Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragments of a Band

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.125
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 25.0 cm × W. (warp) 51.5 cm (9 13/16 × 20 1/4 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.

These irregularly shaped fragments form a roughly rectangular shape, which is filled with a lattice pattern and palmette design in tapestry weave in beige, red, orange, light yellow, light green, green, light blue, blue-gray, blue, and purple-blue. The lattice consists of a vine scroll with colorful leaves; the vines meet in medallions with flower blossoms at the intersection. Stylized plants with thin stems and elaborate flowers appear in the spaces of the lattices. Though they are now discontinuous, the fragments likely belonged to the same fabric given the consistency in their weaving and design.

The long, narrow rectangular shape of the band suggests that it once decorated the hem of a tunic. The elegant lattice design and red ground undoubtedly emulated the silk decoration affixed to tunics (see BZ.1953.2.6 for further discussion). A colorful silk in Cleveland, for example, features similar palmette flowers set within a lattice frame;Cleveland Museum of Art, 1951.91, http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1951.91. that piece is cut to the same long, rectangular shape as the Dumbarton Oaks fabric, suggesting it once served as a tunic decoration as well. A tapestry-woven fragment in Paris features a nearly identical design as Dumbarton Oaks’ textile.Paris, Musée de Cluny, Cl. 12219: A. Lorquin, Les tissus coptes au Musée national du Moyen Age – Thermes de Cluny: Catalogue des étoffes égyptiennes de lin et de laine de l’Antiquité tardive aux premiers siècles de l’Islam (Paris, 1992), 308–9, no. 133.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.125
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 25.0 cm × W. (warp) 51.5 cm (9 13/16 × 20 1/4 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.

Washington, DC, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Ornament: Fragments of Byzantine Fashion, September 10, 2019—January 5, 2020.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.125
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 25.0 cm × W. (warp) 51.5 cm (9 13/16 × 20 1/4 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. 70.

D. Thompson, “The Evolution of Two Traditional Coptic Tape Patterns: Further Observations on the Classification of Coptic Textiles,” JARCE 23 (1986): fig. 3.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.125
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 25.0 cm × W. (warp) 51.5 cm (9 13/16 × 20 1/4 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.