Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment of a Roundel (Orbiculus)

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.113
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 19.5 cm × W. (weft) 16.2 cm (7 11/16 × 6 3/8 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen

Acquisition history

Crocker Collection, San Francisco, Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934); Loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953; Gift of Mrs. Andre de Limur (Ethel Mary Crocker de Limur, 1891–1964), Washington, DC, in 1953; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

This fragmentary medallion features a central floral design in tapestry weave in shades of beige, crimson, light yellow, light green, light blue, blue, and brown. At center, a frontal human bust anchors a spindly vegetal pattern with flowering plants on four sides. Four felines in facing pairs are placed between these floral motifs. The outer border consists of two rows of gemlike boxes, punctuated at even intervals by circular medallions. The textile is highly degraded, and is missing its entire right third.

The size of this medallion suggests that it served as a tunic decoration. The mirrored design of its vegetal patterns and deep red ground suggest that the weavers may have had silk medallions in mind (see BZ.1953.2.6 for discussion). Medallions with dark red backgrounds and abstracted motifs like this one were common on late antique dress (see, for example, BZ.1953.2.53, BZ.1953.2.122, and BZ.1953.2.124).

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.113
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 19.5 cm × W. (weft) 16.2 cm (7 11/16 × 6 3/8 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen

Acquisition history

Crocker Collection, San Francisco, Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934); Loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953; Gift of Mrs. Andre de Limur (Ethel Mary Crocker de Limur, 1891–1964), Washington, DC, in 1953; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 83.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.113
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 19.5 cm × W. (weft) 16.2 cm (7 11/16 × 6 3/8 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen

Acquisition history

Crocker Collection, San Francisco, Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934); Loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953; Gift of Mrs. Andre de Limur (Ethel Mary Crocker de Limur, 1891–1964), Washington, DC, in 1953; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.