Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Sash

  • Place of origin:

    Tunisia (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk.

  • Museum number:

    809-1852

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A Tunisian sash like this one would have been woven in the workshop of a mu’allim. The mu’allim would have been in charge of a workshop that employed a number of male workers and apprentices; he would have overseen production and controlled the overall design of the textiles. The sash is made of silk which was widely used in Tunisian workshops but would have been imported in its raw form and then carded and spun by women before being dyed by specialist craftsmen.

One of the recurring motifs that can be seen on this sash is hands. Depictions of hands and other designs containing five elements were believed to counteract the effects of the ‘evil eye’. The idea of the ‘evil eye’ is common across the Mediterranean and centres on the idea that a jealous look can bring bad luck, ill health or even death.

This sash was one of seventeen textiles purchased by the V&A from the Tunis stand at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and is therefore one of the first textiles from Africa to have been acquired by the V&A.

Physical description

Woven silk sash. Blue and white striped silk.

Place of Origin

Tunisia (made)

Date

ca. 1850 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk.

Dimensions

Length: 112 in, Width: 21 in

Object history note

One of 17 textiles purchased by the V&A from the Tunis Stand at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Descriptive line

Woven silk sash, Tunisia, ca. 1850

Materials

Silk

Techniques

Hand weaving

Categories

Clothing; Textiles; Africa

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.