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Textile fragment

Textile fragment

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    ca. AD400-600

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk and linen

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir Henry H. Howorth, K.C.I.E.

  • Museum number:

    T.34-1917

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Weft-faced compound twill, samite. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD400-600. In numerous fragments so that the imagery cannot been easily identified. Appears to be floral borders creating suqare panels with motifs within the panels. Possibly St Michael. Light and dark brown. Once attached to a linen panel.

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

Weft-faced compound twill samite. In numerous fragments so that the imagery cannot been easily identified. Appears to be floral borders creating suqare panels with motifs within the panels. Possibly St Michael. Light and dark brown. Once attached to a linen panel.

Place of Origin

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

Date

ca. AD400-600

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk and linen

Dimensions

Height: 180 mm linen panel, Width: 130 mm linen panel

Object history note

Given to the Museum in 1917 by Sir Henry Hoyle Howorth, K.C.I.E., a Conservative politician, barrister, amateur historian and geologist.

Descriptive line

Samite fragment. Possibly Egyptian or Byzantine, ca. AD400-600. Imagery of a saint.

Materials

Silk; Linen

Techniques

Weaving; Dyeing

Subjects depicted

Creatures; Saints

Categories

Textiles; Archaeology; Africa; Death

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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