Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Roundel (Orbiculus)

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.23
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 9.8 cm × W. (weft) 9.4 cm (3 7/8 × 3 11/16 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 medallion is rendered in tapestry weave in beige, pink-red, orange, yellow, light green, light blue, blue, and purple. It depicts two pairs of quadrupeds with pointy ears set against a floral pattern. A stylized human figure with head in profile may be represented at the very center of the field. A single band in beige separates this figural pattern from the ground. The weaving is densely and evenly packed, which contributes to the geometric quality of the piece.

The diminutive size of this medallion suggests it came from a tunic. The iconography of the scene is at first difficult to read, but one can observe pairs of pointy eared quadrupeds, possibly rabbits, set in two rows. It likely represents a bucolic scene with an inhabited vine, a theme known from numerous late antique textiles (see BZ.1953.2.30). The colorful effects of the piece are noteworthy, as the deep purple of the ground brings out the brightly hued figural scenes at the center with particular force. The piece is nearly identical with BZ.1953.2.22, and likely came from the same fabric.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.23
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 9.8 cm × W. (weft) 9.4 cm (3 7/8 × 3 11/16 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D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 149a–b.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.23
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 9.8 cm × W. (weft) 9.4 cm (3 7/8 × 3 11/16 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.

Related Content

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.23
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 9.8 cm × W. (weft) 9.4 cm (3 7/8 × 3 11/16 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.