Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment

 
Accession numberBZ.1948.2
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 89.1 cm × W. (weft) 57.9 cm (35 1/16 × 22 13/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool on plain-weave ground in linen

Acquisition history

Gift of Sir Leigh Ashton (1897–1983), London, 1948; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

This rectangular fragment features a plain-weave ground in beige with tapestry-woven stripes in red, light green, green, and dark blue. A few colorful threads along one jaggedly preserved edge suggest that another band of tapestry-woven color would have started there. Selvages are preserved along three sides, with a fringe on one side.

Though it is difficult to guess the original function of this textile, the narrow shape suggests it was used as a dress textile, possibly a shawl, head wrapping, or turban. The dating of the piece is similarly uncertain: tapestry weave and plain weave are common methods of weaving throughout the late Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic eras, making it difficult to pinpoint any specific period for the work. A child’s tunic with similar motifs and technique from the Kharga Oasis dated through archaeological context makes a fourth to seventh century date likely.New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 33.10.39, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/475107.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1948.2
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 89.1 cm × W. (weft) 57.9 cm (35 1/16 × 22 13/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool on plain-weave ground in linen

Acquisition history

Gift of Sir Leigh Ashton (1897–1983), London, 1948; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 24.

Accession numberBZ.1948.2
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 89.1 cm × W. (weft) 57.9 cm (35 1/16 × 22 13/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool on plain-weave ground in linen

Acquisition history

Gift of Sir Leigh Ashton (1897–1983), London, 1948; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.