of floral icons and guilloche. It encircles a mounted huntsmen with a bow, who is attacking a lion/tiger at the horse's feet. The warrior wears a cloak and the horse has a decorative harness. This image would be repeated, in reverse, within the floral border but the rest of the piece is missing. The pieces are stained and with some holes. Battles between men and animals symbolised the struggle between good and evil in human nature. Similar design as 2185-1900, 2185A-1900, 2186-1900, 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.

[This piece is 2185B-1900 TEX not 2185B-1900]

Physical description

A portion of a samite medallion (in two parts) woven in green and cream/buff. There are the remains of a border made of floral icons and guilloche. It encircles a mounted huntsmen with a bow, who is attacking a lion/tiger at the horse's feet. The warrior wears a cloak and the horse has a decorative harness. This image would be repeated, in reverse, within the floral border but the rest of the piece is missing. The pieces are stained and with some holes. Battles between men and animals symbolised the struggle between good and evil in human nature. Similar design as 2185-1900, 2185A-1900, 2186-1900, 292-1889 and 817-1903.

[This piece is 2185B-1900 TEX not 2185B-1900]

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)
Byzantine (Possibly, made)

Date

ca. AD500-700 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dimensions

Height: 110 mm Larger piece, Width: 115 mm Larger piece, Height: 95 mm Smaller piece, Width: 65 mm Smaller piece

Descriptive line

Two fragments of samite from a medallion. Egypt or Byzantine, ca. AD500-700. Man on horseback.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving

Categories

Africa; Archaeology; Textiles; Death

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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