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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    ca. AD500-700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Museum number:

    292-1889

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Half of a samite medallion, woven in red and cream/buff silk. Egypt or Byzantine ca. AD500-700. A thick border (29mm wide; floral icons, guilloche) encircles a mounted huntsman with a bow, who is attacking a lion/tiger at the horse's feet. The warriors wears a cloak and the horse has a decorative harness. The imagery would have been reversed on the other half of the medallion. The start of another medallion is still visible.The piece is a little stained, has holes and is brittle. Battles between men and animals symbolised the struggle between good and evil in human nature. Similar design as 2185-1900, 2185A-1900, 2185B-1900, 2186-1900 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

Half of a samite medallion, woven in red and cream/buff silk. A thick border (29mm wide; floral icons, guilloche) encircles a mounted huntsman with a bow, who is attacking a lion/tiger at the horse's feet. The warriors wears a cloak and the horse has a decorative harness. The imagery would have been reversed on the other half of the medallion. The start of another medallion is still visible.The piece is a little stained, has holes and is brittle. Battles between men and animals symbolised the struggle between good and evil in human nature. Similar design as 2185-1900, 2185A-1900, 2185B-1900, 2186-1900 and 817-1903.

Place of Origin

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

Date

ca. AD500-700 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dimensions

Height: 285 mm, Width: 105 mm

Object history note

Purchased from the Reverend Greville J. Chester

Descriptive line

A portion of a samite medallion, in cream and red silk. Egypt or Byzantine, ca. AD500-700. Huntsman on horseback.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving

Categories

Africa; Archaeology; Textiles; Death

Collection

Middle East Section

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