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Textile fragments

Textile fragments

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    ca. AD600-900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fragments of samite, compound weave. silk.

  • Museum number:

    139-1896

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Several fragments of a compound weave, samite. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD600-900. The design, in brown and cream, is hard to distinguish but the edge of a floral bordered roundell can be seen. This appears to have a horse within along with other motifs.

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

Several fragments of a compound weave, samite. The design, in brown and cream, is hard to distinguish but the edge of a floral bordered roundell can be seen. This appears to have a horse within along with other motifs.

Place of Origin

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

Date

ca. AD600-900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Fragments of samite, compound weave. silk.

Dimensions

Width: 130 mm Piece 1, Height: 70 mm Piece 1, Width: 63 mm Piece 2, Height: 85 mm Piece 2

Descriptive line

Fragments of samite. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD600-900.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Categories

Archaeology; Textiles; Africa; Death

Collection

Middle East Section

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