Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    ca. AD600-900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk

  • Museum number:

    119-1891

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A circular icon, cut from a larger piece of silk compound weave. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD600-900. Samite. Green imagery on a white background. The imagery is pixelated. At the centre two leaves branch out from a central pole with a cross, within a circle, at its top. This motif is bordered with a wide circle with geometric design inside. The design is connected to other designs which have been cut away.

Samite (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

A circular icon, cut from a larger piece of silk, compound weave. Samite. Green imagery on a white background. The imagery is pixelated. At the centre two leaves branch out from a central pole with a cross, within a circle, at its top. This motif is bordered with a wide circle with geometric design inside. The design is connected to other designs which have been cut away.

Place of Origin

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

Date

ca. AD600-900 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk

Dimensions

Diameter: 83 mm

Object history note

Objecys 118-1891 to 136-1891 purchased together for £44 9s 10d from Henry Wallis.

Descriptive line

Fragment of samite. Possible Egyptian or Byzantine ca. AD600-900. Geometric.

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Categories

Textiles; Archaeology; Africa; Death

Collection

Middle East Section

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.