Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.116
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 14.3 cm × W. (weft) 23.8 cm (5 5/8 × 9 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 rectangular fragment depicts a colorful lattice pattern in tapestry weave in beige, pink, red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue, blue, dark blue, and brown. Circles filled with various shapes appear at the intersection of these lattices; the interstices between the lattice arms are filled with abstracted flowers with spade-shaped leaves. Remnants of a reinforced selvage are preserved at right. The fragment is heavily soiled throughout.

The width and proportions of this fragment suggest it once functioned as a decorative band on a tunic. Lattices containing palmette motifs were fairly common on late antique and early Islamic silks; such valuable textiles may have inspired the patterning here (see BZ.1953.2.6 for further discussion). Whereas silk weavers were constrained to a few colors, those working in tapestry weave could introduce limitless color varieties into their designs, and the current example showcases the creative range that was possible.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.116
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 14.3 cm × W. (weft) 23.8 cm (5 5/8 × 9 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D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 72.

D. Thompson, “The Evolution of Two Traditional Coptic Tape Patterns: Further Observations on the Classification of Coptic Textiles,” JARCE 23 (1986): fig. 4.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.116
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 14.3 cm × W. (weft) 23.8 cm (5 5/8 × 9 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.