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Woven silk

Woven silk

  • Place of origin:

    Granada (Probably, made)

  • Date:

    1490-1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

    Dye samples of this textile were analysed as part of the project “Caracterización de las producciones textiles de la Antigüedad Tardía y Edad Media temprana: tejidos coptos, sasánidas, bizantinos e hispanomusulmanes en las colecciones públicas españolas” (“Characterization of Late Antique and Early Medieval textile production: Coptic, Sasanian, Byzantine and Spanish Muslim textiles in Spanish national collections”) (HAR2008-04161) directed by Dr Laura Rodríguez Peinado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Dpt. de Historia del Arte I (Medieval). Analysis was conducted by Enrique Parra at the Alfonso X El Sabio University, Madrid. The dyes were analysed through high- performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), extracting threads with a thickness varying between 5 and 1mm by means of 100 µL of methanol/hydrochloric acid/water 1:2:1.

    The results for this textile were as follows:
    Green - Indigo + Gualda
    Red - Madder
    White - X
    Blue - Indigo
    Yellow - No dye detected

  • Museum number:

    T.167-1929

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Woven silk. The pattern consists of repeated symmetrical lily-plants with birds perched on them. The ground is blue satin, and the other colours are green, crimson, white, and yellow.

Place of Origin

Granada (Probably, made)

Date

1490-1500 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dye samples of this textile were analysed as part of the project “Caracterización de las producciones textiles de la Antigüedad Tardía y Edad Media temprana: tejidos coptos, sasánidas, bizantinos e hispanomusulmanes en las colecciones públicas españolas” (“Characterization of Late Antique and Early Medieval textile production: Coptic, Sasanian, Byzantine and Spanish Muslim textiles in Spanish national collections”) (HAR2008-04161) directed by Dr Laura Rodríguez Peinado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Dpt. de Historia del Arte I (Medieval). Analysis was conducted by Enrique Parra at the Alfonso X El Sabio University, Madrid. The dyes were analysed through high- performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), extracting threads with a thickness varying between 5 and 1mm by means of 100 µL of methanol/hydrochloric acid/water 1:2:1.

The results for this textile were as follows:
Green - Indigo + Gualda
Red - Madder
White - X
Blue - Indigo
Yellow - No dye detected

Dimensions

Length: 37.5 cm, Width: 25.5 cm

Object history note

Registered File no. 1929/10117.

Neg no. 77779

Acquired with a portfolio of Spanish, Portuguese, Moroccan and Italian textiles. Portfolio purchased for £65, this piece priced separately at £8.

9 Dec 1929, Mr. Wace wrote:

‘This portfolio I found in the Warren collection at Lewes when I went to see the things before the sale. I found that Mr. Arditti was intending to buy it for himself and, therefore, made arrangements with him to give us the first opportunity of acquiring it. He secured it at the sale and has offered it to us… The textiles in the portfolio come mostly from the collection of San Giorgio in Rome, for some of the sheets bear his mark. There are some splendid specimens of Italian silks velvets and two pieces of early Italian silks which would be extremely valuable for Circulation purposes. For this department the important sheets are two superb pieces of 15th century Italian velvet, two pieces of Spanish silks of the 14th and 15th centuries, which will be an excellent addition to our rather small group of this class, and several other fine pieces.

…Mr Arditti offers another piece of Spanish silk which was exhibited at the Munich exhibition in 1909 and represents a well known type of which we have no examples. He asks for this the very moderate figure of £8’.

Historical context note

Silk textiles were one of the Islamic luxury commodities most favoured by Christian patrons. It is likely that immediately after the conquests of Muslim lands, the same weavers continued to produce silks for their new patrons, and that they used the same colour schemes and technical construction as Nasrid silks. The design of paired birds among flowering plants became particularly common, in keeping with a general move towards more figurative subject matter. (M. Rosser-Owen, 2010).

Samples of coloured threads from this object have been taken and are being analysed as part of a collaboration between the V&A and the Spanish Research project "Caracterización de als producciones textiles de la Antigüedad Tardía y Edad Media temprana: tejidos coptos, sasánidas, bizantinos e hispanomusulmanes en las colecciones públicas españolas" ("Characterization of Late Antique and Early Medieval textile production: Coptic, Sasanian, Byzantine and Spanish Muslim textiles in Spanish national collections") (HAR2008-04161) directed by Dr Laura Rodríguez Peinado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Dpt. de Historia del Arte I (Medieval).

Descriptive line

Woven silk with lilies and birds pattern; Spain; 15th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

M. Rosser-Owen. Islamic Arts from Spain (London: V&A Publishing, 2010) p. 91.

Materials

Silk (textile)

Techniques

Satin weave; Weaving

Subjects depicted

Birds; Lilies

Categories

Textiles

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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