Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment

 
Accession numberBZ.1933.16
Attribution and Date
Indian subcontinent, second half of the 10th–15th c.
Measurements

H. 19.7 cm × W. 62.9 cm (7 3/4 × 24 3/4 in.)

Technique and Material

Cotton; block-printed

Acquisition history

Tano Collection, Cairo; Robert Woods and Mildred Barnes Bliss, purchase (through Frances Morris), 1932; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC, 1940.

Materials

Warp: Cotton, single spun Z-direction, 16–19/cm. No selvage is visible.

Weft: Cotton, single spun Z-direction, 16–18/cm

Colors: Undyed cotton (yellowed with age and mordants), dull red, blue, dark brown

 

Technique

Plain weave; block-printed with mordant and dyed brown; probably applied with resist, and dyed red, blue may have been applied directly to the surface of the fabric

 

Condition

Two edges are well preserved. Some areas are worn in the middle.

—Karthika Audinet, May 2019

 
Accession numberBZ.1933.16
Attribution and Date
Indian subcontinent, second half of the 10th–15th c.
Measurements

H. 19.7 cm × W. 62.9 cm (7 3/4 × 24 3/4 in.)

Technique and Material

Cotton; block-printed

Acquisition history

Tano Collection, Cairo; Robert Woods and Mildred Barnes Bliss, purchase (through Frances Morris), 1932; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC, 1940.

This fragment features a sequence of curving bands, each with a row of large motifs (rosettes, teardrop-shaped petals, and arches interspersed with minarets), alternating with borders of small, dovetailed fig leaves. The outermost border to the left of the fragment is composed of paired leaves with buds and quatrefoils. These bands may have been part of a very large medallion. The design is defined by the undyed areas as well as by uneven brown outlines. Although the reverse cannot be examined, it seems to have less dye saturation for blue. This fabric is similar in quality to BZ.1933.29, woven with equal density of warp and weft threads. Although we know that these printed fabrics were used for clothing as well as furnishings, the large scale and layout of the patterns with several bands suggests that this specific fabric was used as furnishings. If worn, this was most probably used to wrap the head and body as is done even today by Yemeni women.

A fabric housed in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University shares similar motifs and color application.Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, EA1990.973, http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/object/EA1990.973. A fragment in the same collection, although in blue on white, has a similar theme of dovetailed fig-leaf borders, teardrop-shaped petals, arches, and triangular spandrel ornaments.Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, EA1990.224, http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/object/EA1990.224. Lastly, a fragment in the Benaki Museum has similar large rosettes with concentric circles.Athens, Benaki Museum, 16366: R. Pfister, Les toiles imprimées de Fostat et l’Hindoustan (Paris, 1938), plate IX, h. The fact that we see numerous examples of these composite designs with borders and large-scale motifs reinforces the idea that they may have been popular among their Egyptian clientele.

—Karthika Audinet, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1933.16
Attribution and Date
Indian subcontinent, second half of the 10th–15th c.
Measurements

H. 19.7 cm × W. 62.9 cm (7 3/4 × 24 3/4 in.)

Technique and Material

Cotton; block-printed

Acquisition history

Tano Collection, Cairo; Robert Woods and Mildred Barnes Bliss, purchase (through Frances Morris), 1932; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC, 1940.

F. Morris, “Catalogue of Textile Fabrics, The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1940), 445.

Accession numberBZ.1933.16
Attribution and Date
Indian subcontinent, second half of the 10th–15th c.
Measurements

H. 19.7 cm × W. 62.9 cm (7 3/4 × 24 3/4 in.)

Technique and Material

Cotton; block-printed

Acquisition history

Tano Collection, Cairo; Robert Woods and Mildred Barnes Bliss, purchase (through Frances Morris), 1932; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC, 1940.