Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Roundel (Orbiculus)

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.36e
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 8.6 cm × W. (weft) 8.1 cm (3 3/8 × 3 3/16 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 shades of beige, red, yellow, light green, green, light blue, blue, purple-blue, and dark purple. At center, a winged putto facing toward the right holds a rabbit. Abstracted floral motifs surround this central figure, framed by a beige border with a single purple line through it.

This small, elegantly rendered medallion was likely once a tunic decoration. Though its accession number suggests it belongs with BZ.1953.2.36a–d, the fineness of the design, the accomplished quality of the weaving, and the subtle coloration of the threads differs significantly from what we observe in those pieces. The weavers were especially skilled in using threads of slightly different colors to achieve spectacular shading, most noticeable in the putto’s wing and the body of the rabbit.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.36e
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 8.6 cm × W. (weft) 8.1 cm (3 3/8 × 3 3/16 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.

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

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.36e
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 8.6 cm × W. (weft) 8.1 cm (3 3/8 × 3 3/16 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. 18.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.36e
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 8.6 cm × W. (weft) 8.1 cm (3 3/8 × 3 3/16 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.